Monday, July 19, 2010
Crooked "Criked" Creek to Pinedale
Santa Claus....wait, sorry the rambunctious black bear had chosen to see what was in the dumpsters. And after the burger from the night before I cannot blame him. So I set off to climb Union Pass, a difficult climb up to 9258ft. I had also decided that I would advance to Pinedale, a mere 70 miles away. It took over an hour and a half to travel the first 6 miles to the peak, and then the winds picked up. I cannot even hazard a guess at their strength, but at time I was unable to steer my steed. As a side note, this was my 8th CD crossing, and a Pass which had been christened in 1860 by explorer Capt. William F. Raynolds. The first 40 miles placed me in the middle of the Wind River, Absaroka and Gros Ventre ranges (hence "Union" Pass), and spat me out in the Green River Valley. The terrain consisted of rocky gravel roads and I questioned my ability to reach Pinedale. Constant thoughts of McDonald's actually kept me going, although little did I know that McDonald's vast empire does not reach Pinedale WY. Once I reached Whiskey Grove campground (where I should have camped), I found that the whole of Green River Valley had been closed to camping due to recent griz activity. It was 3 o'clock and I had 30 miles of pavement ahead of me. By far my hardest day, as I barely had any energy to check into the RV campground in Pinedale, although a second wind made sure that I visited the Pinedale Brewery for dinner. I would stay a day in Pinedale, as my rear wheel was "out of true", and my incoherence after today's ride needed to be fixed as well!