Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 39, 40 and 41 Resting the Bahootie (as Gregory would say)

Date: Aug. 27/28/29, 2009

From: Lander, WY (population 6,867 and home of NOLS)

To: Lander, WY

Route: Hwy. 287


Miles: 16 miles

Top Speed on this trip: 47.7 mph

Weather: Hot and sunny

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana plates and 3 Wyoming plates (2 motorcycle)

Between bike repairs (new spoke) and resting my bum we decided to take some much needed rest in Lander. 140 miles in two days on saddle sores is not something I hope to repeat. We’d like to get back to 40 miles a day but the distance between towns sometimes precludes this.

We were happy to sleep in at our motel and do two loads of laundry. This was the first time we’ve had to pay for laundry this trip. I’ve either washed out our bike clothes by hand or we’ve had an opportunity to do laundry with host families. It always feels wonderful to have clean clothes! When you are living a “normal life” this doesn’t seem to be much of a luxury but on the road it definitely is! We also had a stretch during this trip when we didn’t have a hot shower for 5 or 6 days!! We went swimming and washed our hair in cold water but no hot showers. That was a little tough but doable. It makes you think of what it must have been like for the pioneers!

Lander is a great little town. We hooked up with Mike’s buddy Geoff and had delicious burgers at Gannet Grill for lunch. It was great to get caught up with Geoff and hear how he came to live in Lander. We also met Brian at Gannet Peak Sports who has been more than generous helping us get our bike dialed in and letting us store in on his premises. Days ago we discover that my helmet was cracked (probably during the same incident that cracked Gregory’s –the bike blowing over on top of them) so we finally had a chance to replace it.

Mike decided I needed another good nights rest so this time we made arrangements to stay at the NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) Noble House. It is like a hostel but in this incredible old building with rich dark woods and a lobby with small hexagonal tiling and high ceilings with taxidermy including a bison, moose and pronghorn antelope. The showers are shared and the beds are bunks but we were psyched to get to stay in this neat place with so much history.

We decided this layover was our 1,000-mile celebration! We ate out all day and even treated ourselves to a movie! “The Grand” Lander theatre was still showing “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” and Gregory and I have been reading the series and wanted to see this before we left but didn’t. It was a 9:00 showing so Gregory got to stay up extra late! We were warned that teenagers run the movies and to let them know if the sound or picture weren’t quite right. It was actually pretty good except for the twitching blue spot on the middle of the screen!

I slept comfortably in my bunk in our room on the second floor overlooking Main Street. The cruisers had gone home by the time we finally settled down around midnight. The temperature was perfect and I slept on top of my clean sheets all night and relished the use of a “real” towel the next morning. (Pack towels are just not the same.)

Gregory was thrilled to find that NOLS has three iMacs with free Wi-Fi so we let him have some Cartoon Network time. When we bought our Mac Book Pro we made sure he understood it was for the blog and homeschooling and not for games. He did type his journal for the first time yesterday while Mike was working on the bike. I think he liked it but is a bit frustrated with having to hunt and peck. It slows him down and takes him a long time. He really wants to learn to type.

This morning we had yummy bagel sandwiches at the Wildflour Bakery (I love this name) and Mike and I got haircuts at Dashboard Hulas (another great name). The salon is decorated really cute with the little car dashboard hula-type dolls you would buy in Hawaii as a souvenir. Ray gave us both really short cuts that look super cute if I do say so myself. Thanks Ray!!

Brian from Gannett Peak Sports set Mike up with his massage therapist to get his neck straightened out and he had an hour of work on his upper body. Meanwhile Gregory and I went back to NOLS Noble Hotel to use the computers.

Later in the afternoon we went over to the clinic. I cringed as my “boil” was injected with Lidocaine (to numb the area) and was then lanced and drained! I was prescribed antibiotics and it was left to my discretion whether or not to ride tomorrow. I was also instructed to do warm compresses two times a day. I’m not sure when I’m going to do that since we are free camping in the city park tonight. I hesitantly and very gingerly got back on my saddle so we could ride back to town and fill my prescription.

We were thrilled to hear from our friend Devon who had ridden over Togwotee Pass today and hitched a ride from Dubois to Lander (our killer 80 mile day) and was waiting at the bike shop when we returned. We gave her a warm greeting and all set up camp in the park before heading back to the Gannet Grill and Brew Pub for a dinner of delicious pizza and a crisp Greek salad. She is nearing the end of her travels so we toasted to her trip and future endeavors.

Good fortune shined on us again when we connected with Chuck and Carla who are friends of Brian at Gannett Peak Sports. They heard about my predicament and that Brian didn’t have a saddle that would work for me. Carla generously gave me her Terry touring saddle and hand delivered it to us at Gannet Grill. We offered to pay her something but she refused. This is just one more example of the generosity we have encountered.

We spent our third day just hanging out with Devon and we went to the Fremont County Pioneer Museum. It is newly opened and a beautiful museum with some amazing displays and artifacts. Gregory especially enjoyed the sections on arrowheads and the outlaws.

Our new buddy Brian from Gannet Peak Sports gave Gregory his second Wyoming motorcycle plate. It came off a BMW Brian just sold and still has a valid registration. He made Gregory promise not to put it on a motorcycle and get into any trouble. Ha!

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