Gillett, WY – My respect for the west and its pioneers before me is growing daily as during my 68-mile trek from Clearmont, WY to Gillett, WY, I ran out of water.
I think it was the 15 mph headwinds that did me in… and the desolation, and the altitude, and the fact I simply didn’t pack enough water.
“That’s a long way of nothingness between here and Gillett,” said Steve from behind the counter of the Food n’ Fuel in Clearmont.
I planned and packed a couple extra bottles of water and I struck out early, at 7:45 a.m., to get a jump on the wind. The wind caught me by 9 a.m.
There was a saving grace at the 33-mile mark. A tavern in Spotted Horse; population 2 and one dog.
The tavern looked like it had been there forever. I was greeted by a giant German shepherd and a couple of owners who welcomed me.
“We’re closed,” said the man who was chucking beers into a portable cooler.
His better half was a little more understanding. “We’re leaving for the rodeo hun but I can get you something quick,” she said.
An ice-cold Coke was sounding really great at the moment and a couple of bottles of water for the road.
I could have stayed inside forever as there were collectibles everywhere, especially old toy cars and motorbikes which were hanging from the ceiling.
I took my refreshments and sat out front with the dog.
According to brief history notes on Wikipedia, the town was established in the 1900s and named after a Native American. The building had many prior lives including a US Post Office, a general store, and a gas station.
There was apparently a school at one time, and a dance hall. That dance hall was destroyed by a tornado in 1940.
Taking leave of much-needed shelter I chugged on and announced aloud to my captive audience, “37 more miles to go.”
At the halfway point I celebrated with a stretch, a swig of water, and two Tylenol.
The hills, the headwind, and the lack of training prior to the trip were taking a toll.
As I got closer to Gillett the traffic picked up and I felt less alone, but it was a grind to the end. The last six miles seemed to take 12… the town just kept getting further away, even though I could easily see it on the horizon.
When I saw a woman watering her lawn she saved me with some hose water. It never tasted so good.
- Ended the day at 70 miles. The fatigue was extreme and I went to bed without supper.
- Yes, I am having fun.
“Have I not commanded you? … Be strong and courageous. … Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
The 2023 Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s is raises money every year for music programming for seniors at Cedar Community, a 501c3, so all donations are tax-deductible.
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