Monday, August 1, 2016

Go West Young (Wo)Man

This is the continuation of day one of my wild west road trip.  If you missed part one you can check it out here.
After leaving Elk Horn, Iowa, where we saw no elk nor any horns, we got back on to I-80 West towards our final destination for day one of the trip, Cheyenne, Wyoming. I know a lot of people who have some sort of irrational fear of driving on I-80 and I think it's fantastic. Yes, be afraid, be very afraid and stay away!  Seriously, it's nicer for those of us who know how to drive and aren't afraid, we have the whole road to ourselves. Plus the majority of the highway is 75 MPH compared to most highways that are 65 MPH and there are plenty of gas stations and rest stops along the way.  Even the shoulders of the road are decent sized if you have to pull over for any reason. Oh and the road side attractions will make you giggle until you wish you'd have been smart like an astronaut and put on an adult diaper before you left home.
For example, the largest covered wagon that happens to look like a bad joke about your mom bending over to pull up her girdle.  What's even worse is that it's not even a covered wagon, it's a building made to look like one and is currently a golf cart shop. Thanks for the laughs Nebraska.
The most surprising thing to me was the gradual yet constant climb in elevation.  Once we reached the Wyoming border my ears popped.  It never came to mind that they would because the whole way through Nebraska it all looked relatively flat. When we began our trip we were at 528 feet above sea level and by the end of day one we were at 6,062 feet.
We were constantly warned to fill up the gas tank before reaching the Wyoming border so we did and and we were fully prepared for nothing but barren lands the rest of the way. Much to our surprise there were truck stops all along the way. Oh well, better safe than sorry?
The first day of our trip was a little over eleven hours but we gained an hour when changing to mountain time from central time.  We also left the humidity at home.
Whenever I travel I take a journal.  Some days I spend more time writing in it and other times I just put down notes, keep receipts and take pictures in order to later jog my memory.  This time I used the one I started last year on our trip to Minnesota and continued on. The little journals from are the perfect size to pack and write in.  One of my goals when packing is to go as small and light as possible. These don't take up much room and weigh next to nothing.
Referring back to my little journal I put notes about how the sun setting on the plateaus was really gorgeous.  After reading that I remembered it more clearly, it was the moment where we both were excited because the scenery was finally different from back home.  It was what we were hoping for, seeing new sights and experiencing new things.
In a way traveling is like a fountain of youth. Remember back to when you were a kid and everything was new. Everything was exciting and it was fun to see and learn new things. We can't turn back time but we can experience that feeling again by going new places, meeting new people and doing new things.

1 comment:

  1. Trying to picture that covered wagon may double their traffic! Thought your photo at top was a Keith Jacobshagen painting at first. Looking forward to the next posts.