For a kid from the shores of Gitchi Gummi and wilds of the Northwoods, the Great Basin of Wyoming might as well be the moon. We spent several days crossing it. We saw Antelope, Sage Grouse, a lonely coyote, and a lot of dead rabbits. They all must have a hard life in this forlorn place. It is a land of sagebrush and waves of windswept hills. Dry air and drier ground. We very rarely saw a vehicle.
What I will remember most about our journey here will be the ceaseless hills all met by our road at 90 degrees and too steep to clear by the momentum of the previous hill. It was the worst biking of our trip. Aggravating and endless. They taxed our reserves. Also our patience. It did get better as the land flattened moving south. However, never completely let up.
There have been some good Basin memories. Laying in my tent at night listening to the chorus of coyotes rising to a crescendo then falling away. Seeing remnants of previous generations struggles to make something happen here. A forlorn cabin. Once a dream, now a sad commentary on a life just too hard. Maybe the well went dry. Who knows since it could have been any of many things wrong here. But it is nice to think that people tried.
Today we reached not only trees, but are camped just on the Colorado side of the Wyoming border. We are tenting on a large ranch begun by the present owners great grandfather when the Native people and white settlers were still locked in battle over the use of the land. Her forbears had planted the huge willow trees that so majestically surround the old original homestead where we cooked our dinner this evening. The creek just below the homestead is called Battle Creek. The story of that battle resulted in the long history the present owners have on this land. Also the end of a much longer history of peoples before.
They were having a dinner party here including a US Senator and several conservation groups. We kept a low profile.
Tomorrow we will be in Steamboat Springs to visit old friends, Scott and Mary Beattie. We look forward to our time in Colorado.