April 24, 2019- Trail Lake Camping Area,Whiskey Basin Wildlife Habitat, Dubois, WY
4:30 am and Team Ronyx is wide awake. We are woken up by Ron’s phone suddenly chiming with messages. We have no service out here, but occasionally we get a spurt of service and then it’s gone. Meghan can get some service if she positions her phone in just the right position in the bunk of the camper box. It feels good to be disconnected, except for worrying about kids. Meghan has 3 kids. Her 2 daughters live on the West Coast with her and her son lives with his father on the East Coast. It is a challenge to leave your kids in other people’s care. Her 2 daughters are old enough to care for themselves mostly but they are still teenagers. When this whole adventure was just an idea and in the planning stages, the girls were supposed to come along, but with their involvement with sports and a job, they didn’t want to be home schooled on the road for up to 6 months. So they stayed behind but it doesn’t mean that Meghan doesn’t worry.
Any way, back to Team Ronyx, since we are up so early, we do some tiny house cleaning and organizing. Ron got the bike gear out and Fonyx and set it up by their tiny home on wheels. A little after 8 am, Skip and Linda arrive to do their quick video to share Onyx’s Great Adventure. Skip was great and Linda captured everything. You can see Skip’s video here. We thanked them and they headed off to the airport. Team Ronyx really enjoyed meeting them and having the opportunity to share some time with them. After all of our gear was loaded back into the truck and tiny home, Ron put on his hiking pack and we headed out to hike around the Whiskey Basin Wildlife Habitat. We had a list of things we wanted to see or find. We wanted to see petroglyphs, the long horned sheep or any type of wildlife really and we wanted to see if we could find an antler shed. We hiked 1.5 miles out to the end of the gravel road. This took you to the very last camping spot in the Whiskey Basin Wildlife area. It was getting pretty thick with trees and brush and since bears are common in that area, we decided not to hike back the trail head that led to the waterfalls and back to lake Louise since it was pretty early in the season. While we were walking we saw a herd of deer far off in the range. Onyx caught a glimpse of them and took off to investigate. Phoenix was right on his heels but had no clue what they were looking for. Onyx didn’t go very far before he returned back to the road where Ron and Meghan were watching. He would never hurt the wildlife, he just likes to get a closer look and smell. Phoenix followed once again and they four of them continued on. The landscape back in the Wildlife area is a beautiful mix of sage bushes, tall grass, rock formations and mountain ranges. The rocks in Wyoming are colorful and Meghan is having a hard time resisting the urge to collect all the “pretty” ones. After their hike, they had lunch, Meghan worked on writing and Ron played fetch with the dogs in and out of the water. Later that afternoon, they hiked up the hillside by where they were camping. They had learned that everywhere there was a post sticking out of the ground there should be a petroglyph. They went up higher and higher and then they found the petroglyphs! They continued up and over and found a small crevice between two rocks that you could go into. There was another petroglyph there too. Team Ronyx really enjoyed talking about how people used to survive out here without homes, electric and the commodities that we have today. Later that afternoon after they were done exploring the hillside, they built a fire and got their big pot out for boiling water. Ron laid two large pieces of wood to create a base for the pot to sit on and stuck little sticks and pieces of wood under it to heat up the water. While they prepared Meghan’s bath, an SUV pulled in with a gentleman and two women. They told Ron that their friend had gone into the woods to see a sheep and hasn’t returned and wanted to know if we had a phone they could use. He explained that our phones aren’t working out here either and that the homes on the other side of the lake may have house phones he could use. The SUV left and returned just as Meghan had finished her bath, telling Ron they couldn’t reach their friend and that they could use Ron’s help. He grabbed his rifle and headed off with the people in the SUV. It was overcast and starting to rain. Meghan was worried about the man lost in the woods and those who were looking for him. Within an hour, Ron returned with the SUV. They found the man and he was safe! They thanked Ron and went on their way. While Ron was gone, Meghan attended to his water and made sure the fire kept going in the rain. After their baths, Team Ronyx sat around the fire and just admired their camping spot. They discusses how they will definitely be back to visit.
