While Colorado was the state Jeff and I looked forward to the most, Wyoming, specifically the Great Basin, was the section we had the most concern about. Southbound riders told us many stories of fierce headwinds and thunderstorms, but few of sunshine and tailwinds. How much water and food should we carry, will a headwind slow us to a crawl, will a storm come and make the route impassable, etc? This all got put to rest after meeting the inspiring Todd family in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. When I asked Mike, the family ringleader, what his favorite GDMBR section was, he paused for a moment, then said “the Great Basin”.
While the Great Basin showed its strength with strong winds, it spared us from rain and rewarded us with sunny skies. This being said, Wyoming had some of the most varied weather, with almost triple digit temperatures one day, hail and sleet the next, followed by a night of below freezing temperature that left everything in a coating of ice come morning.
A few notes from Wyoming and Idaho:
- We rode the 2015 Tour Divide race route deviation through Wamsutter rather than the standard Adventure Cycling route through Rawlins.
- The southern Wyoming fracking wells make nice camping spots.
- The Loves truck stop in Wamsutter has a 24 hour Subway.
- Water is scarce so travel fast or carry a lot. We carried around 8 liters each and found it was plenty.
- The “singletrack” portion of the route about 47 miles south of Atlantic City is a faded two track and is difficult to spot.
- Look for the lush green vegetation marking Diagnus Well, about 26 miles south of Atlantic City.
- Miner’s Grubstake in Atlantic City has limited resupplies, but good food, beer, and free front yard camping.
- Unless you sneak through the gate at night, northbound riders need to pay the $15 bicyclist fee to enter Grand Teton National Park.
- There are some great “first come” campsites north of Grand Teton National Park, on the way to Idaho, with toilets, picnic tables, and lockers for food storage.
- The railtrail portion of the route through Idaho was pretty rough from ATV usage.
For the most part, much of my time on the GDMBR has blended into one great memory, so rather than writing an inaccurate recount of my time on the route, I’m ending this post with these photos.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Part 4 – Montana and Canada