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Travelogue -- Wyoming

Thursday, July 7, 2016

On July 6, we left our Boondock and turned South into Wyoming, and let me tell you: Wyoming is terrifying. The wind roars across the plain, the weather turns violent all around you and you can see it change from miles away. There's wildlife everywhere and the highways are dark and empty. It's beautiful, too, but my overall impression is that it is one crazy place to be.

I'm writing this from a very nice place: the home of the Jaweds, kind friends who are wonderful hosts and who are letting us use their washer and dryer. Todd and Jawed have gone to the big Sierra Trading Post store, because they both love bargains, but Diane didn't feel like she needed a shopping trip so she stayed with me and we're getting all caught up on our writing.

The first thing that happened when we left our Boondock was a steep descent out of the Black Hills, and it turns out the truck doesn't like descending any more than it likes climbing. On the long 7% grade, we had to pull over because our brakes were overheating and losing power. As Diane watched Todd inspecting things under the hood, she mentioned he might try using a low gear to go downhill without so much braking. When we got back on the road, he did just that and everything went just fine. It was after that, at lunch, that he saw that sticker about using lower gears to climb hills and descend steep grades.

We stopped for lunch at Cheyenne Crossing and Todd suggested it was time for a hotel night. Diane was shocked that he was the one who had reached that conclusion, but she was happy, too. We drove on highway 85 South, stopping for a hike at the Eagle Cliff Trails. We had a nice stroll, but then a thunderstorm swept up so we had to turn back.

From there, we drove on to Newcastle, Wyoming in worsening weather. Thunder and lightening all around, wind, pouring rain. It was crazy! But it all came and went quickly. 

 The view from a scenic overlook at Salt Creek.

At Newcastle, Diane had enough cell reception to make a hotel reservation for a place in Wheatland, WY, about 150 miles away, at a place with a pool and hot tub, and then we just had the long and harrowing driving down highway 85 in truly insane wind with what seemed to be violent weather forming on all sides. The relief we all felt when we finally reached Wheatland cannot be underestimated. It took us 4 hours to drive that 150 miles, and getting out of the Big Rolling Crate never felt so good.

So now we're all caught up on the blog and we're soon to head off to our next stop, Rocky Mountain National Park and National Forest. Colorado, here we come! 

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