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Wednesday 8 June 2011

Day 29 - Gales

Todays mileage: 35
Total mileage: 1,406
End point: Glendo State Park, WY

Before I forget I wanted to talk about 'Wall Drug'. I'd been seeing these blinking signs randomly dotted around all over the place. I wondered if this was an alternative to tylenol or ibuprofen I should know about. Little did I know. Wall Drug is a tourist resort in south dakota. They give free water to all visitors and other stuff if your cause deserves it. The town went on a prolific advertising spree putting billboards throughout the west. Now it has got a cult following with wall drug signs at the south pole (probably won't ride passed that one) and with american troops dotted across the globe.

Last night I watched a documentary on youtube about russians prisons. And i'd like to advise the following, if you are russian, emigration is not a terrible idea. If you want to stay in russia under no circumstances commit a crime. Their gaols were terrible, to stand up for yourself you have to get covered in tattoos which some guy puts on you with a biro attached to an electric shaver. Apparently in communist times people used to get either stalin or lenin etched over their heart so they couldn't be sent to the firing squad - yikes!

I awoke and immediately forgot the horrors of russian gaols. I had my own problems to deal with, it was blowing a 40 mph gale outside and my towel and swimming shorts which were hung neatly out to try had vanished. After 15 minutes of hunting I found them the other site of the tent area under a fence. The wind made packing up extremely difficult. Normally I like to lay things out to optimise packing but at least 7 times I had to go on mad dashes to grab bags, bottles, tops which were trying to escape this trip. You know its windy when replaces sun, clouds or rain with just the simple word 'windy' as its graphic for the day!

I left KOA and rolled into Douglas were I grabbed a good old big mac. Douglas was another charming western town. The state fair of Wyoming is held here so they have a big park area with a Rodeo stadium. I have to be careful liking all these places because I'm concious that if its sunny, I'll like the place regardless. This was my error with going to Bristol University - the day I went for my visit it from school I was sat out on the unviersity green; ice cream in hand with 30c weather. What they should do is give you a free umbrella!! On the outskirts of Douglas I reached the Douglas speedway, I had to make a pit stop there, I had another flat, on my back wheel - standard... I can't wait to get a new rear wheel.

The ride from Douglas from to Glendo was great. The first half I followed the old highway which ran parallel to the interstate with the wind at my back. It was so strong I did 20mph without even peddling. I stopped half way and went into a gas station for some drinks. Now I have to be honest and say I made my first mean comment in June. The young lady behind the desk, asked me where I was going etc... she then said:
'Well how do you do that?'
My cheeky reponse was: 'By moving your feet in a circular motion'
I don't think she was too impressed, so I gave her a small apology and promised to myself no more mean comments in June!

The old highway then split away from the interstate and was sandwiched between the Platte River and the railway line. Gorgeous scenery and the road was completely quiet, i'd see car maybe every 20 mins or so. The railway was operational and had a train parked up at one point, I measued it at 1 mile and a quarter!! What kind of engine can push that!! Well chatting to one of my fellow campers it turns out they usually have 4 to 6 engine trucks each of which are 1600bhp. The engines drive electric motors to generate the torque required.

Reaching Glendo I decided to arrange for my new wheel and called a bike shop in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. There are only 3 of the wheels Travis suggested in the whole of the US, and one of them is now making its way from Utah to Nebraska at the price of $180. Not so bad on the cost but I really feel this is one upgrade I need if I am to avoid trouble further down the line. The wheel should be there by Friday, Saturday at the very latest I hope. I'm not so far from Scottsbluff, maybe a bit over 100 miles so this should work out well.

I'm currently camped in Glendo State Park next to a lake. Its the cheapest I have paid yet, only $4. But there is a reason for this, the toilet is really just a hole in the ground and running water plus a picnic table is the total of the amenities! No shower tonight.

After about 10 mins, a bloke guy Roger appeared from a couple of trailers parked just across from me. He invited me over for dinner with his family and friends. Freshly caught Walleye fish with chilli and potato salad! Yum! These guys were big fishers and I learnt all about the competitions they entered. You can catch 12 fish but only your best 5 count and its all about the length of the fish. Prize money goes into the thousands! I never knew.

As you will know reading this if you are a dedicated follower their is no ATT service or wifi here, this is primitive camping so this will be by first delayed posting. Sorry Vince! I know you like to read over your breakfast :) I lost signal at the park entrance and so should be able to post first thing tomorrow.

I'm just about to light myself a big camp fire, although this time I'm building it a bit further from the tent and table to avoid being smoked out like last time. Also have a can of pears for desert.


  1. intrigued by the wall drug signs, i looked it up and read the article on wikipedia:

    they also give out free coffee & donuts to honeymooners -- something to consider!

  2. When you and Pam drive out I-90 stopping to experience the "Drug Store” is a must do. It has become a firm fixture in American pop culture. As you approach Wall, SD, just a half dozen hundred miles out, the signage frequency increases to such a height that you are left with no choice in the matter. Only a heartless, soulless, fool would drive by without checking it out.

  3. Will do pat, who says I'm taking pam ;)

  4. I totally pictured you running around to get your things while you were trying to pack...darn wind! ;) Hilarious.

    Pat (Dad) took us to Wall Drug when we went camping out West. I even went back with friends on the way to Yellowstone several years later. Oh my! Firm fixture indeed. It's difficult to pass up when you've seen signs for days...

    Great blogging! Just catching up and LOVING it.