24.8 Miles / 1378.65 Total Miles
1306Ft. Elevation Gain / 60,242 Ft. Total Elevation Gain
Today was a rest day, so we decided to burn our legs out by going on an easy ride into Theodore Roosevelt National Park, except it wasn’t an easy ride.
There was no late night blogging to be done, last night, because our RV park’s wifi didn’t work worth beans. So it was a night to call a few friends and family members and get some rest. I woke up when the sun heated up my tent and couldn’t get moving, but it didn’t matter, because we were taking a day off to see Medora and Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Yesterday, we made a quick stop in the Visitors Center, to bone up on the park and come up with a strategy for for seeing it from our bikes. Today, our bikes were unloaded, so they felt pretty light, as we rode 11 miles out the park road to look for eagles, bison and prairie dogs. We were hoping for an easy ride, but that is not what we got. The road was windy and hilly, with grades up to 10% (check the elevation profile). This was supposed to be a rest day for us.
Prairie dog sighting was a no brainer, as there were multiple prairie dog towns, with hundreds of prairie dogs running around, posing, sunning, eating, and showing us the wave. Black Tailed Prairie Dogs live with their families in underground burrow complexes, and they’re busy little critters. They have some really cute moves, my favourite being a wave similar to what sports fans do. at football and basketball games.
As we poked along on our 22 mile route, we saw zero eagles, one wild horse and one bison–both far, far away on distant buttes. It was a little disappointing.
,When we got back to Medora, we split up. Ed went out to lunch, then took his bike to the first bike shop we’ve seen since Winthrop, and I ate lunch with 3 travellers from Philadelphia, who I met while looking for bison in the park. One of them owns a deli and had all the fixings for a wonderful lunch. We talked about our travels, families, and plans for the future, for a couple of hours, then they had to hit the road. So I headed into town to look for some postcards and ice cream, and to air up my tires with a real bike pump at the bike shop.
The owner of the bike shop, a gal named Jennifer, has owned the Cactus Bike Adventures arm of the now closed Cactus Bike Shop, that was formerly at the corner of 48th Street and Elliot, in Ahwatukee. She and her husband spend their summers in Medora, where they rent and repair bikes and provide a shuttle service on a popular trail. Then winters, they head down to my old neighbourhood, where they rent a house on Piedmont and run their bike rental and touring guide business out of a trailer at the Arizona Grand Resort. Small world, eh? I think Jennifer told me they have been coming down to my neighbourhood since 2005. How have I never seen her before?
Ed was in the shop waiting for repairs to be done on his bike, when I arrived there, so he and I stepped out to buy tickets for a musical production we’d been hearing about all around town. We also bought tickets for dinner at Pitchfork Steak Fondue, which is right next to the outdoor amphitheater, where the show is performed. We raced back to the campground to shower and get ready, then rode our bikes up a super steep driveway/road to get to the parking area for dinner and the show.
Dinner was delicious, and the show was a delightful, high quality production with live music and top notch performers singing and dancing to a variety of music genres. It told the history of Medora and featured a Teddy Roosevelt look-alike, a magician, horses, and a live band The audience consisted of people from all over the country, but mostly the Midwest. All in all, a nice way to wrap up the day.