Thursday, May 13, 2021

Wyoming I’ve missed ya!

Ten months of preparation are behind me and the departure date finally arrived.  I turned in grades last Friday and spent the last week wrapping up loose ends in preparation for the big trip.  Part of me can’t believe how much energy I’ve put into making lists, working on my canoe, and fretting about little details.  My other self wonders if I’m truly ready to be on the water paddling day after day for eight weeks.  I guess only time will tell.

The plan for today was to drive to Glenrock, Wyoming, and stay with Scott Butler, a colleague from our teaching days at the community college in Cheyenne, WY.  Scott is currently managing The Higgins Hotel in Glenrock, WY which is just over the halfway point in my drive from Lincoln, NE.  I had forgotten how gorgeous Wyoming is, especially in the spring, so it’s good to be back and see an old friend at the same time.

The drive from Lincoln was long but fairly uneventful.  My route took me through western Nebraska via Scottsbluff.  The canoe rode pretty well on top of the truck although the rudder assembly shook loose due to a crack that I hadn’t noticed before.  I called Scott Smith from Superior Canoes who buillt the boat and, even though he’s no longer actively building canoes, he agreed to try to locate a replacement part and mail it to me at my food pickup in North Dakota.  He thought the location of the crack won’t be a problem but having a backup will ease my mind.  In the mean time, I’ll epoxy the crack and reassemble and keep an eye on things.  I guess I now have a problem to keep my overactive mind occupied instead of the negative thoughts that hit me at the beginning of any trip.

Tomorrow is an early departure and drive to Bozeman, Montana.  At some point I have to have my watercraft inspected for zebra mussels.  I tried to do that as I entered Wyoming but the check station had closed 15 minutes before I arrived.  So much for trying to be a good citizen. :)

The boring view from my front window on the approach to Chimney Rock.

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