Day 52: Just a little lost

Don, the cyclist we met yesterday, showed up at 7am ready to ride with us – but when he found out we’re riding some gravel roads, he decided not to. His road bike didn’t have wide enough tires – bummer. We vowed to have a beer or dinner together in Casper after the ride.

We used Google maps to show bicycle specific routes and chose the primary route of the 3 it proposed. It started out ok but then it directed us to take a left off the gravel road and onto what looked like two narrow tracks. I was stubborn/hopeful it would get better but it didn’t. Soon, we were mired in weeds and sand. We decided the easiest way out was to follow the railroad tracks to join with the county gravel road again. Some nice ranchers in their pickup truck saw us and asked me if we needed a ride. “No, just a tip on how to get back to the gravel road”. Luckily it was just a half mile more to get back on the gravel road. Lesson learned.

We didn’t see any tank farms on Tank Farm road but we did see a giant power plant. After some research that night I learned it was built starting in 1959 and added on 3 times until 1972. It produces 922 megawatts using coal which is about 1.1 million homes. It’s scheduled for retirement in 2027. I thought that was huge until I researched the biggest in the US is Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River which is 7 times more power.

Casper population 60,000 is bigger than we are used to so we did a few errands and finally found a store that sells fuel canisters. They’re mostly used by backpackers so they only seem available in hiking towns or big towns.

We decided on Fort Caspar campground and setup camp. As planned, Don picked us up in his van for a beer and dinner at Branding Iron. We had a good time trading stories and near gem plans. He invited us to his pad in Lopez Island in Washington when we get near there in a few weeks.

Tomorrow is a rest/errand day.

Tank Farm Road was a nice road until…
We decided the easiest way out was the RR track
Rancher I will try to apologize to
Snacking after getting back on route
This coal power plant looked big but…
Casper was a busy area on the Oregon Trail
A victim of Cholera on the journey west
North Platte River
Western yard art
Our campsite at Fort Caspar (spelled with “a” at end
Our new friend Don from Washington near Bellingham

Summary: we road 62 miles from Riverfront Park in Douglas to Fort Caspar campground in Casper via highway 93, Tank Farm Road, railroad tracks, more Tank Farm Rd, and highway 20.

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