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Across The Great Divide

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Across The Great Divide

A Reporter, A Bicycle & 900 Miles Listening To Small Town America

Nate Hegyi, rural reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, is embarking on a 900-mile cycling trip crisscrossing the continental divide in August and September, interviewing and listening to Americans ahead of the 2020 election. You can follow Nate in his updates below, or on social media, an online blog and this “Where Is He Now?” map.
  • Community
    I’m about three miles from the Colorado border and the sound of nearly a hundred black cattle crying and moving across this high desert valley is overwhelming. Dust kicks up from the animals’ hooves as men and women on horseback whistle and hoot, keeping them in line. Gray cattle dogs stalk the herd, rushing in and nipping the heels of any stragglers.
  • Community
    It’s evening and my hands are cold writing this. I’m in the high country again – finally! I’m a few miles north of the Colorado border at a campsite near the North Platte river. I’m surrounded by short pines, low mountains and aspen trees turning gold with the fall.
  • Community
    It’s a catchup day. I spend the morning finishing journal entries and then I set off towards Saratoga, about 40 miles away. My ride takes me to the company town of Sinclair, home to the refinery that employs many folks in Rawlins.
  • Lucas Medain, left, and his cousin Jesus "Eddie" Archuleta in front of a 1930s-era Chevrolet Archuleta just purchased.
    Community
    Day 18: Oil, Guns And Money
    Rawlins, Wyoming on a Sunday is pretty quiet. Most of the businesses on the main drag are closed. Pickup trucks cruise slowly towards Interstate 80, which connects this town to cities like Laramie and Salt Lake.
  • Community
    In the early morning light, this part of Wyoming is beautiful. The dry, desert mountains look orange and sharp. The foothills splay out like shadowed fingers digging into the flat, brown mud. A chorus of coyotes announce the sun’s arrival and I watch as the light creeps closer and closer to my tent.
  • Community
    ‘Jesus Is Lord.’ That’s what a weather-beaten and faded sign says along Jeffrey City’s main drag. It’s outside of a small, abandoned-looking church owned by a crazy person – at least that’s according to Byron Seeley, a potter who has lived in this ghost town on central Wyoming’s high desert for almost 15 years.
  • Community
    Lander, Wyoming feels like a college town. There are young people everywhere, hanging out at hip coffee shops, bars and breweries. My colleague, Wyoming Public Media correspondent Savannah Maher, tells me in a text that the twenty-somethings here are attracted to the area’s climbing and other outdoor recreation opportunities.
  • Community
    The day starts early. I need to make up time due to the snowstorm, so I have a 74-mile ride ahead of me, the longest of this journey so far. I grab a muffin and a cup of coffee at a local cafe and pedal off, wearing a puffy jacket, long johns and a knit cap underneath my helmet.
  • Community
    I wake up to six inches of wet, heavy snow blanketing Dubois. The storm killed power across central Wyoming and the motel room is dark. I pull out my propane camp stove and heat some water for instant coffee. The room is cold and cell service is minimal. It’s nearly impossible to ride in snow. Not to mention the cold. Temperatures aren’t expected to rise above freezing until tomorrow, so I’m staying put.
  • Community
    Nate Hegyi, rural reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau , is embarking on a 900-mile cycling trip crisscrossing the continental divide in August...