Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Day 38--Poof, Just Like That, No More Trees!

Okay, it wasn't really that much of a "Poof". First we had to ride quite a few miles. I left about 20 minutes before the guys as we had a long day ahead of us. They caught me at 10 miles. 

We were riding toward the Continental Divide where we would cross it once, then ride along it, then cross it again, and finally cross it again at South Pass. 
Here's a pano from where we were riding along the Divide. To the right of us (this photo) the water flows to the Pacific. To the left, on the other side of the road, the water flows to the Atlantic. I wondered what would happen if you poured water right in the middle of the road??? It was a wide gravel road.
See? Wide road.

It was quite the rollercoaster, and when we "topped out" at South Pass (and CD crossing #12), it barely seemed like we had climbed a Pass at all. That's because we didn't hardly. We stayed at about 7550' most of the day. 

At South Pass, we turned onto the highway. There was a lovely rest stop where there were flush toilets and everything!
Info about the Pass at the Rest Stop.

We had just a few more miles on the highway before we turned off to head to South Pass City. It used to be a booming town, with most all of the pioneer trails passing through it. There was also a gold mine called the Carissa Mine. Now the town is run by the State Parks of Wyoming. To go into the town part, there is a fee, but that closed down Sept. 30th. We could walk around, but not go in any of the buildings.

The saloon.

The gold mine.

The climb out of South Pass City was steep. After lunch, and walking around, my legs did not enjoy that climb! 

The next stop was Atlantic City (not remotely the same as the one in New Jersey). We came down this steep hill. We stopped at the only restaurant in town and all had apple pie. 
There are actually quite a few people who live in Atlantic City. 

The climb out of AC was even worse than SPC. I thought for sure I'd have to walk, but with breaks, I managed to ride the whole thing.
Climbing through the last few trees out of Atlantic City. 

Once we were at the top, The Great Basin lay before us. Here, the water flows neither east or west, but stays in the basin. There are no trees, just sage brush and other low shrubs.
Looking back at the last of the trees we will see until Rawlins.
The Great Basin stretching out before us!

I've been looking forward to this part as I think it will give me a good idea of what the Nullabor Plain might be like in Australia. Originally, we had planned to do an extra 11.5 miles from what the book says, and get to Diagnus Well. However, there was quite a wind blowing (mostly in our favor) when we got to the book's intended overnight at Sweetwater River. There was more shelter from the wind here, so we decided to call it a day. Tomorrow will be a long one, but we are following the book. If it says we can do 69 miles, then I suppose we can. Counting tomorrow, we have 2 more days of riding in the Basin. Rawlins will look mighty good I'm sure! Oh, also, there are supposed to be wild horses and lots of antelope. I did see antelop today, but no horses. I'm hoping to get a good photo of the antelope, but they are a bit camera shy. Whenever I stop, they run away.

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