A Whole Lotta Nothin' (Part 3/8)
Wyoming can be quite barren, but don’t let the title to this blog make you think I didn’t like it. I actually thought Wyoming was awesome!
Wyoming can be quite barren, but don’t let the title to this blog make you think I didn’t like it. I actually thought Wyoming was awesome! I liked the large open areas of cacti and shrubs, the crazy amount of antelope and deer, and the heat (which wasn’t all that bad). When I first got into Wyoming I was preparing for a rough trip. It’s the whole reason I got a cart. I wanted to make sure I had enough food and water for those long stretches of “nothing” that I knew were coming.
As I was walking the first day, heading down 310 toward Lovell, a young man stopped and offered me a ride. I declined as usual and told him of my journey. He thought it was awesome and quickly asked if he could take a picture with me. I said of course! He jumped out of his car and snapped a quick pic, and I did the same.
Not more than two hours later a man pulled over and offered me lunch and $20. He had bought me a turkey sandwich, water, and chips. He told me he saw me walking all day. I accepted his offer and took a rest on the side of the road to consume my meal.
After eating my meal I realized I needed to do some shopping. I was running low on food. I headed to Lovell and decided I would get a motel room for the night. I wanted a place where I could store all my things and go around buying food and some supplies that I needed. Around 5 P.M. I got a room at Horseshoe Bend Motel. I stored my things and went shopping. There was a Family Dollar right across the street where I picked up some canned food and some Powerades, then I went to the Red Apple Supermarket four blocks down to buy some pastries, trail mix, batteries, etc. After my shopping I decided to buy dinner from a diner near the motel. I bought a cheeseburger and a couple of tacos and took them to go. I ate in the motel room while watching Arrested Development (the new season). Afterwards I took a shower, stocked all my new food and supplies, and went to bed quite early.
When I left in the morning it was nice and cool, but the sun came up quickly and changed that. Montana and Wyoming have that dry heat which I like. It doesn’t really affect me too much. Most of the time I was wearing my hoody with sleeves rolled up. I used the hood to block the sun from reaching the back of my neck, and I liked wearing the hoody because it gave me extra pockets to carry everything: wallet, phone, iPod, sunflower seeds, and gum.
I continued following Highway 310 down towards 20. The next big town I hit was Basin. I passed through it rather quickly but I wasn’t more than a mile away when a woman stopped in a van. She parked the van and approached me with a camera. She informed me she was a writer for the small paper in Basin and asked what I was doing. I told her my story and she took notes. She then took some pictures and told me to check online for the story later. My first newspaper interview!!
I continued down 310 to the next big town, Greybull. Here I found a small RV park where I stayed the night. The lady working there offered me a map of Wyoming and a list of some other campgrounds and RV parks I may hit on my way. I did a bit of researching and tried to plan my mileage so that I could hit an RV park or campground every so often. The next day I knew I wouldn’t reach one, but the day after I would hit Thermopolis and they had a couple of RV parks, so two days later I reached the Fountain of Youth RV Park and there I stayed for two days. They had a hot spring pool which was really awesome. The older couple that worked there were really friendly. The woman who worked there even drove me into town so I could pick up my next package from my mother. She had sent me my new pair of shoes. I definitely needed a new pair. The original pair I started out with was completely worn out on the bottom. Also, the side of one shoe had a huge hole. I guess my left pinky toe is really powerful…
The next day I took off early and headed for 20. I was hoping to make it to 20 before it got dark. The problem was I started to see a storm approaching. I watched as it moved quickly but it looked like it may pass me by without any showers. The wind picked up quickly and every time I would go downhill I had to hold my cart tightly and try not to fall. The wind was crazy, but it only lasted about thirty minutes. The large storm clouds passed but one small one managed to float over me and drench me in a ten minute shower. I donned my poncho and continued walking. When the small cloud passed over I took off my poncho and put on sunscreen because it was once again hot out and now there were no more clouds in the sky. It’s quite amazing how fast some storms pass by. I thought that was a southern thing. A couple minutes later a young couple pulled over and asked if I wanted anything from a store. They were heading into Casper (a city that was kinda far away) and would be heading back this way later in the afternoon. I told them that any kind of drinks or food would be nice. We exchanged phone numbers and they took off.
