Sunday, Aug. 22
Ray, the man next door, had me over in the morning for coffee before I left. He like all others, have been kind in their assistance.
Being that I now have to pull my trailer, it was more difficult work. Added to this was the Wyoming wind which I now felt in force. Going with you - it makes your work easier; against you - it is much more difficult. It was against me.
The bright spot in my day (other than the hot overhead sun) was a phone call I made to Don Nordin of Equinox Trailers in Cottage Grove, Oregon. I told him of my dilemma and he assured me there would be no problem making a replacement and that he would have it in the mail the next day. This is one of the many advantages of having something custom made. From the beginning to the present, Don has always been helpful in meeting my needs and I recommend Equinox Trailers to others.
When I arrived in Shoshoni, it consisted of two gas stations selling refreshments and that’s about it. Therefore, I guzzled down some cold juice, turned eastward and kept walking toward Casper. Leaving Shoshoni, I had hoped to fill some jugs at a rest stop but the only water available was coming through activated sprinkler heads. I learned that with care, one can fill containers from an irrigation system and almost stay dry in the process.
With my change of direction, the wind was less bothersome and the sun was now at my back. Later I phoned my wife and told her of the days events but alas I had one more in store. While talking I turned and saw dark rain clouds quickly bearing down from a western sky. “Bye, Honey - gotta go!”
An amass of small lessons can add to great wisdom and I am learning a bit at a time. I have now learned that weather changes quickly in the open skies of the West. The wind was soon at gale force and I decided to make camp right then and there before the rains also hit - too late. The rains had arrived, the lightening was crackling, and I went into emergency mode creating quite a scene. With prickly pear everywhere, I hurriedly found a clear spot to place my tent which the winds had almost carried off. I was prepared for this situation and put weighted items into the tent but to my surprise it was again nearly carried away! With the weather now upon me in full force I pounded in tent stakes but my ground cover was swept away in the process. At last I threw myself into the confines of my shelter but one last insult remained. As I lay down I was stabbed through the flooring by prickly pear needles - ouch! Evidently I did not see them all. I lay nursing my pride and small injuries until the rains subsided and then tried clearing the pesky pear from my camp - easier said than done. Like all cactus, they have a shallow root system and can be easily kicked aside but don’t do this - I did it and paid the price. Having soft leather shoes my right toe looked like Bowser’s snout full of porcupine quills and I spent quite a while with tweezers removing the buggers.
Did you know that prickly pear needles come in all sorts of sizes? Some are like large pine needles and some are like little thin herring bones. Another lesson learned the hard way.
One more thing worth mentioning. I have never heard as many coyotes as I did tonight. Really - they were loud, numerous, and seemed to be just outside my door. I wish I could have recorded them.
Oh, by the way, I found my ground cover.