We are back with more updates from Mark on the road (or trail). Thursday was an extremely hard day for Mark. Carrie went back to Rock Springs to get more supplies for herself and Roger Weber came out to ride with Mark for the day. They rode from clay basin to Kinney rim, which Mark said was about 62 miles of constant up and down. Roger’s company made the day a little more pleasant for Mark, helping distract him from his exhaustion. He said that it has been really nice having company because loneliness of the ride can be one of the hardest parts. “I have been lucky to have so many people who wanted to ride to me,” he admitted.
Roger and Mark are longtime friends who have traveled the world together in the past. They spent the day catching up and exploring new territories. Mark said, “These last few days I have been riding terrain which I’ve never been to. It’s been great seeing so much amazing landscape. It’s completely different seeing this country from a ride, rather than a car, or even a plane. You actually have time to look at everything and take it in. I am getting used to life on the road and I actually think it is going to be hard to adjust to my normal life when I return to Laramie in a little over a week.”
Late Thursday evening Roger and Mark were caught in a huge rain storm, which took them completely by surprise. He said, “We were really caught off guard and couldn’t find shelter. We tried to keep riding but the soil in the area is entirely clay, and the mud stuck to our bikes so badly that both tires were unable to move. The bikes became incapacitate caked in the clay mud. We laid our bikes in a ditch and set out into the sage brush in an attempt to find some shelter to stay warm. We never found shelter but the storm eventually passed.” After the rain stopped, Mark and Roger scraped the mud from their bikes and continued to ride. Carrie met them shortly afterwards and Roger went on his way.
All in all, their first days through the Red Desert have gone pretty well. Mark reported, “On the first day crossing the Red Desert we were fortunate enough to have a slight tailwind. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky or single shade tree out here so the breeze was nice.” However, there are more days in the desert to come, and they might not be as pleasant. Mark and Carrie were aiming to cross the Red Desert by Sunday.
The miles are slowly shrinking and Mark is very excited to reach the end of this journey. “Spirits are high, supplies are good, and the bikes are holding up,” he said, happily. As the adventure continues check back for more blog updates.