Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 182 - Custer - Jackson

Distance travelled (by bike): 24,220

Massive day, traversing from South Dakota across Wyoming to Jackson, through rain, storms and finally sun. 
Probably not taking the most direct route i meandered through the plains of Wyoming, this was great, until the rain and  storms rolled in and out. This turned a pleasurable ride into a mission, my planned route was floored from the beginning, i should know by now that that dots on the map showing settlements doesn't  necessarily mean the will be fuel, twice today i had to empty the auxiliary tank. 
Passing Black Thunder Coal Mine, the largest surface coal mine in the US, it contains one of the largest deposits of coal in the world. The facility is huge, producing enough coal to load up 25 miles of railroad cars per day. 
Stopping for a very quick look at Devil's Gate, a 100 metre cut through a granite ridge in the middle of the plains, it was a  landmark for the pioneers on the Mormon and Oregon Trails to navigate from.
After hours of driving though rain, the cloud cleared, the sun came out and i saw the Rocky mountains in the distance. Amazing sight in the sun! The last 100 miles through the mountains made the storms and rain seem irrelevant. Truly stunning, spectacular end to a long day.
Throughout the day i have met some fantastic people, Robert from Minnesota, Paster Tracy and most of the town of midwest (I hope you manage to get the decking finished) and Jack (who is a fountain of knowledge about Jackson and the surrounding area) to mention a few.

Black Thunder Coal Mine

Devil's Gate

drying out after one of the downpours

leading into the rockies

rocky mountians

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