Wednesday September 10, 2014, 6 miles (10 km) – Total so far: 5,141 miles (8,274 km)
I sleep late. I listen to the wind build. It is not going to get very warm today, but it should be windy enough to dry out all of my damp gear. It will also be windy enough I’m glad I’m not riding today. I’m supposed to meet my friend Wayne in Walden on Saturday, so I’ve got a couple extra days up my sleeve. So I dedicate today to getting everything dry again, eating stupid quantities of food and sleeping as much as possible.
When I ask at the Chamber of Commerce where to find the supermarket, the woman whips out a town map and tells me where everything I could possibly ever need is located. She asks which way I’m heading, and when I tell her south, she says, “Oh, you were the cyclist I passed yesterday coming into town from the north, aren’t you? I felt so bad for you because it was raining so hard.” She goes on to say that by this time of the year, the cyclist numbers really die off, and most stragglers are heading west not east. I tell her I’m not riding the Trans-Am but working my way south. By this time, two men have wandered in and they are curious about my route. They say they are working to get a cyclist camp in town, so that riders will have easier access to facilities (and be more likely to dump more money in town) and somewhere with a reliable water source. So if you are Trans-Am-ing, Saratoga is working on it!
A few showers roll through in the mid-afternoon. It looks like it might finally be clearing, but there will be more rain overnight. Two cyclists arrive late in the afternoon. The girl is a fresh university graduate who received a Surly LHT for a graduation present. She is not sure what she wants to do after the tour but liked Colorado, so she might head back there. She doesn’t have any cold weather gear, is cycling in sandals and is concerned about what lies ahead, because the last few days have been so cold. I don’t have the heart to tell her that snow is forecast tomorrow night. The guy she has been riding with for the past day or so is an English guy roughly following the TransAm Route but taking lots of detours to visit microbreweries. He came over Trail Ridge Road a couple days ago. He’s a cyclist in his normal life, so he has all the gear and is well-prepared for the coming cold. I confirm Yellowstone will probably be cold – at least at night – but it will be a gorgeous time to be up there. Then, after a photo session with Verne and Kermit, I get out of the wind and cold and tuck up for some music-listening and relaxing to end the day.