We rose early and were able to get on the road by 6:30. Our goal was to avoid the afternoon winds. We did not know this but there was a wind warning and high fire day. The southwesterly winds were up 15 – 25 and gusting 35 – 45 mph. We made great progress riding 20 miles with little effort on the rolling hills head east. I was positive and feeling good. We met a north bound rider who told us about a nice park in the town of Bairoil off route. We had planned on riding the route but though that it could be an option.
At mile 35 the road headed due south for five miles and we began to experience the famous Wyoming head winds the book warned about. That the same time the road turned Rocky and we could only ride 3 -4 mph. We walked a mile during a gusty period and rode again until the winds became dangerously strong whipping gusts that nearly blew over Erika. Stopping as we had planned was not an option. There were no trees for shelter and the ditch along the road was too shallow to hide in. It became difficult to walk our bikes and we labored slowly walking and stopping to the junction where we the road turned east again. A truck barreled past us traveling at a very high rate of speed and kicking up dust and rocks. As the truck drove away I felt lonely and alone as if we were the last two people. I was reminded that this is our journey alone and we had to make it under our own power.
When the road turned east the headwind became a side wind and we were able to ride again. Erika had difficulty keep her bike upright due to the gust of winds and the extra weight of water. There was one more water source to cross and after that we could dump the extra water. We made the decision to take the Bailroil bailout point instead of sticking to the route. The last 45 miles of the route headed due south into the head winds.
We crossed A&M reservoir our water refill and campsite for the night according to the route and filled our water containers and dumped the extra water. We pushed on to Bairoil 11 miles further from the reservoir.
I thought that with only 11 miles left to ride I would find a reserve of energy to draw on. The road turned harsh, the harshest bumpy rocky non maintained road we had ridden on. The side wind was so strong that without pedaling a fully packed bicycle we were able to go 10 mph and with pedaling much faster. The dilemma was pedal fast go fast but every bump in the road and rock becomes magnified or not pedal and lengthen the torture. I chose pedaling fast.
We were met by a truck into the turn into Bairoil. An elderly man and his wife were surprised to hear we had made it through the basin in one day and commented on the harsh winds. We told them we were headed for the park to camp and he mentioned staying in a church. I was tired and did not ask further about the church.