02 August 2010

Saratoga, Muddy Gap, and the Moon

Saratoga had another hot spring but we didn't get to experience this one.  We saw it, and it wasn't at all like the Hot Sulphur Springs we liked so much.  It was just one big hot pool, all natural, and they called it The Hobo Pool.  For many years Indians from warring tribes would meet here and sit side by side in the healing waters. We took a look and since it was nearly 100 degrees outside when we saw it there was no way we were getting in during the day and our campsite at the lake was over a mile away so we never did make the ride back to get in.  But that's okay.  We still enjoyed camping at Saratoga Lake very much.
It was about a mile off the highway down a roughish road.
We were the only tenters there except for one other couple way down on the end.
There weren't any trees so until the sun went down we were pretty hot.  We didn't get in the water, though.

Ken called his sister Angie.  He likes to talk to her and tell her where her brother is.
We checked out the playground and Barney's older brother bit Ken in the butt.
He got me too.  Purple people eater.  We decided to get out of the sun and into the tent where we could feel the strong breeze coming off the water.

Simon watched the birds flying past.  The seagulls went back and forth in front of us.
Our neighbor John Easter stopped by and chatted with us, then gave us a ride to town to get some ice.  He was a retired HS coach from Illinois and was here in WY to help build a log cabin for his daughter.  We also got to meet John's ex-wife of 38 years, Jane.  She was lovely to talk with and we wondered how someone so nice could have gotten mixed up with a fella like John.  (snicker) Kidding aside they were both great to talk with and we enjoyed their company and appreciated them getting to know us some.  

  We got back in the tent and listened to some Sean Hayes (Flowering Spade cd) and actually dozed a bit, and when we woke up the sun was going down.
When we woke up in the morning we thought about going here:
But we decided to get on down the road instead.  The first part of the ride was super.  We saw some Pronghorn Antelope and they stared at us, and we stared at them.  There was little traffic and more of the same great scenery.  Less mountainous and more farmland but still great to look at.  Then we had to get on 
I-80...  yes, we actually rode on the Interstate.  Wyoming is one of the only states where that is legal and since there were really wide shoulders the 14 miles we spent on it wasn't that bad.
Yikes!  Okay okay!
Right before we got on I-80 we stopped at the only store for miles and saw this thing..  talk about CREEPY. It gets worse.  It was tied to the pole.
Disturbing.  I had to take a picture of it. 

(I just realized that I must have gotten out of order blogging yesterday because from here we went to Sinclair, but I have already put the Sinclair pictures up.  Oops.  I will fix it later.  That is what happens when it takes too long to get online and blog.)

Okay, on to Muddy Gap....
How often do you hear me complain here??  Not often because I strive to be a positive person and don't see much use in complaining.  And I certainly don't want to offend anyone or alienate people who might otherwise become organ donors, but I have to tell you something about Muddy Gap and it's not a positive report.  There are only a few places along this stretch in Wyoming where you can pitch your tent and they are far apart and VERY unappealing.  One place we thought we might stop was before you got to Muddy Gap and it was called Grandma's Cafe.  Sounds inviting, but it's not.  The place was surrounded by trash and scrap metal and old trailers and equipment and there were loose dogs running around and barking at us which of course upset Simon.  Still, we knocked on the door since it was closed, and a grouchy lady answered and told us we could pitch a tent behind the cafe, but when we looked the ground had so much junk laying everywhere we couldn't see a good place to put the tent.  I told her our names and she grunted, "Yeah, okay..." and closed the door on us.  Even though it was about to storm on us we decided to keep riding and see what was up the road.  And that is when we got to Muddy Gap, which used to be a place, but is now just a store.
The people running this know they are the only store for miles and their prices are ridiculous.  For $12 they tell you to find some grass to put your tent on.  Good luck with that.  There was junk lying around everywhere here too.  He said, "We also have rooms for rent" and since there were no bathrooms for us to use if we camped, I asked how much and where the rooms were...
$65 for a third of this place.  That door you see is where you go in, and you get the last room and bathroom of the trailer.  For $65!!!!  It was even still dirty!!  So we talked to another cyclist who had gotten a room at the other end of this trailer and he said, "Hey, it's been a long time since I've had a shower and a bed so I had to spend the money."  I totally understand that, but there was NO WAY I was giving this guy a cent of our money.  NO WAY.  He was clearly taking advantage of people, and seemed to me he was especially targeting cyclists with these rooms.  The cyclist told us about a place just up the road that used to be a campground and that it was on our maps, so we went over there and knocked on the door of the house.  No one answered.  We noticed that we were also on what was the Fire Dept land, so we waited for awhile, then finally decided to pitch our tent there.  No one ever came home.  We left our card for them so they would know we were there.  Not an ideal situation to say the least but we survived it and got some cool pictures because of it. 
I love this one.  Looks like an album cover.

Simon was ready to get in the tent before we even had it up!
At least they had a bathroom we could use.
And an old John Deere Ken could play on.  How old is he again?  lol
Early the next morning we packed it all up and got the heck outa there.  Looking on the bright side, it was free, there were bathrooms, and there was water.  What more do you need??

What we saw when we got just a few miles down the road turned my frown upside down.  The terrain took on a whole new look.  It was, LUNAR.  Check these out:

A storm was a brewin..  but we outran it...
It is so weird to see blue sky in front of you and this behind.  And lightening in a blue sky is especially unsettling.
We saw these two and stopped to say hello.  Denise works with patients who are both waiting on transplants and who have received them, and when I heard that we went over to their side of the road to talk some more.
They weren't too worried about the storm either, even though they were heading into it.  Their ride was about to be over in 3 days and they were just glad to still be out here riding.  Wish we could have had more time to talk to them.  They seemed really cool.

There were just a couple of cops on this road but they made A LOT of stops.  Be careful if you are on 287 going toward Split Rock.  They are out to get you here!  One cop got out of his car as we were pedaling past and said to us, "I'm comin' after you next," to which I replied, "Oh yeah?  Well, catch us if you can!!!"  I tried to peel out but, well, I couldn't.  lol

They never did catch us.  heh heh heh


  1. Your home sign reminds me of a song. It is called Home by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. I can't seem to get enough of it right now!

  2. You three are having such a great adventure and the scenery you've been seeing lately is just amazing!!

  3. Thanks Mark. Sometimes situations that aren't so great, turn out to be good stories with good pics. Kinda weird, huh?

    I will check it out Laura. thanks!

  4. Hey Ken and Jen,
    I have been following your journal for sometime now. I picked it because you are riding trikes, since I got mine about 2 months ago. Right away I learned of your passion to spread the word about organ donation. We are all organ donors, my partners father helped start the transplant program at University Hospital in Denver. I will donate some $$ for you to help with your expenses, but do you need any equipment that I might be able to send you? I have a bunch of 406 tires and some other stuff you might need. Let me know. My email is mmirving@comcast.net. Thanks for taking the time to document and photograph your journey, it is inspiring!

  5. Got your donation Michell. Thank you so much!! Very interesting about your partner's father. When did he start that program? How long has it been around? We will think about any equipment we may need and will email you. Thanks!

  6. I am not sure of the year, but it was some time in the late 70's or early 80's, he is a thoracic surgeon so he did mainly liver transplants. It is still going as far as I know. He is not working there anymore, but he is still doing surgery. Please let me know about equipment, if I don't have it I know folks who will.