Today we rode 77.5 miles to the closest motel west of Jordan. In that distance there was 1 convenience store and 1 highway rest stop. That was it. As you will observe from the pictures.
Our first 50 miles was hot but otherwise favorable. The last 25 we had wind and hills. Today's effort exceeded what we thought we were capable of.
We had breakfast at the Hell Creek bar, where we dined last night. Here is Marie talking to the locals about our route. (Being of Italian extraction, Marie needs her hands to talk).
Lower right corner: a spittoon.
Off we pedaled, into the vast treeless expanse, 32 miles to the next opportunity to get food and water. The country just kept getting bigger and bigger.
We went through a place in the map labelled "Edwards" but no population was listed. There was no one at all living within miles.
It's rather amazing how you execute comfort stops here. There being no trees, you just pull over and wait until you see no cars for 2 miles in each direction. At that point, you are alone even though you can see for miles.
At Sand Springs, we encountered the world's most bike-friendly convenience store/post office, where I mailed off a tee shirt from Jordan to a friend who collects them. Read the signs:
Note the wi-fi password is posted in the window. Inside the store inventory was thin:
Ice cream and frozen pizzas were in the refrigerator with a locking handle that was outlawed by the Refrigerator Safety Act of 1958.
Here is the Postmaster Sandy, holding up the package I mailed.
All cyclists passing through sign a guest book. Apparently I had the phone upside down.
Marie was not feeling well, most likely due to the heat. Sandy said she would be driving to Winnett at 2:30 to have her hair done. We seriously considered having Marie take a sick day- we still had 44 miles to go and it was seriously hot, especially in the sun. But she decided she coul make it, so we soldiered on.
Fortunately it then became a bit overcast which lessened the heat issue.
The terrain continued to roll. Really, there was not a lot to see, except for the mind-blowing vast expanses. View this on a bigger screen than a phone so you can zoom in on the vastness.
The afternoon turned into a death march, with head/side winds and hills. Quitting was not a option. The last 25 miles took forever.
Winnett (population 192) is actually an ok place. The motel was built by the owner, who is a carpenter. It's as neat and clean as can be. Immaculate workmanship and maintenance everywhere. Just he opposite of the dirt bag, trash-strewn dump that Circle was. It's just a matter of attitude, I guess.
We ate at The Happy Heifer, one of the town's 2 bars. While I was face-timing my SESCA colleagues, this pickup rolled into town and the drivers went into the bar, so I had a chance to photograph it:
This is a Ford F1, built between 1948 and 1952. It appeared to be utterly original and unrestored. The truck was originally green, but it's now rust colored.
Anyway, we made friends with the retired ranchers who were drinking Bud Light at the bar. Did you know that those hay bales sell for $80/ton in the field, plus $30 to deliver? A typical bale weighs 1,000 pounds but it varies depending on the moisture content of the hay and many other factors. So Jen and Rachel, if you want one of these for your front yard, I can make a connection for you.
Tomorrow we head 50 miles to Lewistown, a town of 5,000 people, where we are going to take a couple of rest days.