Friday, June 7, 2013
Today I rode from Ennis to Kirkwood 54 miles and 2700' of climbing in cloudy, windy conditions changing to sunny and hot later in the day. I started at 4800' of elevation and ended up at 6800' as I climbed through rolling hills surrounded by mountains. Last night I camped in the RV park in Ennis so I could get a shower after three days of riding as well as charge up my electronics. After showering and eating a ton of food I met a friendly couple that was just completing the purchase of a house here in Ennis after moving from Eau Claire Wisconsin. They offered me a beer and some strawberries and ice cream so how could I refuse the offer? We sat around chatting for a while and had our beer and ice cream while I played with their two black labs. The labs were all over me wanting love so I gave them a bunch of attention. We talked about biking, Wisconsin, life in general and the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile which he worked with. It was a fun pleasant evening. I went to bed early after yesterday's hard ride. Today's ride was going to be 72 miles but I burned out at 54 as I was passing a campground so I called it a day and got a site. I had a nasty headwind all morning that kept my speed down to around 8 mph and sometimes less when a gust hit me. I had expected to be doing around 15 or 16 mph for the day. The ride was a long slow rolling upgrade that gained a couple thousand feet without ever really having any big hills. It tired me out because I could not coast at all today. If I stopped pedaling I immediately stopped moving. I am used to coasting every few minutes to conserve my pace. At one point the headwind was so strong that I could only muster 11 mph going down a long grade. I was working hard and sweating up a storm. I did run into five other bikers today which surprised me. One had started in Nevada but all the others had started on the East Coast. We talked about riding in Yellowstone and they all agreed that it was a great place to ride so I am looking forward to riding in it. They also like riding around in Grand Tetons. They did say that both places were kind of hard riding with lots of rolling hills. Such is life. I did pass Earthquake Lake today which was formed in 1959 when an earthquake triggered a huge slide off one of the mountains that came crashing down killing 28 people and blocking off the flow of Ruby Creek forming the lake. Nature can be brutal sometimes and does not always work slowly. As soon as this thunderstorm that is threatening me here in the campground blows off, I will set up my camp and get a shower in.