Around eight o’clock I reached the small town of Shoshoni. There wasn’t much in this town and I had to make a decision. There was a small rest stop at the edge of town and I had to decide whether I wanted to sleep there or walk another hour and a half and try to find a spot that was a little more hidden. I rested at the rest stop for a few minutes and ate some trail mix. I decided I didn’t want to camp out in the open so I was going to try and find a spot elsewhere. As I was walking off I met a truck driver and his son who had parked in the rest stop. We chatted a bit and I told him that I was looking for a place to camp. He said he would be staying the night at the rest stop in his truck. He said I could camp by his truck, that way if I had any problems he would be there. It made me feel a bit safer so I agreed to do that. We talked for a while, sharing stories until it got dark. Then I set up camp. The young couple who drove to Casper never text me so I figured maybe they just forgot about me… Oh well, no biggie.
The next morning I awoke at 5 A.M. I needed to get an early start because I had a long trip ahead of me. There was going to be about 100 miles of nothing… just desert. I climbed out of my tent and noticed a pile of water, Gatorade, and Cliff bars sitting by my cart. When I looked at my phone I realized that the young couple had text me around 10 P.M., after I had already gone to bed. They asked where I was, but evidently they had found me at the rest stop. I text them a “Thank You” and packed my new items into the cart.
I walked the 100 miles in 3 days. On the second day of my trek a man had pulled over and asked if I needed a ride. I declined and told him I was walking across America. He thought my story was interesting and said that he lived in Casper (the city I was heading towards). He offered me a place to stay and gave me his card. It turned out he was a pastor. I thanked him and told him I would most likely take him up on his offer. The next day I arrived in Casper and gave him a call. I met him at a gas station and he gave me a ride to his house. I was introduced to his wife and son and they set me up in their guest room. They were very kind. I needed to restock my food and fix the front tire on my cart (the plastic was wearing out). They let me stay there an extra day so I could get my errands finished. They also supplied me with awesome cooked meals like ribs and lasagna. When my time came to depart I thanked them again and we exchanged information so that I could keep in touch as I continued my travels.
To get out of the city I took a hiking trail to I25. I was aiming to do about 30 miles when some storm clouds began approaching. Luckily I ended up hitting a KOA campground and decided I would call it quits after 22 miles. I didn’t feel like trekking in the rain. I rested up and watched High Anxiety on my laptop before going to bed.
I continued my journey down I25, past Glenrock, Douglas, and Glendo. One day I happened upon a wallet on the side of the road. There were two bucks and a bunch of credit cards and receipts inside. I put the wallet in my cart to bring to a police station. From I25 I turned east onto Highway 26 towards Nebraska. A mother and daughter pulled to the side of the road thinking I had a baby in my cart. They ended up giving me a couple of Gatorades when I told them my story. About an hour after that another mother and daughter team pulled to the side of the road to offer assistance but instead gave me ten bucks for food. I camped out at Guernsey State Park that night. When I got to the state park it was already dark and I found that all the campsites were about a mile to two miles away from the entrance. Since I didn’t feel like walking anymore I just decided to camp by the entrance. The next day I reached Guernsey and there I located the police station and turned in the wallet. After Guernsey was the small town known as Fort Laramie; after that it was Lingle.
I was about a mile from Lingle when it started to pour rain. Lightning struck and thunder boomed as I tried to rush into town in the hopes of finding some place to take shelter. When I arrived in Lingle a police officer saw me and told me to head to the town park, which I did. I met her there and told her I was looking for a place to camp for the night. She told me the local church offered food and a place to sleep to traveling bikers. She believed they wouldn’t have a problem with me staying at the church so that is where I headed. At the church I met a lot of nice people who offered me food, a shower, and a couch to sleep on. I talked with some bikers and we shared travel stories. The next morning I ate a large breakfast consisting of cereal, eggs, bacon, a granola bar, a banana, and orange juice. It was an awesome way to start the day!
After Lingle was Torrington. Passing through Torrington I happened upon an Arby’s and since it had been a while since I had eaten fast food I took the ten dollars that I received from the second mother/daughter team and bought myself lunch. While eating my mozzarella sticks the mother who had supplied me with Gatorades outside of Guernsey showed up and said hi. We talked for a little while before she had to leave and I finished my lunch.
Torrington is only about twenty miles from the Nebraska border so that same day I made my way to another state. One more state down, and one more state closer! Goodbye Wyoming, Hello Nebraska!