2015 Cycle Greater Yellowstone Day 6: Cody to Powell via Lovell

Nothing says HELLO, WAKE UP! quite like dodging deer as you start your day’s ride. Cody is lousy with deer, and they have very little fear of people. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can have a garden there.

Those are not lawn ornaments.

Those are not lawn ornaments.

At the bottom of a steep hill on the way out of town, we had to brake hard to be sure not to smack these two.

At the bottom of a steep hill on the way out of town, we had to brake hard to be sure not to smack these two.

The sky was cloudless, but still hazy with wildfire smoke.

The sky was cloudless, but still hazy with wildfire smoke.

We cast a weak shadow across the road. The hazy sunrise diffused some interesting color onto the hay bales, though. Thinking of Monet again . . .

Our tandem cast only a weak shadow across the road in the hazy light, which diffused some interesting color onto the hay bales. Thinking of Monet again . . .

The colorful tanks at this farmstead caught my eye.

The colorful tanks at this farmstead caught my eye.

“Wyoming is beef country – enjoy both”
Why, thanks. I shall!

?? Not sure what that's all about.

?? Not sure what that’s all about.

We had a bit of gravel and construction to ride through. This shot is closer to what I normally see on the tandem when looking forward - mostly Bugman's back.

We had a little bit of gravel and construction to ride through. No big deal. On a side note, this shot is closer to what I normally see on the tandem when looking forward – mostly Bugman’s back.

Saw a couple of farmers out setting siphon tubes that morning.

Saw a couple of farmers out setting siphon irrigation tubes that morning. Looks like a field of sugarbeets at left, with some kochia (which dries to become tumbleweeds) along the edge. Surely this is irrigation water that came out of the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. See here for a 20-second closeup video of setting tubes. See here for a blurb about setting tubes, on the webpage of the museum I used to work at.

The water stop at Willwood gets my vote for prettiest

The water stop at Willwood gets my vote for prettiest “greenhouse” setting.

Already at the Penrose Cemetery water stop! There was a cattle grate across the cemetery entrance. Bugman suspected that, rather than keeping cattle out, it might be useful for keeping zombies in.

Already at the Penrose Cemetery water stop! We were making pretty good time on the ride, as the first 50 miles of the day’s ride were all a gentle downhill – good for a tandem! There was a cattle grate across the cemetery entrance. Bugman suspected that, rather than keeping cattle out, it might be useful for keeping zombies in.

The semi-arid landscape is not too green in late August without irrigation water from stored springtime snowmelt.

The semi-arid landscape is not too green in late August without irrigation water from stored springtime snowmelt.

Lunch in Lovell already?!? It's only 10:43 a.m.! I guess this is what the fast people experience every day. There was a small basket of pins for cyclists to take, which boasted of Lovell as The Rose City.

Lunch in Lovell already?!? It’s only 10:20 a.m.! I guess this is what the fast people experience every day. There was a small basket of pins for cyclists to take, which boasted of Lovell as The Rose City. I didn’t notice the roses, but I did notice the murals and businesses on the downtown’s main drag as we went through.

The Hyart Theater intrigued me.

The Hyart Theater intrigued me. I love that it’s still in operation, and that it has an interesting history. Because of the scarcity of metal when construction began in 1950, the trusses for the roof were made of salvaged train rails from “old mines at Bearcreek, Montana” – maybe the one we would pass on our route the following day?

The storage towers of the Western Sugar plant dominate the Lovell skyline - a familiar sight to someone from the North Platte River valley in Wyobraska!

The storage towers of the Western Sugar plant dominate the Lovell skyline – a familiar sight to someone from the North Platte River valley in Wyobraska! I got to tour my local sugar factory a few years ago. According to an article in the Powell Tribune, the Lovell factory towers measure 35 feet in diameter and are 165 feet tall. “Combined, they hold about 300 million pounds of sugar – enough for 500 million Snickers bars or 500 million cans of pop.”

These were not pieces of mining equipment. Rather, they are used for piling sugar beets. At beet harvest, the beets are stored in gigantic piles near the factories, which run full-tilt to process the beets ASAP, before the sugar content declines too much.

We saw a few of these along our route. They are not pieces of mining equipment. Rather, they are used for piling sugar beets. At fall beet harvest, the beets are stored in gigantic piles near the factories, which run full-tilt to process the beets ASAP, before the sugar content declines too much. Here’s a video clip of a piler in action.

