6 Sep 2013

Adventures with Wilbur - pt4b - Wyoming and a miracle

It took me a few days to decide how I wanted to write yesterday's post.  In the end I decided to give you the honest feeling of being there.

Wyoming didn't disappoint.  This time it wasn't a head wind, or even a tail wind, it was a cross wind, about 40 mph (60 km/hr) according to the highway signs.  We thanked whatever powers that happened to be listening for having given us the insight to install the stabilization bars.  Even so, we were buffeted from side to side whenever a strong gust caught us.  At least the roads were good. :)

It made for a slow and tiring day during which we discussed where we were going and Wilbur's health.  He was driving well, the engine sounded good, the gauges stayed stable, there were no leaks ... and if there were a few more rattles, well, when we had some time we would tighten things down.  The strange vibrating metal sound?  There was that piece that looked like it needed a weld but it wasn't affecting our ability to drive.  We decided that nothing seemed overly wrong with Wilbur and never did try to call Coach-Net back.

Where were we going today?  That question was a bit trickier.  Our usual stop is Cheyenne but just our luck, we happened to be passing through during Cheyenne Frontier Days, a huge rodeo and western celebration.  So Cheyenne and the surrounding areas were out of the question.  They had been booked up long before our plans were made.  Not that those would have mattered, any plans I might have had were somewhere on the side of the road in Nevada.   Eventually, we arrived at the day's plan; 400 miles, or the first available campground east of Sidney, Nebraska.  We're so organised. lol

The sales person who sold Wilbur to us, we nicknamed Guy.  He looked and sounded like Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  It was a short leap to Guy Smiley of Sesame Street fame.  Enjoy the Cookie Monster Skit, we all had fun singing the song.  A bit punch drunk perhaps?  still, if we couldn't laugh . . .

I think the Jimmy Buffet CD made it into the CD player but, I'm not sure.  I never thought to write down which CDs we played on which days.

The closer we came the more RV's, toy haulers, campers, 5th wheels, horse trailers, buses pulling toy haulers pulling horse trailers!  It was a parade!

When we stopped for gas the sky was looking ominous.  Transport trucks seemed to be parking with their cabs pointing into the wind and when I was cleaning the windshield a piece of the black trim ripped off in a gust.   ggrrr!

I tried to get a radio station to hear a weather forecast while Dustin paid.  Static, loud and clear.  double grrr!

Well, it's just trim and the idea of parking out in the open when the skies looked like this just seemed like a bad plan. So off we went.

As we carried on the traffic thinned out and what was left seemed to be going much faster.  We on the other hand weren't.  The cross wind had gotten stronger so Dustin slowed down.  I was trying to find us a place to stop and camp.  No bars, again! (or was it still?)

For the first time during the trip I unlatched the seat belt and went to the back.  I got out "The book" which said there was a recreation area between Laramie and Cheyenne.  It was conveniently located just off of I-80 with scenic views, great hiking, a lake, fabulous rock formations.  It sounded like a worthwhile stop and we were only a few miles west of Laramie.  I programmed the GPS to Vendauwoo Recreation Area.

Those clouds moved in fast and along with them came lightening to the north of us. (left to you)  I didn't manage to catch it with the phone camera but trust me it was spectacular, sheets and forks.

Yes, that is my finger.  lol

We've both been in a few thunder bangers before and this one didn't look like a lot of fun.   A bit scary and got even more so as the daylight disappeared.

The cab suddenly got cold and the wind disappeared .  I looked at the book again and noticed that the park was at an elevation of 8,000 feet.  Much higher than the surrounding area!  Maybe it wasn't such a good plan to park the tin can there.

While I was taking this incredible picture out of the side window, Dustin saw a sign to the KOA in Laramie.  We were both quite certain it would be full.  Laramie is only 50 miles (80 km) from Cheyenne.  At least we would be off the highway when it hit.  We also talked about another night in a hotel or motel.

At the correct exit, we got off.  The Girl Friend confidently told us to 'turn around when possible.'  Gotta love off switches.  ;)

With only minor confusion, we found the camp ground and pulled up in front of the main building, immediately behind one of the big rigs that had passed us not too long ago.

"He took the last spot."
"with our luck"

Dustin went in and I played with the radio again.  A local station came in with only a bit of static.

The bus left and began circling the campground, presumably looking for his site.  It was taking a long time for Dustin to come out and I began to feel some confidence that we were getting a site so moved Wilbur forward.  The people behind us needed room to get in off of the street and the ones behind them and ... How often do you see a traffic jam caused by a camp ground?

Dustin came out grinning from ear to ear.  We had a site, we had full hook ups and we were right by the front office so only had to pull in.  I'm pretty sure we set up in record time and as I closed the door the rain started down in pelting sheets.

Our California boy really didn't know what to think of the thunder and the lightening.  Wow!  He really is from a different world.  I couldn't have been happier.  See the thing is, I miss thunder storms.  There's something completely humbling about them.  It does the soul good to feel like that on occasion, I think.

As with all storms of that kind, it passed by quite quickly.  Leaving fresh washed, cool air behind.  It was still daylight and Dustin was At last able to get the grill out.

He cooked and I checked for damage.  No leaking roof!  No water anywhere but outside where it belonged.  Small miracles happen every day.

Sid had to check out the playground.  It wasn't much fun.  Everything was slippery but we dug out the portable DVD player and watched a movie.  Finally a stress free evening and plans who needs them, this is a vacation.

Have a wonderful weekend

~ Carolyn


  1. Great read. I hate thunder & lightening.

  2. I see I am behind on your travels ;)
    Glad you found a camping spot :)
    I do love me a good storm..thunder, lightening and rain. As long as I am dry and inside, lol.

  3. We drove across country from Kansas City to California and back. I completely feel your traveling pain. We ran into all kinds of weather as well. Somehow it's a little bit easier when you are in a thunderstorm at home. <3


Hearing from you makes me smile, thank you!