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Wheatland County Line (Acoustic Version)

Yesterday I drove 625 miles. The day started at 3am when I decided that sleep was outside the bounds of the possible, and I should be driving instead. I ate a bowl of granola, drank a large cup of coffee, and was on my way out of Casper at 3:40. My next destination was Guernsey, WY to see the ruts carved into soft sandstone by the wheels of Conestoga wagons on the Oregon Trail. I-25 was empty and the sky was dark. The RV and I were suspended in a world in between night and day, silent and open to possibilities. I took the exit to go east on Route 20 because that's what the GPS wanted, not because I had planned on it. The sky was beginning to lighten, and I could make out the curves of the land even if the features were still in obscurity. The empty road became emptier. I drove long enough to make turning back no longer a good option. The GPS told me I would be taking a right onto Route 270, which I hoped would be in better condition than the gravel roads marked by numbers that I had been going by. I was incredibly grateful for the paved and painted road I turned onto. The landscape was beautiful, and it could have been due to sleep deprivation but in the early morning light the trip was dreamlike, outside the boundary of normal existence. There was a sense of wonder and expectation of good things around every bend. Mule deer crossed the road in front of me, antelope grazed by the fences, and dark Angus cattle were scattered here and there in the prairie. Route 270 was over 30 miles long, and there was only one car I met on the whole of it.

I made it to Guernsey by 6am, and found the Oregon Trail Ruts Historical Site. By now the sun was above the horizon, giving good light and shadows to the path the wagons took in the 1800's. I was in awe of the effort and determination the pioneers had to drive their wagons through incredibly difficult terrain in search of a better life. The ruts were dug deep into the rock, wagon after wagon after wagon, each driver following the other, heading west, travelers living hard and frequently dying before journey's end.

I continued on my way east and south. I was very tired, and stopped a couple of times for cat-naps, but kept on. My goal was Lincoln, Nebraska. I don't know why I didn't stop - the journey itself seemed more important than how I was feeling. The last 20 miles before I got to Lincoln were the worst: massive construction delays combined with triple-digit heat, aching shoulders and tired eyes. I pulled into Camp-a-Way RV resort, got my spot, hooked up the water and electricity and turned on the RV's air conditioning. I walked around, but there was no one outside; everyone was behind closed doors trying to keep cool. I did the same, and went to bed early. Tonight I will go to the open mic at the Crescent Moon Coffeehouse, and drive on eastward tomorrow.


June 28, 2012 @05:16 pm That's a lot of driving in one day for one person! I remember you said something about being back by July 2nd! I guess it sounds possible with the way you made progress yesterday! Susan Clark
June 28, 2012 @04:31 pm Wow! Sounds like a full day! Looking forward to seeing you when you return! Stay safe and traveling mercies... Dee Ledger

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