Wild Horses in the Great Basin!

August 20 – Starting out, I thought today would be short – just 16 miles to Boulder. It was only 11.5 miles. So, we stopped for breakfast in Boulder and continued on our day’s ride, first to a place to camp then on a ride to Atlantic City, Wyoming 87.65 miles from our starting point.

When we arrived at the potential camp spot, it we still very warm outside and 2 p.m. We decided to ride on as the sun wouldn’t be going down for 6 hours.

The day’s ride offered unusual beauty with the sage brush prairie contrasting with the sand hills and the mountains in the distance.

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Some rounds of rock appear to be lava flows that protrude from the prairie floor.

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Colors fade from green to yellow and back to green.

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We rode roller coaster hills through mid-day. We watched the prairie fade in the distance and the mountains grow large ahead.

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The sky was painted with cloud puffs.

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Sometimes, the sun was blocked by clouds which provided shadowed views of the mountains and the long prairie views.

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At one point in the day’s ride, we rode right up onto the Continental Divide and rode the crest for a mile or more. It was awesome to look down on either side of the crest and see the valleys below.

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After an early evening push, riding into the wind, we arrived in Atlantic City in time for dinner. We found another great cabin to spend the night!

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August 21 – Thinking we were going to ride about 30 miles, it was mid-morning before we left Atlantic City behind. Ahead of us was a great valley.

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Views of the distant geologic formations were awesome.

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Over the last few days, we have seen dozens of prong horn antelope.

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The road ahead continued until it faded in the distance, and on we road toward the mountains.

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After 20 or so miles of riding, we saw picket lake ahead. This meant that Diagnus Springs was just ahead.

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Headed down a hill toward the springs, I hit a sharp rock with my rear tire, and quickly I was riding on rim. We put in a new tube and used Gorilla Tape to shore up the tire. Hoping it would hold up, we decided to push on with the day’s ride after filling up with water. I had put a gash in the tire, and we needed to get somewhere for a new tire.

So, on we rode into the Great Basin. Ahead of us were painted hills and a long winding road.

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After many miles, we came upon 4 wild horses. They were amazing to watch.

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A few miles later, we came upon a large heard of wild horses at a watering hole. We spooked them and watched as they galloped away.

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The most awesome sighting of this trip came a few miles later when we saw this magnificent wild stallion. We saw him in the distance and stopped a photo.

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Then, we continued ahead. When we rode to within 15 feet of him, he decided to cross the road to join a mare and colt grazing on the other side. His sounds and seeing him up close was extraordinary. He whinnied and neighed at us, then he galloped across the road right in front of me. It was an unbelievable once in a lifetime moment!

The evening, and our ride, ended with a falcon sighting.

We made camp at a spot off a side trail just in time for the remnant of a beautiful sunset.

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August 22 – This day’s ride began with a long road ahead of us and the vast prairie on either side.

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We rode until we reached A&M Reservoir where we stopped for a coffee break. Thank goodness for instant Starbucks mochas! They sustain me 🙂

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A long winding road awaited us as we continued our ride.

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The geologic forms in the mountains continue to be interesting. These white bands ran through several leads in this crop of mountains.

Sand hills pop up out of the valley floor.

As we rode out of the Great Basin, we saw a stunning red rock cliff.

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A 5-mile climb later and we were out of the basin and at the summit of our 14th Continental Divide Crossing.

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After 3600 miles of riding, we have found ourselves in Rawlins, Wyoming! It was time to get my tire repaired.  Although the Gorilla Tape had served us well, we needed a more permanent solution.

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At dinner, we asked a young man, Matt, about bicycle shops. He said the closest was in Laramie 100 miles away. We asked him if there was a spot to rent a car, and he offered to drive us. So, this morning, he gave us a ride to Laramie.

On our return trip to Laramie, Matt took us on a drive through the Snowy Range. It was a beautiful drive.

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What a godsend he was. For all the good that has been sent our way on this journey, we are very grateful. Paying it forward has taken on new meaning and has become our motto. LIfe is great.

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