The Tunnel

Friday, August 13
I got up early and headed out with Buffalo Bill Reservoir as my destination for the end of the day. The day was uneventful other than putting miles under my feet and just trying to hang in there until I could get to Cody on Saturday for a little rest and recuperation. I finally made camp at the west end of the reservoir and set up my tent dog tired. As my cell phone was dead again I asked a family if I could use their camper's electricity to charge it and they ended up offering me to join them in their evening picnic of hot dogs and baked beans. My natural inclination is to decline but I surprised myself with a ready, "Yes, please," and was soon filling a plate with beans and macaroni salad. I had a good conversation with the men (all locals) about hunting, wolves, and the effect of the rich moving into the area. I was glad to be welcomed into their circle.
They warned me about a tunnel through which I would pass to which I replied I did not even know existed. "What tunnel?" The man said it was seven miles ahead and more than a half mile in length with no bike lanes. He warned that I would have to be extremely careful due the wide trucks and RV's that travel though it.

Saturday, August 14
I had gone to bed very concerned by the men's warning and awoke at 3:30 so that I could travel through the tunnel before traffic began. I was on an empty road at 4:15 guided only by starlight until dawn broke finally broke in the eastern sky. At 6:30 I entered the now infamous tunnel and after an uneventful passage I safely exited the other side. The sun was shining bright, Cody, Wyoming, was in sight, and nothing could stop me now - nothing except the Wyoming State Patrol!
As I reached the city limits a patrol car came out to greet me putting on his flashers just as I was taking a picture of the "Welcome to Cody" sign. What could this guy want with me on a sunny Saturday morning I wondered? He got out of the car and politely asked me what I was up to. Here we go again I thought. He was quite friendly and said that the state patrol office had received a phone call that "a man was walking down the highway." Can you believe it? Apparently here in Cody, Wyoming, it is unusual for a man to not be driving a pick-up truck and such a situation merits investigation. After talking, he welcomed me to town and wished me a nice day before driving away. This patrolman represents law enforcement officer #9.
I was quite glad to get a room at a motel after emerging from eight days in the woods.
Has anyone seen my snake-skin boots?

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