Today was a much needed day off in Casper, WY. I started the day very early, to beat the rush to the motel laundry room. I had my stuff in just before 5, and by 6 there was quite a queue. After this was done, and I had a nice breakfast at the motel, I headed down the Platte River pathway for a couple of miles. It was absolutely delightful. The path runs along the river, and had references to the pioneer trails across America. This led to a trip up the hill to the National Trails Interpretive Center. It turns out that the California, Oregon, Mormon, Bridger, and Bozeman trails as well as the Pony Express all had a branch run through Casper, which makes it unique in the country. It was the spot the wagons forded the North Platte River before heading on. I also wandered downtown, but didn't find much that was notable.
I spent the rest of the day relaxing and getting things ready for another long day in the saddle tomorrow.
As promised, I am introducing a few more of the riders, some of whom I have mentioned before. I am starting with Tom Zack, since I have probably ridden with him as much as anyone so far. He is a 61 year old from Fort Worth, Texas who recently retired after 42 years with the BNSF railroad in customer service. This area was part of his territory, so he has been over these roads many times.
Next is Ian Peden, who is a 56 year old semi-retired policeman from Scotland living in England. Interestingly, he knows my previous Cross Country Challenge roommate from England, Andrew Perry. Ian is one of our larger cyclists, and generally comes in at the back of the pack, but always with a smile on his face. He has had some issues with broken spokes riding some of the rougher roads.
Here is Ann Thompson on her bicycle. Ann is a retired money manager from Toronto. She tells me she was able to retire at 38 (she is now 52). This is her 4th bicycle trip this year. She has ridden a lot in Europe, including most of the famous Tour de France routes. She is blazing fast, and usually comes flying by me like I was standing still.
This lovely teacher couple is dedicated to my friend Jim Downey, as they are from the Poconos in Pennsylvania. Jim always told me how great the Poconos are. Teresa Greggo is 47 and teaches first grade. She is the most unfailingly cheerful person I have ever met. I suspect she is great with her first graders. John Gesiskie (52) teaches 3rd/4th graders at the same school.
I will finish this off day with Renny and Sarah Kerr (64 and 56), retired from Jackson, Wyoming. They enjoyed the stop in their adopted home town. Their ride is dedicated to her sister, who is paralyzed, but has made excellent progress.
I will finish with a link (I hope) to a YouTube video made by one of the riders of his trip down from Teton Pass. It gives you a real feel of being there:
Jeff Douglas Teton Pass Descent