April 25, 2019- Pit Stop Truck Stop, Riverton, WY
It’s time to get on the road again, Meghan and Ron decide they will go into town to stock up on water as they have used all of their stored water over their last week of camping off grid. When they stayed at the campground the first night in Dubois, the water outlets were too low to the ground to fill their water jugs and Meghan never found her short hose that she was looking for at the price she was willing to pay for one. They went to the store and picked up snacks, milk and water and went across the street to the park so Meghan could use the free WIFI that Dubois offers to update social media. Ron started pedaling out of Dubois around 9:20 am with Fonyx. Today was going to be a big ride but they were going to attempt to get to Riverton, Wy. Meghan had to have a package sent there and it’s been there since Monday. When Ron had rode on Tuesday he estimated that he rode 12.5 miles out of town and back making his journey 25 miles. Meghan calculated the miles with the truck and it turns out that he had actually gone a mile further than he thought so instead of 25 miles, he had traveled 27. They knew they would probably have to use some of those miles towards today’s journey to get to Riverton. By 2:30 in the afternoon, Ron had towed Fonyx 47 miles and was still willing to go further. The sun was out and it is much warmer on this side of the mountains. Around 4 pm, Ron had pedaled 60 miles, they were 18 miles from Riverton. Team Ronyx decided to load their gear and drive the rest of the way. They wanted to get into town at a decent time since a reporter had reached out to Meghan earlier in the day and wanted to interview them. Once they got into town, they found the post office and Meghan went in to gather their package. It was the adapter they needed for the fridge. They found their place to park and Meghan contacted the reporter to let him know they were in town. That night they slept in a truck stop parking lot. The humming of the semi’s lulled Team ROnyx right off to dreamland.
April 26, 2019- Wind River RV Park, Riverton, WY
We are waiting to hear from the news outlet that had contacted Meghan yesterday. While they wait, they discuss the day’s plan. Meghan reaches out to a few more news outlets to see if they are interested in sharing Onyx’s Great Adventure. The Riverton Ranger contacts Meghan and says they want to do an interview and that their reporter will contact them later in the morning. Team Ronyx decide to head into town and do some exploring. For fun, they stopped at an Riverton RV dealer just to check out the new RV’s that are out there now. They talk with the crew there and it starts to rain. Team Ronyx decide to find a place to camp for the night since they won’t be doing their interview until later in the morning or early afternoon. They find the Wind River RV Park which is right on their route on the way out of town. They pay for their spot and then head out for lunch. After lunch they go back to the RV park and explore with the dogs. Meghan finishes her proposal she has been writing for Dodge to see if they would be willing to sponsor/advertise with Onyx’s Great Adventure. Around 1:30 pm, Clair showed up from the Riverton Ranger and interviewed Team Ronyx. She told Ron that he looked “too handy” to be a bicyclist. They all had a good laugh at her comment. That afternoon, Team Ronyx went over their route, picked up a hose for filling their water jugs and replenished their water supply for the road as they know they are heading back out to desolate territory. While they were out and about walking around town, Phoenix starts to hop and shake his foot. Meghan checks his front paw and sure enough, he has a goat head thorn sticking out of the pad of his paw. She pulls it out and he starts to hop again. She checks his hind paw and there is another. He ends up getting one more and then Onyx gets one too. We thought we lost those things back in Idaho but apparently they are common here too. That evening, Team Ronyx grab hot showers and relax for the evening.
April 27, 2019- Waltman Rest Stop, Riverton, WY
7:00 am and Team Ronyx is packing up to head towards Shoshoni area. We drove through 2 miles to Walmart to avoid the construction that is happening on the majority of the section of highway 26E that Ron has to bike through. Ron heads out with Onyx in the trailer out on the road just before 9 am. He pedals 21 miles to Shoshoni, WY. They had discussed staying there and driving up to Thermopolis to explore the hot springs and see the bison that reside in the park there. Ron wants to keep riding, and Meghan agrees to it. Ron switches Onyx out of the dog cart and puts Phoenix in to give him the chance to ride. A mile down the road he flags Meghan down. He has a flat trailer tire due to another goat head thorn. They use their final spare tire and head out on the road. At the 28 mile mark, Ron stops for lunch, then he and Phoenix get back on the road. The road is mostly flat with slight inclines and declines. The wind varies from a side wind to a rear wind. When the wind is going East it assists Ron in pedaling. All other wind just slows him down. The town of Moneta is the geopraphical midpoint for the state of Wyoming. Ron arrives in Moneta at 41 miles. How many more miles does he plan to go? He isn’t sure but he isn’t ready to stop either. The scenery out here is desolate, you can see herds of sheep and cattle and lots of rock formations but that is about all that you see other than vehicles passing by. We see lots of horse trailers and campers heading East. Meghan thinks to herself that there must be an event somewhere up ahead. The Waltman Rest stop is just outside the town of Arminto and Powder River. Ron decides to stop biking at this point. He has pedaled 68.5 miles to get here. There are signs here that state, “No Camping Overnight”. Meghan and Ron discuss whether they should take the chance to sleep there or move on to the next spot they find. They decide to take a chance and sleep there but they won’t get too comfortable. The wind is picking up and it’s chilly but not too cold so Team Ronyx decide not to use the generator or wood stove for heat tonight in case they are asked to move. That night was a rough night for sleep, Ron ended up sleeping on the bench because the dogs ended up in bed with Meghan. Neither Ron or Meghan had many covers due to the dogs being on them and that night got really cold.