Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Let The Practice Begin!

June 10 - This morning bright and early, I took The Emmer to work at the hospital. On the way home I stopped at Safeway for a few last minute items and a Starbucks coffee. I had intended to eat a leisurely breakfast, load up the trailer and leave sometime in mid-morning but “road fever” kicked in and to aggravate things, it was a beautiful sunny June morning! I just couldn’t sit there when Wyoming was calling! By 7:30 I had buttoned up Bivouac, kissed The Bride goodbye and I was headed north. I you ever want to drive through the Denver area without stress try Sunday morning at 7:30. Hardly any cars, crisp air and beautiful view of the front range of the Rockies!

My goal this day was Torrington, WY,220 miles. About half of that on Interstate 25 to Cheyenne and then north and east across the high plains to Torrington. I haven’t been too far north of Denver for a couple of years and I was struck at how much development had occurred in that area. The development didn’t really disappear until about twenty miles from the Wyoming border and it’s only about 10 miles from the border into Cheyenne. I suspect in another 20 to 30 years it will be pretty solid development all the way from Denver to Cheyenne.

When you start seeing more antelope than cars or people, you know you’re getting to Wyoming!
A short stop at the Wyoming Welcome Center and I was off the interstate and on Hwy 85 towards Meridian, Hawk Springs and Torrington. A word to the wise. If you ever take this road, make SURE you have enough gas to go 77 miles because there ain’t nothing’ between Cheyenne and Torrington. Meridian and Hawk Springs are indeed towns but there’s no law that says towns have to have any stores or gas stations….and they don’t! For a while I was wondering if I was going to have to use the 2 gallon gas can I have for the generator.

Luck was with me however and I cruised into the metropolis of Torrington at about 11:30. I say metropolis because in this part of Wyoming, 5,800 people all in one place is a big deal! The city of Torrington provides free - “donations accepted” - camping at their city park. Electricity is available along with picnic tables and grills. I didn’t care about the tables or the grill because with electricity my dinner was promised to the microwave. Electricity was also important because the temperature steadily rose during the day to the point that it was 90 ° by the time I got to the park. Bivouac came equipped with an air conditioner but I had never really used it before so I was hoping everything would work ok…and it did.
After setting up Bivouac I toured the town to see what kind of weirdness I could discover in small town Wyoming. Torrington is the campus for the Eastern Wyoming State University. Being a "university town" I thought my chances of stumbling upon weird was pretty good. Sure enough I found a Jetson's flying saucer.....your guess is as good as mine!

In the late afternoon I heard a bunch of commotion around the trailer and saw a bunch of cars pulling in around the trailer?? Turns out that the park also serves as a training ground for the volunteer fire department and the members were practicing various routines for an upcoming competition among area departments…..So not only did I get a free, “donations accepted” camp spot with electricity, but I also got several hours of entertainment watching them go thru their paces. The only thing I’m missing is internet connection so this post will have to wait till I find some place to connect…..

Thanks for visiting.

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