Tuesday, June 8, 2021

A windy day through Wyoming into Colorado

 We left Casper, Wyoming early this morning, hoping to beat any late afternoon thunderstorms. 

After a few short miles on I-25, we turned west onto Wyoming 220, riding along the North Platte River. We enjoyed seeing water, green hills, and even mountains after yesterday's flat trip through the grasslands.

There are 7 dams along the North Platte River which which starts in Colorado, flows through Wyoming, and ends up in Nebraska where it joins the South Platte to form the Platte River. We rode past several of the reservoirs formed by the dams, designed to promote agriculture in this semi-arid region of the West.

We rode for miles along the Pathfinder Ranch, originally established in 1964 and today part of a group of professionally managed historic ranches. This is wide open countryside bordered by mountains on both sides.

We turned south on US 287 in Muddy Gap Junction, crossing the Continental Divide the first of four times during today's trip. In Rawlins we turned west on I-80 for a few miles to Creston Junction where we picked up Wyoming 789 South through the Red River Desert Basin

We saw the first glimpses of the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains as we sped south.

Just south of Baggs, WY we crossed into Colorado and the road is now CO 13. Every day we are stopped by road construction and today we rode approximately 5 miles on a hard-packed dirt section of the highway that was being repaired. Our route took us through Craig, CO home to three large coal-powered power plants.

The beginning of today's ride was along straight roads, and finally we were making wide, sweeping turns through the mountains. The wind was even stronger with more gusts as we rode south through Meeker, and then turned east on I-70 in Rifle where we rode along the Colorado River into Glenwood Springs.

We rode 357 miles today on ruler-straight roads through dry grasslands and then on curving, twisting roads into the Rocky Mountains. Tomorrow we continue south through Colorado, and we're looking forward to high mountain passes and twisting roads.

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