Thursday, October 22, 2015


Dearest Readers,

8 am Mountain Time.  32 degrees and foggy in Rawlins WY. I-80 rolls on outside my hotel window, with its armadas of 18-wheelers.
Crossing the Rockies from Cheyenne to Laramie_red rock and pine bluffs
Yesterday I started my trek through the Rockies at 80 mph (the state speed limit)! No more Great Plains. 
Dense fog at 8,650 feet heading towards Laramie
Elk Mtn. near Rawlins with snow on top

View of Rawlins from my hotel

I’m in Rawlins, a mining town (Uranium and red iron ore) and petroleum. 

Lots of engineers and mechanical men in white pickups with painted company signs on the doors are staying here at the Pronghorn Inn. I asked one man this morning what work they do, and he said “in the oil fields”. These guys are ruddy faced and mostly burly…some with longish hair. They carried hard hats and wore jackets and boots smeared with dried mud. They are called roustabouts I think. Their work looks hard and very physical. No one smiled during the free breakfast, but they talked a lot.

Downtown Rawlins seems's been revitalized against the usual sprawl of fast food, chain stores and hotels near I-80. Etta and I checked it out.
Etta James looking for food and a place to pee (no grass or dirt anywhere downtown)

The main shopping street

Freestanding mural by Ray J. '03
The Strand_Rawlins WY

Rawlins is located in a wide valley called the Continental Divide Basin. Sagebrush, western terrain, bluffs, big sky, horse and cattle ranches and rock outcroppings say “Forever West”–according to the Welcome-to-Wyoming sign on I-80.
Rock outcroppings in weird pile-ups of stone on I-80 west

sagebrush, scruffy pines and dusty terain

Beautiful sky and wide open land

I found this bejeweled skull earring INSIDE my car yesterday when leaving Ogallala, Nebraska. How in the world? Perhaps outside Marguerita’s Mexican restaurant someone had the urge to toss it on my driver’s seat. I had the windows open a bit while Etta sat inside, probably wagging her tail at the intruder. I’ll consider it "a her" who will be my ironic good omen.
The mysterious, magical skull found inside my car!

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