RIDE C2C DAY 10 Gillette to Moorcroft then on to KeyHole State Park, WY

Aug 08, 2019

RIDE C2C DAY 10 Gillette to Moorcroft then on to Key Hole State Park, WY

Miles:  47

MEPS: 423

Word of the Day: Small Town


We weren’t sure how far we are going today - stopping in Moorcroft (30 miles) or going on to the State Park (about 50 miles)?  On bikes by 7:00am, wanting to beat the sun and heat as we make our way across the Powder River Basin from Gillette to Moorcroft - about 30 miles.

A beautiful morning - smooth road on Hwy 51, with a headwind off our right shoulders.  But this was flat riding - and we made good time.  Big. Open. Vast country.  Big power generation plant.  Big long trains moving coal or about to get filled.  Engines stacked on Engines and more engines...We are enjoying the cloud cover.


After an hour of riding (15 miles!  Half way to Moorcroft), stop for a snack a school in Rozet (that’s about all that’s here).  Back on the bikes and the cloud cover has burned off, so it’s starting to heat up.  Still, big, open views in every direction of the prairie basin.



SIDE NOTE:  Is this only in Wyoming?  Drive thru liquor stores.


We pull in to Moorcroft and its only 9:00 am!  Moorcroft is a very small town.  No campgrounds and since it is so early, we quickly decide that we’ll keep riding.  But first...2nd breakfast!  Donna’s Diner for ham & veggie hash browns, pancakes, eggs, coffee.  An older gentleman named Roger (who everyone knew) held court at his table as friends came and went.  At the surprisingly well-stocked grocery store, we provisioned for dinner<steaks, bag of instant mashed potatoes, bag of salad> and breakfast <can of peaches, bananas granola>, had a nice chat with one of their customers, then went for a quick visit to the Texas Trail museum - which, among other things, told the story of the cattle drives from Texas to Wyoming.  

That was about all there was to do in Moorcroft.  So off we go!


20 miles to Keyhole State Park which sits on Keyhole reservoir created by the Keyhole dam - a CCC project in 1936.  Still riding through big open prarie when BAM something bit me (stung me?) hard on my back!  I slam to a stop (almost cause an accident with Doug) and rip off my shirt to free the bug.  OUCH!


A pretty easy, but hot, ride to the state park where the attendant says she’s never charged bicycle riders before and, sorry, she had to charge us like a vehicle and it was going to be $50 (!!!).  There are 5 campgrounds and she suggested we try “Pronghorn” because Tatanka only takes reservations (which we could never find how to do).  We found out after walking the 1/2 mile to the showers that they cost (so Doug went back for $$) at $1.25 for a dribble of water for 7 minutes.  Not impressive.


We have a beautiful spot on the shore and no one nearby.  The most beautiful camp spot so far.  I’m watching the fish jump just off shore and wishing I had my pole.  A very peaceful afternoon.  Dinner making starts soon!






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