Stoke Factor: 7
Miserableness Factor: 4
Snot Rockets Blown: 2
Avg Speed: 7.7mph
I was entirely unable to sleep at the motel. My body craves camping. Camping forces me to keep moving. I get comfortable in rooms and it eliminates my will to move on. I didn’t fall asleep until about 3am, with an alarm set for 6:30am. Mostly I was waiting for one of my phone batteries to be entirely powered so that I could charge the second one. Of course, since I was waiting, I was also using my phone at the same time. Sometimes it feels impossible to put down.
I had been arguing with the poor cell phone service ever since I got to Wyoming. The Best Western seemed to limit my use- I was completely unable to upload any videos and I cursed myself trying to upload pictures to my blog. Eventually I settled on the 3G service my phone had making use of. Essentially my phone was on a “shared network” and it worked only when it wants to. Incredibly frustrated, I stared at the tv, taking in absolutely nothing.
I rolled around in bed snoozing my alarm. Essentially I had a 60 mile skate planned for the day and I was entirely ready. I walked down the hotel stairs and was greeted by a breakfast made entirely for me- I was the only one staying at the motel. I had eggs, biscuits and gravy, and a bagel with strawberry cream cheese. I also ingested “Canadian bacon” – I was 100% sure that it was just thinly sliced ham. It didn’t even feel like the name was a marketing thing. Nothing about ham said Canada or bacon. I thought about making a breakfast sandwich but I was too lazy to be bothered.
Walking up to my room after breakfast to finish packing, I felt a serious lag in my legs. My run turned to a walk. I could feel it weighing down on me- the whole trip. Wyoming was no man’s land. There was so little to look forward to. I debated putting eyeliner on but decided I was too lazy for that also. I just wanted to hit the road.
Once checked out, I stopped in at the gas station to buy 5 litres of water- 3 for my hydration pack, 1 for my thermos, 24oz for my endurance fuel bottle, and 24oz extra. It added signficant weight to my pack. A gallon of water at its most dense weighs 8.33lbs, and 3 litres is nearly a gallon. So with one and two thirds gallons of water, I bogged myself down by about 13lbs. With my pack already weighing 17lbs when I wear all of my clothing, I had to carry slightly more than 30 pounds. My knee begged me to stop. Before I could buy the water, I had to sit in line as a man cashed in his lottery tickets. He was so busy flirting with the cashier that he didn’t hear a word she said, and she continuously had to repeat herself. I wanted to jump down his throat. Lines in Wyoming had proven to take forever. If you ever got stuck waiting in line, you were better off shopping elsewhere. I had nowhere else to go, so I was stuck.
A man said, “Looks like you’ve got a bit a traveling ahead of you on that there skateboard!” to me and I replied that I was going to Farson. He said, “Oh hey, me too!” and peeled out of the parking lot. Pushed through the rest of Pinedale, as the businesses became more and more cowboy themed. I knew I was leaving the area of Yellowstone and Teton just by those clues alone. As I left the city, there was a bike path. I was grateful. It was well kept and the pavement was pleasant.the road was mostly flat or downhill for about 5 miles.
As I left the bike path, a truck with a horse trailer dipped into the shoulder and nearly clipped me. His turn wasn’t for another mile and it was obvious he wasn’t paying attention. I coyly tossed a rock at his trailer to chip the paint. Pushing on, the shoulder became narrow and covered with tiny pebbles. Every push I had to put my weight completely on the front to run them over. I was beyond annoyed. Thud thud thud thudthudthudthud thud thud thud thud and SCREEEEE. I took a slow moving tumble and dropped to my knees under the weight of my bag.
I inspected my knee and it was chopped up pretty bad from the loose rocks. The bitter cold of the day didn’t make it any better. I ripped my pants as well- my only pair of pants. Frustrated, I shook it off and pushed again. I fell again, on the same knee. “WHAT THE FUCK!” Nobody was around to hear me scream. There was nothing. Literally just 1000ft visibility of shrubs and desert. The shrubs were frosted over and neglected to show the wind. My voice echoed.
Again, I brushed myself off and pushed forward. Not even two pushes beyond, I fell a third time. I quickly sprang to my feet, dropped my bag, picked up my board and flung it as far as I could. “FUUUUUUUCK! WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!” I screamed and cried and dropped on top of my bag. I kicked my bag a few times. There was no end to the loose pebbles in sight. It never seemed to end.
