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Day 29: Saratoga, WY June 14, 2007

Posted by jonpierson in Uncategorized.

Wooo hooo!  I’ve made it to Wyoming!!!

And I am ahead of schedule which is good because it will allow me to slow down when I finally reach nothern Montana and Canada.  I’ve suprised a lot of folks by the good time I’ve made so far, but not so suprising when you consider I’ve taken a few alternate routes.  Rather than riding from Salida to Steamboat, I did an alternate from Crested Butte with Toph.  Although the alternate was over 250 miles long (comparible to the mileage I would have done anyway) we rode that stretch really fast.  We averaged 50 miles per day through the Gunnison, Mesa Verde, White River and Routte National Forests.  Such pretty country, and way better (in my opinion) that riding the much travelled Arkansas River Valley up through Breckenridge.  Anyone looking for solitude would want to avoid Breck by atleast 50 miles! 

Currently I’m on a new alternative, which actually developed due to muddy, impassable roads out of Columbine, CO.  Locals advised me to stay up high (better road conditions) and it worked out well.  Yesterday during my ride, I came to a T where I had to make yet another route decision.  Option 1: Go left and climb 2000 feet crossing the divide late in the day, picking up only 10 miles before making camp.  Option 2: Immediately drop down into the Wyoming “Plains” into the wonderful town of Saratoga, basically, all downhill and easy, easy miles.  So, having the freedom to make my own decision, I went for option two.  This resulted in the best downhill of the entire trip so far!  7 miles of 7% downgrade.  Unreal!  Talk about coasting!  It was fun..  So, after a quick stop at the Encampment Saloon (what better place to meet the locals?) I headed (more downhill) into Saratoga.  Looking for the campground, I ran into Richard Taylor, who offered me lawn space for the evening.  PERFECT!  So here I am, in the wonderful home of Richard and Phyllis Taylor, enjoying a morning cup of java and a chance to post an update. 

It’s been a while since my last “trail angels,” in fact, I don’t really think I ran across any in Colorado!  Maybe I was too remote, perhaps I didn’t need any help!  But the cool thing about trail angels is they are right there at the right moment, just when you need them!  It’s amazing what a shower, a good meal, and a unexpected free nights camping in town will do for you.  These things are attainable in the wilderness with some improvisation (ie; shower in the creek, sleeping under the stars, etc.) but there’s just something nice about feeling “civilized” indoors for a few hours. 

So here I am in Saratoga, off the Great Divide route, but on another established Adventure Cycling route.  This one’s called the “TransAmerica Route,” and I know it well.  I should, it’s only been 5 years since I rode it!  It is very neat riding through all the small little towns along the way, noticing little changes.  Encampments reporting fewer riders in recent years, and Saratoga is smaller than I remember it.  Wyoming truly is a special place, and I have very fond memories of it from 5 years ago.  It is a lot of fun to be “reliving” those memories!  It’s going to be difficult to pull myself away from the pavement of the TransAmerica and get back onto the dirt flats of the Great Divide.  It’s flat and windy until I reach the Tetons.  Good opportunity to ride hard and burn some miles.  I’m hoping to reach the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole by my birthday, June 22.  It would be quite the place to celebrate my quarter century Bday!  Plus I have a good friend Lindsey living nearby who could show me around. 

Thats about it for now.  Look for updates again soon!  Thanks for keeping in touch, and feel free to leave comments! 



1. Rob - June 14, 2007

I’m really curious how things work with the angels. I guess you make conversation with locals, the conversation inevitably turns to your bike ride, and you’re like “gosh, it’s been so long since I had a shower” and they either say “yeah, I can tell” or “would you like to come to my house crazy bike man and take a shower there”?

2. Leslie Pierson - June 14, 2007

SENT OFF A really good package yesterday. let me know the rest of the schedule so i can do a package each week. got you the energizc in your fav flavor. soups, nuts, fruits, salami and a bunch of other goodies. new job going well. gotta get used to new people and new surroundings. weather has been cold. the veg co-op outstanding so far. wish icould send you some good fresh veg and fruit. everyone in family good. Danny reached Prague, Lizzy sending out wedding invites tomorrow and Robbie also good. Lucy sends a bark.


3. Harry - June 15, 2007


It’s great that your ride is working out so well. You are a great “people person”, and you’re meeting so many nice people on your ride!

Wish I could be with you on your birthday, I’ll be thinking of you as you turn 25 on June 22nd.



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