Thursday, September 3, 2009

I can’t seem to exit Wyoming just yet. Maybe it's the cocktails, liquor, music and comedy!

I want to leave but it’s so massive and I decided not to go west into Idaho and south into Utah. I am heading toward Denver and then east into Kansas and so on. Leaving Dubois, I needed something to eat and stopped at Fort Something-or-other. It ended up being an Indian reservation called Wind River. It’s funny because us New Yorkers called these folks Native Americans being all PC but they seem to call themselves Indians and white folks call them that here too. Who knows? From what I could see, there weren’t any restaurants, just the convenience store that sold fast food stuff. I got a corn dog (can’t have enough of those) and some trail mix. Noticed that most of the young men in the area were dressed as if they were in a street gang in Tijuana. What’s up with that? I also passed a stinky skunk on the road and pondered whether skunks always smell the same no matter where they are. Is that a stupid Deep Thoughts-like question or is it not so bad? I mean, has the smell never evolved? Can it change based on what the skunk eats? Okay, enough about that.

On the radio, I heard that the feds in Tulsa shut down a meth lab operating out of a stairwell in a state office building. Yikes.

Later, I stopped for gas in Walcott and had to use the facilities. I walked inside and the cashier instantly pointed to the women’s room and said, “You from New York?” Affirmative. I did my business and on the way out, I asked, “Well you know where I’m from, where are you from?” Yonkers, he said. But I left there 50 years ago via Tacoma, Washington. Said he’s never been back, which was a lie. I think folks just like to say that because it announces their distaste of the east coast. So odd. He asked me what I do back in Queens and I said I worked with juvenile offenders. I’ve been alternating between that and website designer. Sure enough, the guy next to me who I thought was a rent-a-cop was indeed a correctional officer. I remembered seeing a state penitentiary on the map a few exits back. He just nodded and was on his way. Guess he didn’t want to talk shop.

Did you know that they announce hunter arrests on the radio here? They do. First and last name and city of origin. So strange. Can you imagine if they listed all the offenses each day in NYC and outed you on the radio? Unreal. I know there are police blotters in the Post but it’s just a sampling, right? Not a full list. Anyway, they also have showers at gas stations. Neat, eh? I also love how there are drive-in liquor stores. You have an itch and you don’t even have to get outta the car. Oh, and can we all start saying “Holy Mackerel” again. I heart that phrase. I heard it today and it made me giggle.

While driving through the part of Wyoming where no one lives apparently, I wondered whether Geico had a wildlife clause. What if I hit a bear or buffalo? Would that be covered? There was even an ad for a program that teaches folks how to be careful around bears that creep up on them in their yard or near their children. I never want to live in a place where I have to bring my kids to a program like this. Don’t talk to strangers should be the extent of it. One guy commented in response to the program, “they live here too I guess.”

I started getting hungry again after Rawlins so I thought I’d stop at the next exit (Sinclair) but it smelled like sewage and all my windows were closed. Therefore, I figured any eating establishment would also smell like poo. I passed on Sinclair and waited until Laramie to eat. Tried what seemed to be the only Thai restaurant in the historic area and it was awful. I got the safe dish that no one can screw up, Pad Thai. They screwed it up. I ordered it with chicken and the poultry tasted like fish and the noodles were hard. Gross! Otherwise, cute downtown area. Just don’t go to Anong’s Thai Cuisine. Yucky.

Ran into some other graffiti photogs on my way to the motel. Building's going to be demolished soon so it's a good thing they're documenting it.

Have you ever heard of the Continental Divide? I hadn’t. But it’s this line that divides one side of this continent from the other. Thus, the inventive name. Apparently, I’ve been following it all day long and the signs indicate what elevation you are at. The highest point I noticed was 9500 feet and soon after, I psychosomatically started feeling altitude sickness. I’d like to officially place blame on all of my history/social studies teachers for never fully teaching us geography. It has nothing to do with my not studying. Not only have I never heard of this line on the map that splits the continent in two, but I keep having to look at my kid’s atlas that Brynn gave me to remind myself of my potential routes. How embarrassing is that? Hand me a map of Europe, however, and I’m good.

Hit 3000 miles yesterday. Nuts!

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