So, indeed I was on someone’s ranch. Glad no one cared. Or saw. Lol! I was actually in a town called Boulder, WY. And by “town”, I mean it has a population of about 75 people, and it has a motel/gas station/bar/restaurant/convenience store (all one building), and a post office. Lol! What a cool random little place.
Today’s riding brought me through… (Drumroll!!) more farmland. Bleh. Lol! However, my route did lead me towards the mountains! Yay! Hopefully my surroundings will be more interesting!
I passed by an exposed cliff face that i found rather interesting. It was so cool, the striations of rock were such beautiful colors it almost looked like it didn’t belong there. I don’t know if the colors come out in the picture, but gosh it was really cool looking. 🙂
The route did take me closer to the mountains. Yay! That made me happy. Oh the simple pleasures in life 🙂
So I’m riding around and I randomly stop because I see a solitary wooden post on the side of the road. I look a bit closer, and it says “Oregon Trail” on it! Cool!! This portion of I’m riding is part of the “Lander Cutoff” of the original Oregon Trail. It is significant because it was somewhat of a “shortcut” that saved the pioneers about 200 miles of trail. Pretty cool.
Oh! I thought I should mention this too, since I’m on the topic of History. The last few days of riding, I was in the Shoshone National forest, part of the ancestral lands of the Shoshone Tribe of Native Americans, which were Sacajawea’s people. Although she was from the Lemhi band of Shoshone, from a different area of , and not necessarily where I’m at. But, close enough. 🙂
Another topic of interest relating to History, the region I’m riding in is known for Tie Hacks. Tie Hacks were the laborers in the mid 1800s who cut and split timber to make railroad ties for the transcontinental railroad. They would do this in the winter time, because it was easier for horses and mules to drag lumber over snow, than dirt. Since neighboring areas were not so plentiful with trees, and they needed to build a railroad across the entire country, what they’d do is cut and split the ties and store them on the river banks during winter. In the spring when the snow would melt and water levels of the river were higher, they would put all the ties in the river and float them downstream (up to 150 miles) to various areas. There would be men who would help drive these ties down river. Essentially they were doing the equivalent of “standup paddle boarding”, on giant logs (literally), and “herding” the 1000s of wooden railroad ties downstream. Crazy huh? 🙂
You know, despite the fact that I wasn’t in the mountains, today’s riding was absolutely fantastic. There were a couple things that contributed to this: 1)it was slightly overcast so it was nice and cool and I wasn’t getting scorched (because the area I’m in today is desolate of trees), 2)the scenery was incredibly beautiful and dramatic. Minimal amounts of farmland in the afternoon hours of riding. I had the mountains on one side of me and incredible panoramic views of the basin on the other side of me. It was cool, for a good portion of today I was literally riding right on the Continental Divide.
I saw a Pronghorn today! I’m not sure if it came out in the picture because it was far away and kind of small. A Pronghorn is halfway between the size of a goat and deer, and they are in the antelope family. They are called such due to the shape of their horns. They are migratory; they spend their time seasonally between Tetons National park area, and Pinedale. They are the land mammal with the longest migration distance in the lower 48 I believe; 200-300 miles.
I rode into South Pass City. This town has a very interesting history. It’s pretty much a gold mine ghost town with many buildings perfectly preserved. I think there’s only 5 or so people that actually live here. The rest of the place is pretty much a museum. I ended up camping right above town. The area is a State Historic Landmark, so I figured it might not be so cool if I threw my tent up in the middle of town, even though the soft patches of grass look very tempting. Lol! Anyhow, more on this town, tomorrow. 🙂