2013-07 GDRx2

The Great Divide Route (x2)

Motorcycling Adventure #13

20 days, 4,756 miles, Jul 2013

Ray Jardine

Day 17 2013-07-17 page 17 of 21

Day's Riding: Pinedale to campsite at Savery Stock Driveway, 282 mi.

Day 17: Wyoming

The Wind River range

Why so many photos of my bike? The bike helps to personalize the usual photos of scenery, and I think that years later it will help bring me back to that moment where I could smell the crispness of the air, and re-live the fatigue of riding for unending miles - the numbness in the butt sitting on the seat and the stiffness of the hands griping the bars. When I see the bike sitting there, I will remember walking on the earth like an astronaut in EVA with great stiffness in the legs, and looking back to my bike which had become, for that moment, for that journey, like a space ship. For without it, I would be stranded. The bike is my ticket to freedom to explore this desolate land, and reach the next destination with its food and people - and more gasoline. For even though The bike only sips gasoline (86.3 miles per gallon on this stretch), it craves always more.

A breakfast stop at Atlantic City. Those are the owners on the left. The cowboy at the bar would become my day's best friend.

After eating we sat and talked for an hour. why so long? I rarely meet people like this that have so much experience in life. The guy was a Vietnam vet who had many kinds of jobs in all kinds of places - truck driving the haul road, wood cutting in Alaska, and so on. A kind of guy that the knowing-ness of life just seemed to rub off on you. I enjoy meeting people to the max, but I rarely meet someone with so much depth.

A friendly hiker crossing the Red Desert, who, despite modern technology and the latest guidebook, didn't know he had just passed a large lake (Picket Lake). When Jenny and I passed through here on foot back in the old days before GPS, we carried the latest maps, and used a compass and the skills of dead reckoning. At all times we knew where we were, and where everything was around us. By this fellows report, he was encountering fewer water sources than we did, and his route was longer. Nevertheless, I met about 6 to 8 CDT thru-hikers this summer and always wish them well. They are a hardy lot, and I enjoy thru-hiking also.

After crossing the Red Desert, the bike craves a bit of rest in the shade. Me too.

I talked with the fellow in the pickup for 45 minutes while the road crew installed a culvert. He was a local from Rawlins and had some kind of document giving permission to pass after 5:00 pm. He said they are paving this road, a 10-year project it seems to me, and the good news is they are stopping their work at Aspen Alley. Even better, they don't plan to widen the road through Aspen Alley.

Aspen Alley. The knobbies are wearing off, but should get me home with tread to spare.

I coined the term "Stealth Camping" to mean camping away from established camping sites, and out of sight of any road or trail. Not easy with a motorcycle but still quite possible. This area could hold a hundred Stealth campers and their bicycles or/and dual-sport motos. Just be sure to name the site after me when it gets popular   And please don't build any fire-rings! Keep the place natural.

Cozy camp

I'm using an X-large Net-Tent under my tarp, and like it very much. It’s big enough to hold everything I have with me except for the moto itself. My motorcycle jacket and pants are as large as an extra person with all the armor and padding; but they fit easily. And the yellow bag also leaves me plenty of room. I would not take this big net-tent hiking because of the weight and bulk, but would opt for a standard Ray-Way Net-Tent.

The story has 21 pages. This is page 17.
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