This morning, when I tried to find the Poison Spider Road from the campground in Casper, all I found was a ‘closed road’ sign. Maintenance was being done on the road. It looked so promising on the map; a small, winding road, -exactly- along the old Oregon Trail, that I would have been able to follow for miles. Alas, no such luck today. I decided to go to Bessemer, a town a little south of Casper, and from what I could see on the map, it should be possible to access the Poison Spider Road from there.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to happen either. Two road workers who were installing a road sign informed me that the road was closed because it was being magged. That means it’s being treated with magnesium chloride to make it less dusty in the summer. According to the men, I really didn’t want to ride my bike in that stuff.
So back to the highway it was. With gritted teeth I had to watch the red cliff on my right slowly pass by. I would really have loved to see more of that.
After a long and boring ride on the highway, being swung back and forth by the strong wind, I made a second attempt. No closed roads here, this time it was going to work.
I made a right turn on the highway, and immediately I was on a gravel road. It was obviously being used a lot; the bike and me were shaken to pieces because of miles of washboard road. The steering felt terrible, I was afraid that either I had a flat tire, or my headset bearing was completely ruined. But then the surface was getting a lot smoother and I was able to ride a little faster again. The steering, fortunately, was a lot better now too.

The landscape was beautiful here, but I don’t think it can get more remote than this. I was riding through a desert-like plain, with some serious looking mountains of red clay on the horizon. Every now and then a pronghorn, grazing unsuspectingly between the sagebrush, jumped away, terrified.

Half an hour later, I rode onto the grounds of what seemed to be a ranch. There were few decaying sheds, trucks parked everywhere, but there was nobody to be seen. I knocked on the door of the house – better ask if I’m allowed to ride on their property- but there hadn’t been anybody in there for a long time. The floor was missing and there was junk everywhere.

I went back to the bike, but when I tried to continue on the road, past the clumsily-made bridge, I saw that it ended here.
Great. Back to highway again. For many miles, the only dark cloud in an otherwise sunny Wyoming was right above a small red dirt bike that was slowly making its way on the highway.

Around noon, it was time for the third attempt. The Hudson – Atlantic City Road. There was a big sign at the beginning of the road that said this road really was going somewhere; so that was good.

Anything gravel that was denied to me earlier, was made up here. The landscape was not exceptional, but it was fascinatingly empty. Sometimes I felt I was riding across Mongolia. Black cows and their calves were grazing between the sagebrush. Sometimes they were in the middle of the road, so I carefully had to pass them. On the horizon the first signs of the Rocky Mountains were showing; the Wind River Range is slowly moving closer. So much to see on this perfect afternoon.