We left the Black Hills and headed for Colorado. From the time we left until we pulled into Cheyenne for the night we were beaten up by vicious cross winds. The motorhome bucked and swayed while Ben hung onto the steering wheel for dear life. While we were on 2-lane highways, the draft from oncoming semis yanked the coach towards the centerline. We stopped at a rest area and a couple tired-looking bikers got off their rides and staggered towards the building. It must have been a chore to keep their bikes upright in the wind and the draft from the big rigs. A group of kids took turns snapping pictures of their hair and clothing whipping in the wind. When we turned south on 25 I took my turn behind the wheel. It was still plenty windy, but nothing on the level that Ben had to tolerate. We passed a road sign topped with a straining wind sock that said, “potential high winds.” “No sh*t,” I grumbled. Luckily for me, I-25 is a 4-lane highway, so it was much easier to navigate.
I tried to take pictures of the emptiness that is northern Wyoming, but endless horizon and sky just doesn’t translate well in a photograph. Grassland for miles, interspaced by weirdly shaped rock outcroppings, cattle here and there—I can’t imagine what a harsh life it must be. I thought about how spoiled we were, rolling along in our house on wheels with our dogs snoozing away, and hoping that we didn’t break down along the route.
I pulled into the Cheyenne Wal-Mart and in negotiating the parking lot, I cut a turn too quickly and the poor Subaru went off-roading over the curb. That extra 4 feet in coach length makes a difference! We got parked safely, did a quick reconnoiter and everything seemed to be OK. We got settled in and hit a local Mexican restaurant based on a Trip Advisor search. The Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant was excellent! We devoured our dinners and headed back to crash. By the time we got back, there were several other motorhomes hunkered down in the lot with us.
The next morning we wanted to get an early start, so we did some quick shopping and hustled back to the coach. Dark clouds started to spit rain and the temperature dropped, so we hurried back to hook up the car and get going. I was stowing stuff when Ben poked his head in and said, “We’re not going anywhere for a while. We have a flat tire.” Immediately I thought I’d likely bent the rim of the wheel on the Subaru. I searched the area on my phone and found a Discount Tire place nearby. A half an hour later I got a call from Ben. Turns out we picked up a nail somewhere and the tire was punctured and worse, unrepairable. Fortunately our tire guarantee was good in Wyoming, so for 16 bucks we were back in business with a new tire. By the time Ben got back it was cold, windy and raining, so we had to hook up in the rain—so much fun to do. We set out two hours late, right into the maw of Labor Day weekend traffic. I was fine with all that, because at lest the flat tire wasn’t my fault.
We crawled through Denver at about 12 mph. Things picked up after we got out of town, the sun came out and we drove up and down the mountains headed for the tiny burg of Kremmling. Why would we ever go there, you might ask? You’ll find out in the next installment.