Yesterday was just generally great.  We started the day with an amazing breakfast cooked by danny, said our goodbyes and waved to him as we rode towards Gillette, about 40 miles away.  At Hanks the night before, we sat and talked to the locals about the town and the coal mining industry.  One awesome guy, Levi (also offered us his space and his shower!)  is a coal miner in Wright and he was telling us about the gigantic mining machines that we might see on our ride.  Well, we ended up going away from the mines rather than towards them, but we still saw many tractor trailors carrying huge equipment – the tires on these things are the size of my brooklyn apartment. holy crap. we also saw endless train cars filled with coal.

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anyway, it was a very quick ride to gillette.  we had the winds pushing us the whole way with lots of flat roads..so we were there in less than 2 hours.  We passed a billoard going into Gillette that said, “If its not a baby, then you’re not pregnant.”  hmmm..

the beginning of the town was all fast food places, grocery stores and such but we stopped in one place and asked where the locals go.  They directed us to an awesome little restaurant called Lula belle’s.  This was obviously the place to be – it was packed with folks, lots of bikers and too super busy waitresses.  Ours was terrific- so friendly and excited for us.  We all got lunch and decided to finally order some homemade pie, dutch apple with vanilla ice cream.  and they were HUGE pieces. soooooo goooood.

we got ready to pay and im sitting there looking at the check and our waitress comes over and grabs it and looks at me and says, oh no! you guys are awesome.  have a great trip.  ANOTHER amazing person..she bought our lunch and we were thrilled!  We left her a heafty tip and a note with our blog and big thanks.  We all decided to start cooking more and eating out less to save money, but with danny’s breakfast and lula belle’s free lunch, we didnt need to worry about it today.  so fantastic!

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we had time to kill, so we hung out in a cafe for a bit then headed another 40 miles towards pine haven where we planned to camp.  About 10 miles before pine haven is Moorcroft, another cute little mining town.  As we only had 10 miles to go, we decided to bar hop down their main street.  First to Hoppers, where we enjoyed a pitcher of  bud and some good local pool games, then to Dewey’s place where we ran into several bikers (motorcycles) that had passed us a few times on the road.  They told us about other times they’ve come across touring cyclists and how excited they are about it all.  We ran into them again on our way to Pine Haven.

After 2 pitchers of beer, thats about 2 1/2 beers for me, i was fairly drunk.  its nice to drink beer after riding for a while, but having another 10-15 miles to go sucks.  cus i had to pee the whole time, but didnt want to stop us and couldnt see straight and my muscles didnt want to work.  pretty pathetic really… 2 beers and only 10 miles and it seems that hard.  but after a long enough day, i was ready to just lay down.

well, we got to pine haven and it was so worth it!  we stopped at the grocery store, then the bar for a six pack and directions.  we camped out on cliffs that looked out onto a gorgeous lake.  we had plenty of time before dark..too much maybe.  we ate a great dinner of turkey sandwhiches,  canned beets, cherries and some twizzler things.  oh, and more beer.  the lake was perfect.  finally, trees  all around, sounds of turkeys, frogs, geese, and other little animals running around.  ken and andy built a camp fire (our first) and i cleaned things up and got ready to relax (more).  andy climbed one of the trees to cut branches for the fire.  we decided that since it was such a clear night, we’d try to stay up late enough to see the stars.  yeah, we’re usually asleep before dark.   the stars were incredible..so many!!  i set my alarm for 8 am, sleeping in since we only have 35 miles to devils tower today.. but at 7:15 we were all up and eating breakfast.  it was too nice out to sleep in.  now we’re sitting in the bar down the street, having coffee and some breakfast sides.  off to devils tower in a little bit.

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