This climb starts in the small town of Centennial about 25 miles west of Laramie, Wyoming. This is a notoriously windy area and the day I rode was no exception. Centennial is a hardy, windswept, cowboy town at 8000 feet and on the leeward side of the Snowy Mountain Range and the locals say it is always windy. It does snow a lot in the Snowy Mountains but they are named as they are because the mountains are a light grey color and they look like there is snow on them even in the summer. Centennial is in what is best described as rolling prairie. Just a couple of miles out of town I entered the forest and this time of year (third week of September) the forest included aspen trees with gold leaves. The climb up to the top of the pass is not particularly steep – there are a few sections of 7-8% but it’s generally a steady grade that under normal circumstances would not be difficult. But climbing an 8% grade into a 25 MPH wind makes it seem like it’s steeper. On the plus side, descending with the tailwind was a blast – the road surface was pretty smooth; there were no hairpins and the entire descent could be ridden without braking; and there were long stretches where I was above 50 MPH.