08 August 2010

Lander, Wyoming

We bid our teary farewells to the ladies at the Mormon River Camp and got back on the road pretty early.  It was another still, cool morning and it felt great to get going.  According to what others have told us, Wyoming has not been nearly as windy as it normally is.  We feel blessed to have that in our favor.

Lander had a neat downtown.  Nestled among tall, leafy trees the overall feel there was one of forward thinking people combined with old-time traditions.  Good people in good moods.  We saw lots of neat things during our three day stay in Lander and I could actually see myself living there someday.  Well, maybe not, but you get what I mean, right?  No Walmart, no strip malls, very few chain restaurants, and a peaceful yet slightly funky charm.  Cool town.

This post is going to be long, but worth it.  So many cool things happened while we were there, it just wouldn't be right to leave any of this out.  Here we go:

I guess I should tell you first about getting to Lander.  I've never been anywhere that looks quite like this...
It was actually longer than 6 miles..  and it was fun!
Some of the scenery was lunar.  Other parts had strange shapes..

Still not many trees here.
It is always a moment to remember when the next set of mountains appears on the horizon in front of you.  You pedal a bit harder knowing that in a day or two you will get to be IN those mountains.
More vegetation appears and things get a little greener as you get closer.  That is the Wind River Range that you can see way back there.  They are part of the Tetons.

You might get the impression that  Ken and I are out here all by ourselves, and at times it did feel that way...  Well, we were pedaling along, enjoying the silence and scenery when this appeared over our shoulders!
It was LOUD and HUGE and we have no idea what it was.
Look how tiny Ken looks compared to that thing.  It took up almost the entire road!
Shortly after this went by we stopped to let Simon out and look what we found...
Yep, it was a rattle snake.  About 6 years old if it's true they get a rattle each year.

It was super hot out on that paved road by this time.  See the temp?  107 degrees.
Look at the road...
Some spots were really soft.  The tar was melting...
That is not a trick.  His finger really is IN the road... We got back ON the road and found more downhills waiting for us to coast down.  NICE!
Hey, I don't think I've had to pedal for about an hour!
These red rock cliffs looked so much better in "real life."  I tried.  I think you can still sorta get it how SMALL they could make a person feel.  I like that small feeling, actually.  It's not a bad thing to be reminded of that from time to time, in the way that mother nature (Iz) does it.

About 30 miles down the road we found ourselves nearing the town of Lander (9-10 miles before it) and stopped at what appeared to be an RV park.  It wasn't on our maps but it was in my 1996 cross-country bike book, so we stopped.  Ken's tire was flat so....  oh wait, I have to tell you something.  Ken and I traded bikes.  Since he has to pull so much more weight his chain skips sometimes so for the good of the team I offered to let him ride Sidd.  Now guess who gets the flats all the time?  Still Ken!!!  hahahahah!  Okay, where was I...

Oh yeah, the "RV Park" was spooooooooky.  From far off it looked okay.  Not many RVs though, which was our first clue that something was wrong.
Still, parts of it were really cute.  Like this little old western town that looked like a movie set.   
I began to wonder, though, if it wasn't the set for a HORROR movie, not a western when I went up to the Office door...
I smelled something...  the trash dumpster was overfull, but that wasn't it... As I looked over each shoulder, searching for a person (surely there  had to be someone there, right?)  I peeked in the door and had to hold my nose to stay there long enough to take this picture...
The place had been ransacked and the stench was overpowering, and there were GUNS just lying around.
How strange is this????  So I speed-walk (don't want to run or they might get me - lol) back to Ken who is just finishing fixing his tire.  "Let's go, please!" I said to which he replied, "Yes, lets."  Well, about that time I saw someone move in one of the old buildings.  A man with no hair on top and lots of it on the sides shuffled out.  He was wearing overalls, I kid you not, and I even think he had a piece of straw in his mouth.  He said, "Can I help you?"  We said, "This place closed?"  And he said, "Nah, there ain't no water or power but you can stay  here... I'll take yer money."  "Hurry Ken, hurry." I whispered. Just then I saw the man had a woman with him.  She sat down in the chair behind the big man in the overalls and when I said hello to her, she looked down and pulled her shirt up over her face.  Seriously.  This was one spooky place.  Ken said, "No thanks, Dude, I think we'll head down the road."  And the couple shuffled back into through the old saloon doors and disappeared again.  True Story.

Just a few miles down the road we found a campground called Twin Pines and it was there that we would set up the HOME sign for three days.  Since the sun has come up and it is making it nearly impossible to see my screen, I think I will save what happened there for my next post.  


  1. Good thing you left......you might not have made it out alive1...;)

  2. Hey, Hope you stopped in to try some OLD TOWN COFFEE! : ) Thanks for the nice things you said about Lander, it's a veeeeery unique and special little town. By the way, that ENORMOUS thing on a trailer was a recently fabricated bed for a dump (haul) truck at one of the many coal mines in wyoming.
    If you think the bed is huge, you should see one of the trucks!
    Come back soon!
    Jess Hinkle

  3. Thank you for sharing your lovely photos and experiences. I used to live in Lander, but never did venture into the RV park (thankfully, by the sound of your encounter!)