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Tour Route

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 19, Gillette - Devils Tower, WY

I joined this ride for three wonderful weeks of riding, over 1,500 miles. Today's ride is the last day of my 2010 adventure. I'll have some further posts on this great trip.

Today was a pretty short day, just a bit over 70 miles. Well when the ride is fairly flat and you have all day to do it, 70 miles is pretty short. No reason to rush the ride and maybe linger at the stops and take a lot of photos because you'll get to the end of the ride soon enough.

The ride left Gillette and lead us out into the countryside along some very quiet roads. The route eventually wound back to track parallel with the interstate and the railroad. The trains carry coal in this part of the country. Long long trains, must be more than a mile long. You can't see both the front of the train and the end of the train at the same time. One of the train, I counted 120 coal cars, 3 engines pulling and one pushing. Though I didn't see them, I understand that there are huge open pit mines in the area.

Our lunch stop was in the town of Moorecraft (pop 807). We arrived minutes before a parade started along the main street and right past our picnic stop. according to the website:

Moorcroft celebrates its heritage every year at the Moorcroft Jubilee held the second Saturday in July. The Moorcroft Jubilee is a fun-filled day of a Chuck Wagon Breakfast, Parade, Free Bar-b-que, Rodeo Playday, and a Street Dance

As I said earlier, today was a day to linger, we stayed and enjoyed the entire parade. It was lots of fun.

As the ride progressed, we spotted an osprey nest, Since the beginning of the trip, we have spotted them frequently. As you can see from the photos, they are hard to miss. Often you can hear the chicks calling to their parents who are always nearby.

We often encounter bike riders, not with our group, who are also riding coast to coast self supported, meaning that they are carrying everything on their bike. Today we met a couple towing everything behind their bike on trailers. Looks like a lot of work to me, I wish them well and tailwinds.

We had the chance to stop at a general store, in Carlile. I'm not sure where the rest of the town was, but the store was the only structure for miles.  We lingered for a while drinking chilled Starbucks drinks. Fire had sweep the area 6 years ago and the burnt tree trunks were still evident, like tall toothpicks stuck into the soil.

Onward to Devil's Tower, not a lot more miles to go, but there was one more stop, this time for ice cream. Before turning into the National Monument, a saloon called "Crook County Saloon" was spotted. There was a large number of us that swamped the place ordering shakes, malts and cones.  We were trying to stretch out the day and in no hurry to push on.

Finally we headed on to the Tower. We were camping at a KOA Kampground complete with wireless access, very nice to catch up with our blogs.

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