Waking up on a cold and windy morning in a Wal-Mart parking lot, with a troupe of fellow travellers in a small town in Wyoming was not where we thought we would be on May 27th. but here we are. We wanted coffee to warm us. Our GPS took us for a wild goose chase through the town of Casper only to end up in McDonald’s adjacent to the Wal-Mart where we started.. When the laughter died down, we relaxed, sipping coffee, downloading pictures and catching up with our writing. We studied the map and decided to try a “Wyoming Backway” south to Rawlins. A short distance on the map but it took us all day to travel the 100 or so miles.
A sign pointed to Seminole State Park. We turned off the back road and headed to the park. At a crossroad we had to make a decision. One sign pointed to the park, the other followed the river toward the canyon.
We decided to take the road less travelled and head to the canyon even though the sign warned that it was a dead-end. A marvelous decision. The GPS’s incessant cry of “Recalculating, Recalculating” drove us crazy, she had to be muted. The sun could not reach into the canyon, The cliffsides towered over us and we were thrilled. We could hear the call of the cliff…”Climb here, climb high.” We could not resist.
The road did end abruptly at a dam. We enjoyed the sound of the rushing water, the smell of the short pines and the fresh cool air before returning to the back road.
After several hours of bumping along the dirt road, we needed to stretch our legs. There were no trails to follow. We were passing by a number of table top hills. We had no choice but to climb once again. We scrambled up the hillside among the cactus, rocks and sagebrush looking out for rattlesnakes. The climb was extremely steep but we made it to the top. The view was spectacular. we could see in all directions. The wind was so strong John was afraid I would be blown off and carried on the wind. I longed for a parachute.
We travelled further into the hills, higher and higher. Each bend in the road exposing another great view. We found another turnoff that lead to a fishing recreation area. A sign warned there was a controlled burn in progress. We did not care. The road was nothing but deep ruts where the excessive spring rains have washed the road away.
Travel was extremely slow on the one lane road. More steep cliffs, more hills to climb. We passed the burned area, the only sign was the charred remains. I was relieved when we made the loop and found ourselves back on the dirt road.
At the highest point we pulled off the road to enjoy the view of another dam and reservoir. On the long decent on the steep grade John had to put the van, not in 3rd gear, nor in 2nd but in 1st gear to help John to stop the car from careening off the sides into the canyon.
The sun set quietly in the west as we found ourselves on level ground once again and pulled into Rawlins. We found a truck stop next to McDonald’s and called it a night.