Thursday July 15th, 8:26PM
It’s still quite light out as I’m sitting here by the fire. The drive today was absolutely beautiful. We went from the Black Hills of SD to the snow capped mountains of Wyoming – all in about 4 hours. The mountains are amazing here. We had randomly picked a forest campground from the map and then I looked it up on the Internet. It looked pretty good so we followed the directions to West Tensleep Campground which was 7 miles down a dirt road. Tensleep was pretty much at the end of the road and, surprisingly, was completely packed! 7 miles down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere…what’s up with that? Well, not to worry, we passed a campground on the way and decided to check it out. There was a great site right on a beautiful river. We backed in and were warmly greeted by the camp host.
As we were setting up the tent, we began to notice the mosquitoes. Not just a few, but complete Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom swarms of them!!! We immediately grabbed the Deet and sprayed away. Shit, there were a lot of them!!! We didn’t spray our heads so guess where the skeeters congregated? Well, we got everything set up and the camp host comes over and says, “don’t be surprised if you have a moose in your backyard tomorrow morning” Ummm….moose? More National Geographic shit? She also asked if we had a tarp for our tent because it was 37 degrees when she got up in the morning. Great. I was freezing last night and the forecasted temp was only about 49. We have decided to sleep in the truck for the first time on this trip. It will be very close quarters but we should be warm and safe from herds of mooses.
Before dinner, we went for a bike ride down one of the trails. It was very steep, rocky and difficult to manage but the payoff was amazing. We ended up down at another river as it cut through a gorge. We sat on a huge granite boulder for a while and contemplated life. One thing is for sure, mountain biking at 9600’ elevation sure keeps you in shape! I was gasping for air but, surprisingly, I was able to recover very quickly. The camp host asked where we were from and when I said, L.A., she commented that we were going to have a tough time with the altitude. Hell no, not us!!!
Got back to the site and BBQ’ed some thick steaks while Dylan gathered some firewood. The skeeters and I had a great time cooking and drinking beer. I even did a movie of the skeeters over the river. I wish I had the bandwidth to upload and show everyone. Freakin’ amazing! More in the morning.