Day 18. Casper to Lusk Wyoming. Before I get to my road-induced musings on fatherhood, I have a question. What happens when you forget to put on sunscreen? Not surprisingly, you get sunburned. For some reason this morning I put sunscreen everywhere but on my arms, so I got sunburned a bit. Not too bad though since it was cloudy for a good portion of the day here.
Anyone out there ever been to Lusk Wyoming? I'm guessing no. Well, Lusk is very Lusk-y. That's about it. The ride today was about 170kms across a mildly rolling Wyoming landscape. Pretty, but hardly memorable. Today in Lusk they had their annual parade which was part electioneering, part antique/hot rod car show, part cowboys and indians show. The sight of the locals, painted red, wearing black wigs, galloping painted horses up the main street was something to behold. Truly a red-letter day in the annals of multicultural sensitivity and remembrance.
Thankfully (given the mileage today) we had a tailwind which made our day a lot easier. We did the first hundred miles in 5 hours and 27 minutes and over the whole day we averaged over 18.5 miles/hour (over 30km/hour). That is really good for us. My average before I came on this trip was just over 25kms/hour. Riding with a group, sometimes helped by a tailwind, with few intersections/traffic really boosts our riding speed. Also, we're getting stronger each day and we are knocking off some big mileage.
The highlight of the day for me was my Duchess of course. Because her flight didn't leave Casper until 1PM, she could come to the first SAG stop and she put her homemade biscotti cookies out for everyone to eat. Her cookies were a big hit with the other riders. Here's a picture of The Duchess (with teacher Teresa from Pennsylvania) and here's video of her at the SAG today in Wyoming:
By the way, Wyoming is a big empty place (check out the picture of Lost Springs). Anybody who says America is too crowded has never ridden a bike across it, I can tell you that. Tomorrow we enter our fourth state – South Dakota. We're approaching the halfway point of the trip, which will be an exciting milestone for the group.
The other big news to report is that I am the father of a 22 year-old. My son Adam turned 22 yesterday and it sucks that I couldn't see him on his birthday (check out his 2 year old and 22 year old pictures). He's kind of gotten used to not having us around on his birthday because every summer between 1997and 2008 he was at sleepover camp on July 9. Last year was the first time since his 8th birthday that we spent it with him which was great. I'm sorry that the stars didn't align for us this summer. He and The Duchess did all the shopping for his Manhattan apartment (aka "the closet"). He, The Duchess, Lauren, and Sam were in NY last week helping to get him set up (ably assisted by Adam's girlfriend Jess). I missed the whole thing, which I do regret. It doesn't matter how old your kids get, you're still Dad, and you want to be part of your kids lives to the extent that they'll permit. So, as I pounded out the miles today, I started thinking about the stages of fatherhood. Here's what I came up with:
That's the way I see it anyway. Anyone out there have any other thoughts?
FYI – the DQ Blizzard count is up:
3 flat tires
4 Snickers (including 1 King size Almond)
6 Blizzards (I tried the Heath Blizzard yesterday – very tasty)
3 milk shakes
Now on to today's mail:
Irwin from Toronto writes: "I loved your final decision for " Wonderboy". I also named my planes. The first one was in Italy where I named my P-40 "Oiwin" and painted four bombs (nose down) on one side." Maybe I should have named Wonderboy Oiwin II instead? What would you have thought of that Dad?
Here are my Garmin stats for today:
This is Joe's blog:
Trip journal and photos by our tour leader Mike Munk:
This link is Jeff's blog:
This link is Baltimore Mark's blog:
And this is Katie's blog: