We departed Atlantic City after what almost seemed like a day off, because we didn't make any forward progress, but didn't seem like a day off because there was riding and quite a bit of stress involved.
The folks at the bar/restaurant were wonderful. Not only feeding us and letting us camp in the front yard, there were drinks and live music too. As an added bonus, when we first got there they stared at us like we were from outer space. You know, just to make us feel at home.
Leaving town is via a dirt road that climbs over 300 vertical feet in less than a mile. A nice warmup (sarcasm!). The rest of the day was a doodle by comparison. Notably, as we climbed away from town, we left behind trees. Once at the top there we none and we wouldn't see any for quite a while.
A dirt road and a strong tailwind got going nicely. The Great Basin is a truly amazing place. Take away the free range cattle, the wild horses, and the grasses, and you could be convinced it was the surface of Mars. We would not see a tree till we reached the town of Wamsutter (population 500), 93 miles from our start. Even there, the trees were obviously not natives.
We stayed at the only hotel in town and ate dinner at the only restaurant. Then it was back to Mars, another 63 miles of treelessness.
At the town of Savery (population 25) we were back on earth, back amongst trees. And for a small town it was pretty accommodating. We were at first at a loss, the "store" in town was out of business and there was no sign of the camping that was indicated on the map.
There was an interesting museum and they always have snacks in the gift shop, so we headed there. To our surprise, the lady running the place asked immediately if we were Divide riders, then escorted us into the basement where food and snacks were for sale just for Divide riders. Score! She also arranged for us to camp across the street in somebody's yard ($5). We set up camp and turned in early, only to be woken up at 9 pm by some locals. They'd seen us camping, had some leftovers, and brought them for us. Second dinner was fresh trout, baked beans, and fried potatoes. I only wish they'd had leftover breakfast too.
From there we had two short days. I've been hurting from the pace and mileage and climbing. A day off was needed but we had to get... someplace.
That place turned out to be Steamboat Springs, CO, which is a great place if you like quaint and very expensive little mountain towns.
We're leaving Steamboat in the morning, more blog to follow soon.