Rod McLaughlin

The Lander Pass (01 may 12)

Alpine, WY to Cokeville, WY, via a 7600 ft. pass.

First night camping 'rough' - by the Salt River in Wyoming south of Alpine. Too late to ride up the hill, so camped right by the river on the north-west side. No-one bothered me. It was very frosty in the morning.

Afton is bigger than Alpine but nowhere near as much fun. All the motels are log cabin type deals and quite expensive, and the RV parks have NO facilities. That's not much good if you only have a tent. It's because it's the early season. I keep going from early spring to very early spring - robins, ospreys, and a golden eagle eying me from a fencepost. Two large marmot-type beasties - must find out what they are. Aspens, willows and silver birches budding.

The most interesting bit of the trip was ascending from 5600 to 7600 ft. - the Lander Pass, which really is a bit of the Oregon Trail, unlike most of the places in Oregon. If all the places in Oregon named after the Trail were actually on the Trail, it would have been about 10,000 miles long. Anyway, some dude named Lander made a 'cutoff' by breezing over a 7600 ft. pass in Wyoming with his wagons to save all the trouble of going over some other pass. I just rode over it on my bike. Then down to Cokeville. Wyoming is windy and wild, wild west. Vast cattle ranges with mountains in the distance. Now I'm in a motel, cooking on the concrete outside my room. They wouldn't let me do that in the Hilton.

I'm more than halfway through the trip in miles, and less than halfway through in days (17 days done out of 35, 570 miles out of 1095).


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