Jackson Hole to Laramie
Laramie Travel Blog› entry 10 of 14 › view all entries
September 18th, 2002 – by: kingelvis14
This would be our eighth day on the road and the beginning of the end.
Highway 191 was busy this morning. The weather was cold and the air was crisp and clear. Cars and other motorcycles were zipping up and down the road, traveling to and from the popular town of Jackson Hole. The valley floor was spotted with elk who were oblivious to all the hurried travelers passing so close. Jackson held no interest to us. Everything looked over-priced and we stopped only long enough to fill up our gas tanks. We continued to ride south and the miles clicked off one by one. The sun was climbing high and the temperature was warming up nicely. Once we left Jackson in our rearview mirror, the traffic virtually disappeared and we were again riding alone.
All around us on both sides of the road were flat plains with jagged mountain tops in the distance. About every 75 miles or so, we would come into a small town with one traffic light and lots of muddy pickup trucks and four-wheelers. This was prime elk and deer country and the hunting season was already open. The folks in these little towns profited from all the out-of-state hunters that congregated here during the fall. We were hungry for lunch and started looking for a cafe or restaurant. Experience has taught us to watch for the parking lot with the most cars. That is where we have always gotten the best food. Sure enough, we found a great little cafe with good home-cooked meats, vegetables, and desserts. Yum.
Our sleep-in this morning was causing us to run behind. When we came into Rock Springs, Interstate 80 East would help us make up some time. Now the miles were passing by much quicker and it would be possible to get into Laramie before dark. All alongside the interstate were these funny looking fences that reminded me of the wooden slat barrier fences on the beaches in Florida. Except these were taller and usually in rows of three or four. Later I learned that they served as snow barriers for cattle. It seems that the snow would pile up in high drifts behind these barriers and offer some protection from the strong winter winds.
Everything was going along just fine and then ~ we were drifting towards the shoulder of the road. I waited a bit and, thankfully, Jerry pulled us back into the middle of our lane. Not much time passed and we were drifting again. "Jerry, what are you doing?" I then banged with my fist on the top of his helmet. After eating lunch and with a full belly, my husband had decided to take a nap at 80 mph on I-80. You see, when we travel to the mountains, he has trouble sleeping in the higher elevations. Red Lodge was 5,500 feet; Cooke City was 7,600 feet; Colter Bay was 6,800 and we were now traveling across the high plains of Wyoming. Poor Jerry was desperate for some good sleep but this just wasn't a good time to nod off!
After we settled into our room at the Laramie Holiday Inn, he figured we had ridden far enough to have dropped out of the higher elevations and he would get a full eight hours of sleep tonight. WRONG! Laramie is home to the University of Wyoming Cowboys and is situated on the high plains at an elevation of 7,200 feet. Sigh. No sleep tonight for Jerry. Maybe tomorrow.
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