On August 10th the Adventure Race World Championship kicked off. An extremely rad event that is taking place across Wyoming. That's the reason we ended up here for a few days- a quick work trip to set these athletes up with some Kokopelli packrafts during the pre-race gear check in Casper. Way less exciting than being a part of the race or watching segments of the race. But still fun and a great reason to head north for a few days.
Doing our best to spend as little time in Casper as possible, we stayed in Alcova. A funny little town with a vast, desert-y landscape. We were reminded of the many times we drove through and visited South Dakota and bits of Montana that had a similar look. I like it a lot- rolling hills and bluffs. A neutral color pallet with vivid splashes of color. Panoramic skies and a stillness to it all. It's The West I imagine when I think of all things Americana. This weird, harsh and very large stretch of land.
One of my favorite parts about landscape like this is of course, the sky. The sunsets and sunrises in spots like this are always tranquil and colorful. It's the openness. The 360* view. To make this particular sunset even more lovely, we watched it from a hot tub. Because this was no ordinary trip, this was a work trip to just take care of business. So for a brief time, we rested our bones at an Airbnb, nestled in the middle of nowhere. And they had a hot tub. Talk about surreal. The air temperature was dropping quickly, the jets were bubbling and the sky was transforming from blues and whites to golds, pinks and oranges.
We didn't notice very much wildlife in the area, other than vultures. Of which we saw many.
The next two photos demonstrate how exciting gear checks are... which is to say, not very. The fun part of this is meeting interesting athletes who are doing a super rad race. Adventure racing combines everything rad: running, cycling, climbing, paddling, etc. So it takes a super well-rounded and smart human to even enter. This championship race started in Jackson, WY and ended in Casper. Spoiler: Seagate won!
When we finished up in Casper, we returned to Alcova to paddle around on the very large Alcova Reservoir. The water was surprisingly warm and the sun was very intense. Being on the water felt amazing. Instead of our normal packraft, we tried out Kokopelli's Twain packraft, which is made for two people and is more or less a canoe. It was fun to paddle with the husband, but definitely weird! We are so used to paddling in separate boats. I look forward to using this Twain more often, because it's pretty nice for relaxing or taking a paddle break!
It felt great to have a day of relaxing on the water. There were few other people where we were and it was very quiet. We had fun watching various seabird swooping around us, finding fish off in the distance and singing their weird sea-songs.
"A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature." -Henry David Thoreau
For the size of this body of water, it was very clear. It's always amazing to be able to see down for feet and feet, into this other world below the glassy surface. If we'd had more time, I think swimming would have happened. It was that kind of day. As we were getting back to shore, it really hit me, just how beautiful of a spot we were in. And how beautiful most places are. As long as we can keep them as wild as possible. That's truly the key.
The car was loaded up, Bivy was giving so many treats, and we drove off. To continue our Wyoming trip. We still had things to see- the Bighorn Mountains and our beloved Medicine Bow Peak. There is way too much to explore in Wyoming. Hundreds of different landscapes that I must see. Trails to hike, water to paddle. We said goodbye to Alcova and hit the road!