7/5 - Worland to Buffalo - Day 20

The plan was simple. Get up early, climb high and escape the heat. According to the staff, today is the most challenging day of the entire tour.

We start at 4000 feet and end at 4700 feet with a climb to the Powder River Pass summit of 9666 feet in between. Breakfast was an hour early this morning (5:30). I woke at 4:30 in order to wash, dress and pack up. Biked to breakfast that the Big Horn Cafe. Had a quick breakfast and was on the road by 6AM. Boy has this trip warped my sense of time and distance!!!

The first 20 miles were cool and pleasant with rolling hills. By 8:15 we had traveled 27 miles to Ten Sleep. Ten Sleep was a location name by the Indians. It was ten sleeps (10 days) between here and two other locations. Today Ten Sleep is a nifty little town with coffee shops, cafes and stores. The espresso shop quickly became a gathering spot for the all the riders on the tour. When our large group descends shop it's always a shock to the storekeepers to have soo much business. A couple of weeks ago when we ended up at an small express shop, the owner was overheard to say "Well I don't need to stay open for the rest of the day. I've just had all the business that normally have all day".

We stayed at Ten Sleep only long enough to have the coffee. We realized that most of the climbing was still ahead of us. The serious climbing started at mile thirty three (33) through some beautiful canyons. I took some picture but I'm sure that I couldn't capture the true beauty of the scene. The road was a series of switchbacks on the canyon walls. The road would climb, tune and climb again. It was exhausting but at each turn i brought a new view to be enjoyed. By the forty mile mark, you could stand at the top of the canyon and view it from the top. The climbing for the day wasn't close to being done however.

The picnic stop was at mile 48 with lots of uphill. I made it there by 11:30. The summit of the pass was still higher at mile 58. The road was a series of rolling climbs. We had figured that by the time we were to the top, the rest was going to be all downhill. Boy were we wrong!! The backside of the summit was a series of more rolling hills. We would drop for a mile or so then climb for the next mile. It seemed to go on FOREVER!!! By now we were getting pretty tired and as we were dropping in altitude the temperature was rising. We were all watching the odometer wishing that the ride would be over.

We finally arrived in Buffalo and followed the directions to the school only to find the steepest climb of the day was still in front of us. One block later we were at the school. It was 4:30 and I was done for the day.

Climbing Powder River Pass

The summit of Powder River Pass