|Big Horn Mountains. (photo from sportslure.com)|
The Cloud Peak 500 immediately intrigued me. Cloud Peak 500.
Digging into it, the Cloud Peak 500 then challenged me. Cloud Peak 500 - THAT'S The Plan.
Digging deeper, the Cloud Peak 500 inspired me to pay attention. Cloud Peak 500 - History and Legend.
Oh, the Cloud Peak 500 has been on my mind.
Georgia On My Mind, performed by Ray Charles
(video from youtube.com)
The Cloud Peak 500 route is a full blown tour of the Wild, Wild West. This is the country of the real life Chief Red Cloud, Chief Crazy Horse, the U.S. Army Cavalry in the Box Wagon Fight, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Hole-In-The-Wall Gang, the cattle barons, hired guns and homesteaders of the Johnson County War, and even the Crazy Woman in Crazy Woman Canyon. It's going to take some time to experience.
So, here's a first draft of what my ride could look like. I don't know if this draft itinerary is reasonable, or even possible, for me, but I prepared it to kickstart my planning. Here's what I'm thinking today.
DISCLAIMER: I did not create the route of the Cloud Peak 500. Someone else did. My friend Lucas Haan alerted me to it, thinking I might be interested. He was right, as usual. I plan to ride this route, probably solo or maybe with a few friends. This draft itinerary shows my current thoughts of what my ride could look like. I am NOT organizing anything other than my personal ride and I'm certainly not organizing a race, event, group ride, "Grand Depart" or anything else.
Day 1: Drive 4 hours from Rapid City. Ride from Sheridan, re-supply water at Big Horn (mile 33). Ride into Big Horn National Forest to disperse camp (mile 50-60). Total Day 1 = 50-60 miles.
Day 2: Ride up Red Grade Road, re-supply water at Burgess Junction (mile 81) after about 7,000 feet of elevation gain. Ride to disperse camp (mile 105-135) in Big Horn National Forest. Total Day 2 = 55-85 miles, depending on how I handle the long, steep climb starting the day.
Day 3: Ride to Medicine Lodge Archealogical Site (mile 200) to camp. Total Day 3 = 65-95 miles.
Day 4: After enjoying the petroglyphs and pictographs in the morning, ride to Ten Sleep to camp (mile 249). This short day should leave some time to hang out at the NoWoodStock music festival. Total Day 4 = 49 miles.
Day 5: Ride to Middle Fork Powder River BLM Campground (mile 295). This short day should leave some time to hike back into the nearby Hole-In-The-Wall outlaw hideout. Total Day 5 = 46 miles.
Day 6: Ride, re-supply water at Kaycee (mile 353), to disperse camp along yet another climb into Big Horn National Forest (mile 365-375). Total Day 6 = 70-80 miles.
Day 7: Ride to Buffalo (mile 430). Total Day 7 = 55-65 miles.
Day 8: Ride to Sheridan (mile 500). Total Day 8 = 70 miles.
All subject to change. I could see this easily contracting a day or two, or expanding a day or two. But I have to start somewhere.
Now, it's time to let this simmer for awhile.