I cheered myself up by picking up a dead bird on the side of the road. I played with its corpse, made it pretend to fly and added in my own airplane sound effects. I opened up its beak and made it say word for word every character typed in my direction. “BAAAAK? YOU SHOULD WEAR A HELMET!” I threw the bird in the ground. No fucking shit, bird.
The loose rocks came to an end and I enjoyed a 14 mile 1% grade downhill. I hardly even pushed. I took the opportunity to call the only motel in my target town- reading on a bikepacker’s forum, people had spoken highly of the woman who ran it and said she was incredibly supportive and kind. When I called, she was excited to have me, but wasn’t going to be around to settle me into the room. She offered to keave a door open for me and said we could discuss my adventure over coffee, all at no charge. Hearing that put a pep in my step- I was no longer on a time crunch to make it before the owner checked out for the night. I didn’t even need a motel, the night was going to be 30 degrees and I would have been fine camping, especially because I had fully charged all of my belongings.
As I pushed on, I decided to get into the Halloween spirit by taking off my Original Skateboards shirt and putting on my Supergirl base layer. I liked that shirt. It really pronounced my breasts. With my braided hair and the Supergirl shirt, I was feeling pretty and ready for the day. It had gotten up to 50 degrees with no wind. I climbed a steep hill and sang along to some country music. Country music kept me in a good mood. I enjoyed the simplicity of the lyrics and the head bobbing tunes. There was this one song I kept replaying over and over. I only knew one line and it went, “mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy.” I really liked that.
Once I got to the top of the hill, I was in a fantastic mood. I was fully prepared for a long skate. However, a younger man in a truck turned around and asked me if I wanted a ride. He was the first in Wyoming to pick up a hitch hiker. It was obvious he thought he was picking up some cute chick- my voice ruined that. He was quick to throw in the “yeah, I’ll give you a ride, MAN.” I didn’t necessarily need a ride. I was completely satisfied with my situation. However, in the spirit of meeting the world, I accepted. I tossed on my sweatshirt- I didn’t feel like having a conversation about why I had boobs and braided hair.
His name was Steve, 34 years old, recently divorced and living in an RV camp. He worked 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off at a drilling site. He saw his kids every weekend in the colder 3 seasons and during the summer he got them for the entirety of his off weeks. He was coming back from an elk hunting adventure with his friend. They camped on the mountain for a week. Steve was an attractive man. In fact, most men in their late 20s and early 30s in Wyoming were absolutely beautiful. He loved hearing my stories, and consistently assured me he “didn’t judge.” Steve was a Wyoming anomaly- he was raised in Michigan. Nobody born and raised in Wyoming would have picked me up. I decided that if I wanted to hitch hike my way across Wyoming, I should braid my hair and pronounce my tits more often.
The ride was short. Steve was a terrible texter and driver. We were in the oncoming lane for a mile before he noticed. I didn’t say anything, because frankly he seemed to have it in control, although he clearly didn’t. I couldn’t stop staring at him. He was truly a gorgeous man. The road to Farson was long and straight. I felt guilty about taking a ride- I missed an exquisite 11 mile steady rolling downhill and a really cool lake spot.
We didn’t get a ton of time to talk, and I decided not to give him a business card because I wanted to write about how infatuated I was with him. He dropped me off at the motel. It was too late to continue pushing to anywhere, and too early to feel okay with settling for the day after a day of rest I didn’t even feel like stopping. In the interest of safety, I walked into the open room that was left for me.
A man came up from out of nowhere and gave a knock on the door. “Are you a registered guest?” I said the woman on the phone told me I could stay for free tonight. He didn’t like that one bit. He made me close the room and take my things, and basically accused me of squatting in the room. I told him I would pay if I had to. I really didn’t want to. As I said, I would have been fine with camping out, and with all the daylight left I could have pushed forth towards Atlantic City. It was a waste of money to spend the day sitting on my ass. I asked for the Wi-Fi password, and the numbers he wrote didn’t work. Stuck in a motel room I didn’t need, after a ride I didn’t need, with no service and no Wi-Fi, spending money I couldn’t afford- what a waste of a day.
I laid on my back staring at the ceiling for a few hours until I was hungry again. I walked over to the cafe on site (there’s always a cafe on site) and all of the employees were having a meeting and eating food. I was the only customer. They seemed angry that I was there and didn’t care to ask why some punk ass kid with braided hair and tits was ordering the biggest burger on the menu. Seriously, it was monstrous.
I spent the rest of my day laying in the motel swapping my attention between Discovery channel and Netflix on my phone, giving up every now and again from the horrible cell reception and lack of Wi-Fi. Day 19 was an entire waste. I had never felt so garbage-like since I began.