Some highly photogenic longhorns near Cowley.

Some highly photogenic longhorns near Cowley.

The day was getting pretty warm. We planned to stop at the water stop in Deaver to refill our water bottles. But this happened:

I love surprise ice cream! Those sherbet

I love surprise ice cream! Those sherbet “cool tubes” rocked! (Though the bright color did scare me a bit.)

Near Powell, we passed several alfalfa fields with some puzzling structures in them. All the alfalfa in our area is grown for hay. Here, it was being grown for seed, which means pollination was necessary. The structures were housing for bees, probably alfalfa leafcutting bees!

Near Powell, we passed several alfalfa fields with some puzzling structures in them. All the alfalfa in our area is grown for hay. Here, it was being grown for seed, which means pollination was necessary. The structures were housing for bees, probably alfalfa leafcutting bees!

At the end of our ride, we got a boost from a kind cyclist who offered to let us draft him for a ways. We were going a solid 20 MPH there! Wheee! We arrived in Powell shortly after 1 p.m. – about 6 hours after we departed – an amazing time for an 80-mile ride, including rest stops and a lunch break!

We had plenty of time to get cleaned up and head to downtown Powell, and reason to go there as well – we were seeking air conditioning! It was hot out in the (smoke-hazed) sun! I was very glad we had the time. I enjoyed Powell!

We stopped in at the Powell Post Office, one of many to have gotten gussied up with murals in the 1930s.

“Powell’s Agriculture Resulting from the Shoshone Irrigation Project” by Verona Burkhard

Then there was the detour into WYold West Brewing Company, which clearly knows how to tap an audience as well as a keg.

Then there was the detour into WYOld West Brewing Company, which clearly knows how to tap an audience as well as a keg. The pub was just barely open, the restaurant and brewery still to be completed. I guess we’ll have to come back when they’re serving their own beers!

While Bugman went next door to grab some nachos, I went into the True Colors gift shop, which is the kind of place that you exit reeking of incense. The shop owner has a shelf on which she collects images around a different theme each year. This year it was bicycles!

I loved the

I loved the “bicycle sugar skulls” she’d framed from packages of DOMA coffee.

I made a purchase – something I’ve been coveting for a few years: a 7-year pen! Best of all, it had a bicycle design!

I swiped this image from the Walker Art Center shop's webpage. If you want a bicycle 7-year pen of your very own, check out the Walker Shop.

I swiped this image from the Walker Art Center shop’s webpage. If you want a bicycle 7-year pen of your very own, check out the Walker Shop.

Bugman and I took the nachos to a shaded downtown plaza and inhaled them. Then we went back to camp and stood in the dinner line. Ah, the joys of burning crazy amounts of calories for days on end!

Local volunteers came to help out a mealtimes. In Powell, it was the Red Hat Society. Thank you, ladies!

Groups of local volunteers came to help out at mealtimes. In Powell, it was the Red Hat Society. You can kind of pick out two of them in this picture, down at the meat trays. Thank you, ladies!

We had our final announcements session that night, the thank-yous and raffles and all that, since everyone would probably disperse pretty quickly after tomorrow’s ride, the last day – already!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention something cool that was brought up at the final announcements, of which I was unaware: four American Wounded Warriors were sponsored guests on this year’s CGY. I think this is a great program. And I bet the conditions on the ride this year were nothing compared with some of what these Veterans have gone through.

The weather wasn’t done with us quite yet. We were informed that high winds were expected in Powell, beginning around 11:30 p.m. The building on the fairgrounds where our meals were served would be kept open all night, in case we tent campers needed to take shelter.

When Bugman and I returned to our tent, our grasshopper tent marker had already blown off. We stowed him away for safe keeping, and pounded in a few extra tent stakes to make sure we’d stay grounded overnight.

Copyright 2015 by Katie Bradshaw

3 thoughts on “2015 Cycle Greater Yellowstone Day 6: Cody to Powell via Lovell

  1. Pingback: Cycle Greater Yellowstone 2015: Day 0 | Wyobraska Tandem

  2. You always comment on such interesting observations, even shopping opportunities. Now I want a 7-yr pen with a wiener dog on it.

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