Whew … it’s afternoon and we’ve gotta catch our cycling crew! Oh oh … there’s an incoming business call. We’re approaching Beaver Rim (where we can see the Wind River Mountains – part of the Rockies), and signal is good.
Wrapping our office calls up, we hit the road … it’s hot … there’s lots of sagebrush (and not much else) … we pass a ghost town – Jeffrey City … and hope to see our cyclists on the way to Muddy Gap.
Split Rock is one of the landmarks on the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, the California Trail and the Pony Express route. The Sweetwater River runs there – but whew, it sure is desolate here!
Long story short – we travelled to Muddy Gap (nada there – gas station and sagebrush), to Lamont (ditto – restaurant and sagebrush) – no cyclists, and it is relentlessly hot. No signal either. They have either dried in the withering heat and blown away, or hitched a ride into a real town another 40 miles away. After looking back and forth, we head for the town. Voila – as we near Rawlins, the phone rings. They are back at the ghost town – Jeffrey City, huddled in a church basement! Yay.
Jeffrey City is part of an area known as “Gas Hills”. Uranium was discovered there in 1953 by a guy called Lucky Mac. Jeffrey City was once named “Home on the Range”. With the boom it expanded to well over 5000 people and got a new name. Then, in the 1980’s, the uranium demand crashed, and so did Jeffrey City. Everyone left, many taking their houses with them. It’s now virtually a ghost town (just over 30 people). A church built in the early 80’s is now one of the few buildings still standing … and it has been a safe haven for those hardy cyclers going from coast to coast. The church musters 12 brave souls on Sunday … 6 of which are the pastors family. Please pray for them.
Our crew left in the morning after cleaning up the kitchen, and setting everything back in order. The cyclists include:
And our very own riders, Darcy, Darren, Sean and Nancy pulling SAG duty. Family!
We’re not riders … but ya gotta love this sport.
A big “thank you” to Pastor Brent … we hope we left everything in order!