After spending a
loooong day at work, spent mostly trying to figure out what I had forgotten
to take care of, I raced home and began packing my truck for the ardous
journey south to Sun Prairie, WI. Reed had procured the use of his mothers
Grand Caravan for the 1300 mile trip so my trusty Santa Fe would sit this
one out. In truth, it would have been a cramped ride and Reed's Forester
wouldn't have been any better. We would travel in comfort to be sure.
But first, Todd and
Matt's soccer team had a home game that I wanted to watch/coach. It would
be the last game I would see during the season, and did not turn out well
as they lost 3-2.
Regardless the outcome,
I quickly said good bye to my boys and mother and hopped into my truck.
I was finally going back to Wyoming.
I had hoped to be
at Ward's place in Sun Prairie by 10:30, and, as usual, was right on time,
arriving at 10:35. Quick introductions were made to gentlemen I had previously
only talked to via e-mail and phone. How would we get along? Would they
be weenies? Would they think I was a weenie?
It didn't take long
to slam my gear into the back of the van and quickly check my vehicle
for some valuable piece of equipment or travel necessity I may have left
behind. By 10:50 we were off with "the Warden" behind the wheel,
who would stay there until about 2:30 AM while we got to know each other
and Reed tried to get some sleep.
Having not yet slept
didn't prove to be a problem for me as I took us through Iowa during the
wee hours of the morning. Or was it Nebraska?
Dawn couldn't come quickly enough so that I could
get a couple of hours of sleep before stopping for breakfast at Sapps.
Quite the breakfast I might add and just what we needed to get us through
By noon we had crossed into Wyoming and could
almost smell the Rockies and at 4:00 pulled into Rock Springs for gas.
I would "take us home" to Pinedale ("all the civilization
you need") over the high desert and into a room at the Log Cabin
Motel for the night.
When we got to our room it was decided that it
was too hot inside so we drove over to Faler's General Store so that Reed
could buy small fan. I bought a few post cards and wondered how long it
would be before a Walmart Super Center displaced the iconic Faler's, turning
Pinedale into something less desirable?
After we got settled in a bit it was time to get
that last good meal before hitting the trail for a week. I lobbied for
the Cafe on Pine, knowing chef Wendi was working while Reed thought Stockman's
was the ticket. We eventually ambled into the Cowboy Bar & Lounge
and ambled out even before a waitress could say hello---too much smoke.
A bit further down the street we found the Bottoms Up Brewery & Grill,
which I had heard about, and decided to check it out. We got lucky and
grabbed a table outside on the patio. This might be good
Let me just say that the one waiter on duty (complete
with a multi tool strapped to his belt) was in way over his head. We eventually
got some food and a beer which was more-less what we ordered. The burgers
and Philly weren't bad but the fries were great.
We walked back to the Motel and began getting
our gear ready for the morning. Reed and Ward finished first and turned
in early, but I still had some work to do. The previous weekend had been
spent at the Wisconsin Dells with the family cutting a good chunk of my
prep time. I had no idea if I'd get everything into my Vapor Trail or
not, so I brought my Gregory Forester along as insurance. Thankfully everything
fit into the smaller, lighter Vapor Trail.
I finished off the night writing my post cards
and trying to fall asleep in the hot cabin. It didn't take long.