Day 3, July 11
Very different day today - the most different of all our journeys. It started out OK - we visited a state prison in Laramie, Wyoming from the 1800s and early 1900s that had Butch Cassidy as one of its inmates. Pee Wee locked me up in one of the cells and then he proceeded to find a female inmate to befriend. So what if she's pushing 80.
Then we made some good time and made it to some cool landmarks north of Rock Springs, Wyoming. First we had to travel over 20 miles of dirt and gravel roads through some of Wyoming's sage bush desert. These trips continue to be learning experiences - I didn't know Wyoming had deserts, but it does. In fact when we finally finished the 20 miles we walked around on sand dunes that are supposedly the largest in our country and only second worldwide to the sand dunes in the Sahara Desert. Shortly before that though, the interesting part of today's trip began.
We drove 5 miles in another direction to the White Mountain Petroglyphs where we parked and walked a half a mile to the drawings and writings on the face of one of the mountains in and around caves. The writings were done over 2000 years ago. (See who can identify the animal behind me in the picture). That was really cool but what happened to me wasn't. It must have been the hard boiled egg from breakfast, but whatever it was hit me hard at the petroglyphs. I told Pee Wee that I had to hurry back to the outhouse near the start of the trail, but I didn't make it. It's a good thing that we were the only two humans within a 20 mile radius of the place because I got sick - real sick. Some kind of food poisoning I'm sure. I don't want to gross anyone out, but let's just say some sage bush in the desert is dying tonight.
Then, after visiting the sand dunes we were halfway back to the highway when our rental car got stuck in the sand. This could have been pretty serious because we were ten miles from any civilization, the temperature was a little over 90, no cell phone coverage, and we were in a desert. I know Chevy Chase and Wally World may come to mind, but it was kind of serious. We dug down low around the wheels in the sand, we found driftwood and pieces of pavement from an attempt at a road that didn't work and placed them in front of the four tires. I drove, Pee Wee pushed and .. success! High fives, chest bumps and shrieks of victory might look weird from old codgers like us, but in the middle of a desert who cares. (We reenacted the victory in the sand in the picture below). We jumped in, took off on a little steadier ground, and then ... flat tire. Taking it off and replacing it with the small emergency tire wasn't easy in the sand but we made it and now we need to buy a new tire in the morning. We took it to a tire place but the tear in the sidewall means it's history.
We're staying in Jackson, Wyoming and had planned to get an early start to see what's up with the Grand Tetons, but the Tetons are going to have to wait until we have four normal tires. No good deeds today but we probably saw fewer than ten people all day due to our adventures, which makes good deeding kind of tough.
Even with today's bad luck, it has still been a great trip. Our country still continues to amaze me and I'm sure I'll be amazed more as the days go by.