All that culture took it out of me: Laramie to Centennial
Sunday July 21, 2013, 33 miles (53 km) – Total so far: 3,046 miles (4,902 km)
I have a lot of trouble getting myself going this morning. By the time we head back into town from West Laramie and stock up our grocery supplies, it is 9.15 am. We aren’t hitting the Hwy 130 turn-off until 9.30 am. A three-day break in Laramie should leave me feeling energized. Instead, I feel like I just want to go back to bed.
As we leave Laramie, we hit our last stoplight for the state. I think Wyoming has about 375 of them in total.
Soon enough, we are crossing our last basin, too. We will get to the Washakie Basin in Baggs in a couple days, but we won’t actually cross that one. Here, the Laramie Basin is filled with fairly recent gravels. For the first half of the ride, the incline is imperceptible as we pass over grassy range. There is a very large and noticeable depression to the south of the road. My geology book says this is called Big Hollow Basin. It was formed through scouring by cold winds blowing down off a glacier which extended down to Centennial during the ice age.
Just as we hit the first hilly sections, where parts of the basin have been deformed when the adjacent mountain range was thrust up and eastward 55-60 million years ago, the wind picks up. It does not take long before it is blowing so hard, it is difficult to make forward progress. Sometimes the wind almost stops us in our tracks. Ugh. By the time we get to the Little Laramie River, I just want to curl up on the shoulder and take a nap. There is another big hill to climb before we can descend into the Centennial valley. I inch up this as the wind slaps my face. I yell at Verne, “Who let me sleep in so late this morning?”
Finally, we can see Centennial. More climbing into the wind. I get some gatorade and a coke at a gas station and ask the guy at the cash register if the wind is likely to die down at dusk. He replies, “which direction is it blowing from”? I say, “Northwest”. He frowns, “Not good. It’ll keep it up until well after dark. You’ll have quite a hard ride up the hill into that.”
Great. Centennial is a tiny little town that is absolutely over-run with day trippers perusing the 6 tables at the “Farmer’s Market”, eating at one of the restaurants and getting dessert at the ice cream place. There is not much else to the town, and very little shade in public places. So I take my drinks and sit on the front steps of the post office.
I rehydrate. I eat. I drink more water. I feel like crap. It’s like I’ve bonked and then some. I converse with several people as they come to check their post office boxes. I eat some more. I still feel like crap. The wind is still whipping the flag straight out from the pole.
I know I’m not going any further today. The hill out of town is pretty steep. There’s no way I’m going to make it up that.
So I head down to the motel and ask if they have rooms. He says he does, and if I’m willing to carry my bike up the stairs, I can have a room now, even though it’s only 1 pm. It’s $70 plus tax. That’s more than my budget, but I don’t care at this point. I am absolutely done. I take the room. It is actually very nice. I lie down on the bed, fall asleep and don’t move for the next three hours.
I still feel completely exhausted when I wake, but I do feel human again. I spend the rest of the late afternoon drinking water, water and more water, and eating, eating, and eating some more.
I get so tired of eating all the calories I need that I tend to not eat very much at all on rest days. I’ve probably just spent three days running down reserves instead of fuelling them back up. That’s my best explanation for whatever my body is trying to tell me. I crawl under the covers at 8 pm and sleep straight through until 5 am.