Wednesday 18 August
The cyclists were up early again today in an effort to beat the sweltering heat that hits us in the middle part of the day – between 12pm and 6pm. We were on the road for 8am and headed straight for a backroad that avoids the Interstate.
We took the Big Horn Highway out of Sheradin which passes through metropolises like Banner (population 40) and Story (best name ever). There was hardly any traffic on the road so it was a lovely ride. The only downside, ironically, was the lack of downhills. We seemed to be climbing steadily for the entire first part of the day without the reward of cruising downhill. On one climb, we passed two cyclists out for a spin going the opposite way. We waved but didn’t exchange words. Later that day we got an email from Patrick, one of those cyclists, who had tracked our website down, and offered us a free coffee in Starbucks in Gillette as he was the manager there. Thanks Patrick!
The countryside was beautiful though, and it was lovely to get off the Interstate and into the peace and quiet. We were lucky to see some more deer running along side us at the roadside, and an antelope scarpering into the bushes. Antelopes are apparently so common that they out-number humans in Buffalo.
After covering 40miles by 11:30am, we arrived in Buffalo (our destination for the day) at the same time as the support team. We grabbed a nice lunch at a cafe before continuing on the road to get in some extra miles to make the coming days a little easier. We pushed out an extra 20miles over some VERY hilly terrain in heat that peaked at 98.9F – about 36C. Needless to say in heat like that our water starts to taste like its coming out of a hot water bottle. Yummy.
We met up with Rob and Donal at the end of our extra miles and they drove us back to Buffalo where we checked into the brilliant Occidental Hotel. The hotel is like a time warp back to the Wild West days. It has had some famous people stay the night including Teddy Rosevelt, Butch Cassidy and Calamity Jane.
After showers, we grabbed food including Bison burgers in the hotel’s restaurant. Unfortunately the restaurant’s frier was broken so our ‘side’ was a packet of crisps (in the packet) thrown into some coleslaw. Genius solution!
That evening Mark, Rob and myself drove back to Sheridan to pick up copies of a newspaper interview we had given the previous day. It is a brilliant piece and the publicity that articles like this bring to our journey is a real reward for our effort on the road.