My shirt snapped with the wind as if I was barreling down Mt. Olympus. However my bicycle clunked forward as if I was trying to carry it up the stairs. That's the best way I can describe how today went. This would prove to be one the most challenging days of my life, physically, mentally, and emotionally. When I arrived at my final destination today, Jeffrey City (67 miles from Rawlins), the weather forecast put my experience into a quantifiable form. Wind was the enemy today, 15-30 mph and 40 mph gusts all day. When I say all day I mean it did not stop. It did not stop to eat, drink, or pee. It was devastating. Trying to endure the wind weathered me to my foundation.
I know most people have experienced a windy day. That experience typically doesn't go beyond the walk to the car in the parking lot, or the picnic at the park. I rode for 8 hours in the wind (9 hour day, 1 hour lunch break). For forty miles it was across my body; the last twenty-seven were in my face. It felt like a punishment of mythological proportions. I don't know if it was humbling, because I knew it wasn't going to kill me. But I would say I put my will to finish this thing to the test, and passed.
The wind will come and go; just another day to remember or forget, depending on how you look at it. The town spacing is pretty healthy out here. I've made arrangements for a campground 67 miles from Jeffery City to make me dinner/breakfast since it will be in the middle of nowhere. That should put me in position to camp on Jackson Lake in the Grand Tetons on Saturday.
Tonight I'm camping next to an old auto body shop in town. At one time Jeffery City was over a hundred times larger than the forty people that currently call it home (something to do with Uranium, not sure what though). With just a bar and a one room school house (K-6), I find myself once again in very small town USA. The man that lives in the old auto body shop told me that the last year Jeffery City had a high school, the graduating class was 1, and the girl made it on to late night TV for her fifteen minutes of fame. (BTW, for $5,000 you too can pick up some fine real estate in Jeffery City, the scenery is beautiful but the mosquitos are deadly and run in packs. I've never seen them swarm like they do in Wyoming).