Photo taken earlier in the race -- courtesy of fellow racer Jay P
Currently Chris is out in The Black Hole of Wyoming (more formally known as The Great Basin).
Meaning no services, no food, and certainly no pay phones for many many washboarded miles.
Luckily, according to their SPOTs, Chris and Kurt are keeping a great pace and cruising through this section pretty quickly. My original guess was that Chris would make it to Rawlins around 2 or 3 am. Now my guess is moved up to midnight or 1 am. So, we'll see!
I spoke to Chris briefly last night, when they were in Pinedale. Honestly, he sounded pretty worked. He is getting sick and tired of the rain, constantly being wet and cold. He even admitted to certainly not having the proper clothinig for this kind of weather. I know how frustrated he was, as we all would be if we had ridden for the past nine days in crappy weather. It's hard on this end too though, because I know there is absolutely nothing I can do to help. If it were "legal" for me to drive up, meet him, and give him some better clothes -- or heck, even run along side him with an umbrella over his head, I'd do it in a second. Unfortunately I can't. So, I am stuck struggling to find motivational statements to pull out of my butt over the phone. The best I could think of was: "It's going to be freaking hot and dry down in New Mexico and you'll be wishing you had the cold rain to cool you down, so enjoy it while you have it" -- that got a little chuckle out of him at least.
One of Chris's main concerns last night was making it to Atlantic City in enough time to stock up on food for The Black Hole today. Since today is Sunday, he knew there was a strong possibility that they'd roll into town only to find everything closed early. As we hung up, he made a plan to roll into Boulder and find a place to sleep, then get up early and try to make Atlantic City before too late. As I watched his little SPOT stop at a pretty organized looking campground/RV park, I forced myself to go to sleep, hoping he would at least be dry by sleeping in a bathroom.
Early this afternoon I got a call from a much more chipper and happier sounding Chris. They had rolled into a town a few miles outside of Atlantic City, were standing in line to buy some fudge (umm, yumm!) and ready to roll into a cafe for a "meal". (I asked him if he would bring me back some of that fudge, and he said "nope, but I'm bringing you home a much skinnier husband!")
He told me that last night they got to sleep in a barn: "It was really nice!" They also got to do some laundry: "Wow, for $10.00, Kurt and I both got to take showers and do laundry, it was amazing!"
I guess it is the small things in life that seem to amaze and impress him these days!
They had also stocked up on food and were ready to tackle The Black Hole. He relayed his most exciting piece of information... the lady at the fudge store said it hadn't rained there in a few days. Suddenly the bright light of hope popped up in front of his eyes and he felt like everything just might be alright afterall. They even had a great tailwind.
Now, looking at the weather for the day near that area, I'm anxious to see if his optimism got crushed by the rain or not. I'm sure that, no matter what, he will be excited to have at least made it to Rawlins... only one day away from being back in his home-state.
I am turning in early in hopes of getting a call from my sweetie in the weeeeee early hours of the morning.