Friday July 3: Gillette to Newcastle

75 miles, including the extra 2 from yesterday.

Ro's Phrase Of The Day:
No More Headwinds!

Once again, we got a ride from a different guy at the front desk to camp in order to drop off our baggage and pick up route maps, then back to hotel to check out and start riding -- we probably got on the route at about 7:40am (not too late, actually!). Everything seemed a lot easier today -- not because the wind was gone but because none of the legs were anywhere the 40 miles between pit 3 and camp on the previous day. Also, we had better pavement after we entered Weston County (east of Campbell and Crook Counties).

Our Pit .5 was at Rozet, 13 miles into the ride. My back was killing me, so Ro gave me a quick shoulder rub, and we both stretched out our legs and backs. Pit 1 at Moorcroft -- definitely a nice little town, 13 more miles down the road. We picked up quite a few snacks at a small market, then headed into Pit 1 to refill water and gatorade. Only 20 miles later, we had lunch at the Western Bar & Cafe in Upton (strawberry rhubarb pie). We then got what would turn out to be our first taste of the Black Hills when we went over a crest which had pine trees -- something we haven't seen in a long time -- *everywhere*. It was pretty neat, riding along with clear skies and the smell of pine around us. Someone had even put a small work of art just off the highway in the pines.

I took several more scenery shots before Pit 3 -- a look at one of the uphills, one of Ro and I atop one of the longer hills, and one of the last hills before camp in Newcastle. There were only 14 miles between pits 2 and 3, and between 3 and camp. We took it easy, and didn't let the headwind get us too much -- but the descents weren't as relaxing as they could have been.

We made it into town (Newcastle's population is 3003, according to their sign) fairly early -- around 4pm. We immediately went to the massage tent and miracle of miracles, we actually got on the appointment list for that day! It truly was a good evening. Our camp was, however, not in the best of spots -- between the railroad (lots and lots of coal trains going all day and much of the night) and a refinery place across the street. Also, it being the day before Independence Day, lots of people were shooting off fireworks, one of which landed on a tent (no burns, luckily!). I for one didn't mind the train signals; I was out like a light.

Back to Index