After the first few days on the road, Mark learned a lesson or two about road trips through the desert, especially road trips without the assistance of a support crew. However, thanks to his training, preparation, and old fashioned will power, he has managed to get himself through the unforeseen challenges that awaited him in just the first part of his journey. We are happy to report that Mark is back on the road after the trials and tribulations we reported in our last blog. Mark has now travelled over 280 miles and has successfully arrived at Flaming Gorge Dam! There, he will meet with experts in hydroelectric energy and get a tour of the facility. Mark told us he is extremely excited to see the generators in action. They should be working at full capacity because of the incredible amount of spring runoff stored up in Flaming Gorge.
But this ride isn’t all work and no play. Mark passed through his home town of Rock Springs, Wyoming on Saturday where he got to ride in a town parade. He had planned a ride along event before he left and was greeted by a throng of supporters and friends. Mark recalls, “We rode about 28 miles from Rock Springs to the Big Firehole boat ramp where we all had dinner before everyone departed. It was great to see everyone after so many miles on the road.”
Carrie McCarthy, our energy researcher and Mark’s girlfriend has been riding with Mark since he passed through Rock Springs. She has ridden almost 80 miles, but she is getting a little weary about staying with Mark as he crosses the Red Desert on Thursday. This ride has been extremely tough for Mark and Carrie just hasn’t had the same amount of training that he has. Furthermore, she isn’t quite used to the schedule of life on the road. The pair have been riding early in the morning and late into the night to avoid the sun and heat during the day. Mark says, “Last night we were still pushing on the trail at 11:00 p.m. The hills have been massive the last few days. It’s like a roller coaster; up and down, up and down. I am starting to feel pretty weak and tired.”
The help and support continues for Mark as he makes his way through the countryside, though. Mark and Carrie spent Sunday at Current Creek Ranch and Mark said that ranchers, Tyson and Mimi were very accommodating. “At the ranch, Carrie and I came across the first patch of shade we’d seen in two days and both immediately laid down for a three hour nap.” Mark fondly reported. Jason Meddler surprised Mark and Carrie with a bike tune-up, and Mark’s father, Gary Pedri, rode 18 miles with them on Sunday night.
The past eight days on the road had been very hard for Mark, “I have a long way to go and right now all I can think of is sleeping. It’s been hard.” But he will certainly not surrender to the difficulty, the story is too important. There’s more adventure to come as Mark crosses the Wyoming Red Desert, so keep checking back for more updates.