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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Northern Transcon Day 14 - Gillette WY to Custer SD

This morning I was sitting in the motel room in Gillette WY at 6:15 am, checking the weather, and the big headline reads "Massive Hailstorm in Wyoming; National Guard Called Out".  Yikes.  Further reading revealed that the storm took place in Pine Bluffs, about 300 miles south of Gillette.

I did have a tough day, though not due to weather (maybe a little hot in the afternoon).  I suffered from some hot foot (pain on balls of feet due to constant pressure), and a painful little pimple right where I am sitting.  How something about a millimeter across can cause so much discomfort is frustrating.

Today's route had most of the 3500 feet of climbing in the last 25 miles, after entering South Dakota's Black Hills.  We have some more climbing tomorrow to get to Mt Rushmore, but the mileage will be the shortest of the whole tour - about 70 miles in order to give us time to hike around and sightsee.

The last part of northeastern Wyoming was pretty dry and desolate.  We passed a facility on Highway 51 (a frontage road to I-90) operated by Black Hills Energy.  This company is heavily involved in coal mining and natural gas production.  There were several very long freight trains with only open top hopper cars for hauling coal.

The terrain changed almost immediately after entering South Dakota at mile 90.  Trees and hills replaced the open and dry landscape of Wyoming.  According to Jack, who I rode with, the road up to the Jewel Cave Visitors Center is much improved for cyclists over what it was 4 or 5 years ago.

Early morning outside Gillette, with Black Hills Energy facility in the distance
Black Hills Energy facility on Hwy 51 outside Gillette WY
Start of a line of railroad engines that stretched over a mile
Scenery in northeast Wyoming
Northeast Wyoming
Northeast Wyoming
Northeast Wyoming

Old Town near Upton Wyoming

Leading a line through Wyoming.  Faster riders passing us.
Big Horn sheep
Our fifth state on the tour
We just got to the top of the climb to Jewel Cave Visitor's Center
More progress each day
Ate here tonight in Custer SD


  1. Looking awesome Bob!!!
    Super pictures and blog writing!
    You are seeing some of the best of the U.S.
    Press on and enjoy each day just as you are!

  2. Like those SD hills - quite a difference from the flat lands you were just on. Have more good days ...
    We are all with you in spirit ... if you need some energy, I sent it - it's concentrated so just need a tad.
    See you when y'all get home,