We started the day off with bagels and peanut butter, along with delicious fruit/yogurt smoothies made by Kathy. On the way out of town we grabbed some supplies at the grocery store, then we headed past a power plant and onto I-25. Our favorable wind from yesterday was at our backs once more. Back on an interstate for the first time since Idaho we faced big uphill climbs followed by big downhill descents. Despite the rolling hills, we still averaged over 15mph, which is fantastic.
In Douglas we grabbed some breakfast burritos from Taco John's, which is quickly become a favorite food choice.
Fighting back against the winds to rejoin the highway traffic flow we realized how lucky we were they the wind would be pushing with us for most of the day. The prospect of future headwinds seemed quite demoralizing. The rolling hills continued as we passed through Orin Junction. Heading the opposite way into the wind was a Bike and Build team. We exchanged waves and I did not envy the headwind they faced. Their only hope was that their dozen riders could all take turns fighting the winds while the rest drafted behind the leaders. Also, their tour is supported and they did not have to carry their bags.
We pushed on over the hills and made it to Glendo. As I-25 turned south, the southwest wind that had been pushing us became more of a slowing crosswind, a sign of things to come perhaps. We refueled our bodies and cooled off. The radio station inside the gas station repeated how temperatures would be reaching close to 100 and listeners should avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day.
Heading south on the interstate brought bigger hills and stronger crosswinds that did nothing to help push us forward. 20 very long miles later we reached the turn off for Guernsey, and with it a rest area. Wyoming's rest areas are all air conditioned, have clean bathrooms with running water and water fountains with cold water... Take note Idaho. After a long rest and some electrolyte supplements to replenish the electrolytes that had been pouring out of our bodies, we went to leave, only to find that I had yet another rear flat tire. (90% of the time it's the rear tire that gets punctured. If it's the rear, then all the bags have to come off and the bike has to be flipped in order to remove the tire. This just adds to the ordeal of every flat.)
Finally we were off towards Guernsey where we were going to grab dinner and depending on how we felt, either camp at the state park there or push on another 30 miles to Torrington. While most of the restaurants were closed, we managed to make dinners out of items from the grocery store. Before a short rest out on the store's benches we decided it would be best to push on to Torrington.
The first half of this final ride was very hilly and greatly increased our ETA. To compound this, our tailwind had died and was replaced by a light headwind. As the road flattened out, the sun began to set leading to some phenomenal photos. A few miles later I hit the 2000th mile of this tour, meaning that half the mileage back to Connecticut had been covered. With the sky darkening and bugs swarming us we pushed on to Grandma's Inn in Torrington. Arriving well after 9pm, we were glad to see our room had been held for us and that we'd be getting to shower before bed after all.