A girl, a bike, and an open road

On the road at 6:30am, picking my way through the northern suburbs of Denver, I mxed in with the morning commuters on I-25 north to Fort Collins, peeling off on US-287 at my first opportunity. The urban trappings of the Fort Collins-Denver-Colorado Springs metroplex disappear almost immediately as I climb into high prairie and mountain passes, deceptively high in altitude and empty of anything but small ranches and pronghorn.. so many pronghorn today, I give up counting after 75 sometime after lunch, and guess that I easily saw more than 200 today.

Hard to believe I'm at 9300 feet here. Virginia Dale, CO

Got to Laramie around 9am, and stopped at a McDonald’s for coffee and internet, surrounded by cowboy hats and belt buckles. I was keenly aware of the place Laramie holds in the collective history of the queer community, of exactly what the cost was that I could sit quietly here and not be worried about my safety. The arc of history, indeed.

I overstayed, sitting almost an hour, until I finally groaned and got back on the bike, feeling like a sloth today. I pick up I-80 here, and stayed on it all day. I stopped in Rawlins at a truck stop for fuel, cleaning the chain in the Denny’s parking lot, then had a salad while waiting for the chain wax to set up (about 30 minutes, pro tip!) then back on the road. Passed the turn-off for Cranston, WY, where Siri took me on a shortcut; I’m surprised at just how much skill and confidence I’ve acquired in just a year that cruising across Wyoming highway, with crosswinds at 85mph has become routine rather than terrifying.

Got in to Rock Springs, WY, where I stayed last year, by 3pm, and decided to push on. Pulled off at Little America for some internet, booking a room at [cheap generic motel] in Evanston, WY, just 3 miles short of the WY/Utah border. Got there by 5pm, realizing I could easily have pushed on to Ogden, UT, but whatever… I settled in, and was asleep by 9pm. A completely boring day. Tomorrow I’ll push to at least Boise, ID, stopping at the Golden Spike National Historic Site for my Utah stamp, but most of the next 2 days will hopefully be boring, as its a route I’ve ridden or driven a dozen times or more.

Iron Butt National Park Tour Challenge: 51/50 stamps, 25/25 states

Miles: 430

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