One of the Longest Days: Part 2 Wheatland Wyoming

Part 2 of the Longest Day on the Road

This is the point where the complete lack of a plan and a stubborn tenacity to push through can make things a bit challenging.  In the previous blog (Read it first to get the setting for this part of the story), it was an early and incredible start to the day.  It was coming off a delightful few days in Durango and Cortez Colorado, where I spent a lot of time with friends and creating new connections.   Basically, first part of the day GREAT!  second part, BRUTAL!

By the end of it, I had driven 494 miles and about 10 hours behind the wheel!

I-25 Construction from Colorado Springs to Wyoming

The drive north from Colorado Springs towards Denver, Estes Park and Boulder area isn’t the greatest.   But with solid construction, it was positively atrocious.   There were more accidents than I could count, mostly minor fender benders.  It was stopped at several points, crawling at others.   It was maddening driving.

This is also the part of the trip where I didn’t have a set destination or idea.   The folks I could have seen in Fort Collins where around.    South Dakota’s Badlands, Black Hills and Wind Cave were calling me.  So pushed north, past Fort Collins, eventually reaching Wyoming.

Wyoming Is Beautiful in Parts, but Not The One’s Where I was.

Wyoming Open Expanses

Did I mention this was almost a 500 mile day?  Argh!   I just wanted to get out of the the 1-25 construction.   The map showed a few towns in Wyoming and would put me very close to South Dakota.

The first and largest town was Cheyenne.   The truck needed gas. While fueling up, I looked for campgrounds and motels.   After a long day already,  a motel and hot shower sounded really good.    All of the hotels and Motels were either booked or extremely expensive, as in $300+ per night expensive.    I didn’t find may good camping options either.   Keep Pushing Onward.

This was the point where my gut told me it was going to get a little dicey.

I pushed onward, trusting I would find a place for the night.  As you can see in the picture above, there weren’t a lot of trees to hang a hammock.   The wind was insane, just howling across the grasslands.  Miles and Miles of nothing.     Unlike the scenic Mountain and Yellowstone of Western and Northern Wyoming,  South Eastern parts were flat, bleak and unending. After too many miles and too many hours, I made it to the small town of Wheatland.   It was run down, buildings slowly decaying from the weather.   The population seemed to consist largely of truckers, transient road workers and people passing through.

It was fortunate to find Motel and grab a room.   It was a long night, and it was a moment of frustration and some doubt.   The doubt of where I was, what I was doing and a lot of other discussions.   Alone, tired and I was spent.    For the first time, doubt of the journey and if it was the right decision.  Isolated in rural Wyoming, no home, no plans for the coming days.   Anger boiled up, I was pissed at myself.

Rather then dive in to the pity party pool, I decided to just float in it for a moment.   Allowing the sensation to flow through and not be consumed by it.   To recognize it, test it and see if it was true.   After a short while, that test revealed that it wasn’t my truth.   That my decision was solid and I felt it.     I was told this moment would hit.  I recognized it as such.   There is a lot more on the other side of that moment.    Tomorrow will bring a fresh start and clear head.

A Good Breakfast and Great Cup of Coffee Can Change Your World

Good Coffee From the Road.  Wunderblend is the only way to go!

Wunderbar Coffee has been a daily ritual on my morning walks.  Before I left, the owner Seth gifted me a fantastic camping espresso pot and Wunderblend beans.   Once the coffee was ready, it was time for breakfast.

Tailgate Breakfast: Eating Well On The Road

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And eating fast food to start the day will really impact your body and experience. Breakfast was not going to be the two fast food chains in Wheatland.   I needed to claim my joy and feed myself well.

Cooking something I truly enjoy and do make three meals a day whenever possible. Traveling should be no exception. This morning I whipped up a quick breakfast and enjoyed the view of the Motel 6 parking lot from the tailgate.

Garlic potatoes, toast and scrambled eggs was the breakfast of choice. All of these ingredients store and travel well. The protein is also a good way to start the day. During breakfast, I had a great conversation with the gentleman that was working on the local Road crew. And even beat the rain before breakfast was over.

If you’re going to be traveling for an extended period of time or just want to eat well, plan for roadside or camp cooking. It’s enjoyable, satisfying and gives you a great sense of independence.

With a Full Belly and A Content Heart, the Journey Continues

The road opened up and are some really good things to come.   Onward.

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