Day 49 – Mosquito Gauntlet

(65 miles)

Matt was keen to leave ASAP this morning, hoping that the cold morning air would mean less mosquitoes along the 20 mile Mosquito Gauntlet that exists between Jeffrey City and Sweetwater Station. Unfortunately there were some ominous thunderstorms looming at 5:30am so we had to delay our departure. I made the most of the delay by ordering one of the legendary Split Rock pancakes at the cafe. This thing was colossal! It spilled over the edges of a large dinner plate and was nearly an inch thick in the centre!

Somewhere under there is a large dinner plate!

After an hour or so we set off but only got about 1.5 miles down the road before some crazy dark clouds and lots of lightning straight ahead forced us to retreat back to the cafe. Another hour passed before the skies cleared enough for us to set off again.

Who knew the TransAm went through Mordor...?

Heading towards Lander

The ride was mostly downhill but into a fairly strong headwind so we were pedalling hard all the way. In the end the mosquitos weren’t a problem if you kept moving. There’s motivation for ya! Our overnight stop, the town of Lander, turned out to be quite a bustling little place with lots of young people around – something of a rarity along our route! We wangled some free showers at the city pool by looking poor and pathetic (we’re getting especially adept at that), spent some time at the library where I started planning my post-trip ‘left-over’ time, and we had dinner and a drink at the packed out Gannett Grill bar while another thunderstorm passed over. Then we headed to the city park to camp.

Loving the salads over here!

Pro-tip: if the grass looks lush, there’s probably a reason for that. And the reason is probably a sprinkler. At 11pm I was awoken by a thundering rat-tat-tat on my tent as a water jet ran across the length of my tent. Over the next hour various sprinklers made sure my tent fly was well and truely irrigated. This in itself was of no concern – my tent is sturdy and waterproof. But words can’t express how terrified I was that a sprinkler would pop up between my fly sheet and my inner tent and soak everything, including my down sleeping bag, through the inner tent mesh. My heart was pumping like crazy for that whole hour. Lesson learnt: think twice before camping on lush grass in a city park!

The river by the park


2 Responses to “Day 49 – Mosquito Gauntlet”

  1. Tim says:

    I love the sprinkler bit. Fortunately not much of a problem in a family campsite near Lowestoft (where I was last weekend).

  2. Mum says:

    Absolutely stunning last photo! Use it for cards, calendar, poster, etc.

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