Wednesday, September 3
The drive on Route 26 from Dubois to Riverton is scenic the first half of the trip. The road clings to the Wind River as it flows through a grassy valley. This is followed by an area of dramatic red rock cliffs.
Before long one drives across desert — the badlands of the Wind River Indian Reservation.
One thing I’ve learned driving around the western states of the U.S. is this — It’s not necessary to see a sign to know one is driving through an Indian reservation. If the land is really crappy, you’re probably crossing a rez. Much of the Wind River Reservation cannot be traversed by land motor vehicle.
It has natural beauty — stark forms striped with geologic layers, but forget about raising cattle or growing vegetables on it.
Before reaching Riverton, Bridget and I take a break at a rest stop. She wiggles with excitement as I put on her black suit and leash for a walk. She’s been a good traveler today, sleeping most of the way so far. I want to give her some activity before leaving her in the Perfect Tow Vehicle when I shop at Wal-Mart.
Soon we arrive at Riverton, a bustling, little city (pop. 10,615: 2010 census).
I leave Bridget in the PTV with the windows cracked. It’s a warm day, yet it’s breezy and I know from experience that the interior of the PTV will remain comfortable. Bridget puts up a fuss, of course. She always does that.
When I return, she gets to eat the chicken from my pre-packaged Caesar salad.
Next we find our way to the United Parcel Service Customer Center.
I do not have a pleasant experience at the CUSTOMER Center. The clerk isn’t rude, but she certainly could use some basic customer relations training. “I’ll be with you in a moment” is always better than”Yer gonna’ hafta’ wait,” especially if one is already quietly waiting and there are only two customers in the building.
I see the package containing my new laptop sitting on the counter. I ask about the other three packages and I’m told that the camera lenses were sent back. The reason? Because the package had no name on it and because it was delivered by Fed Ex.
How did she know that was my package if it didn’t have my name on it? How does she know what it contained? And what does Fed Ex have to do with anything? What? Fed Ex packages have cooties?
I admit I’m not at my polite best when I look around the large, empty warehouse and remark sarcastically, “You had to send my package back because you didn’t have enough space to store it until I arrived?”
I ask about the other two packages and I do not get the response I’m hoping for.
Where are the other two packages? My new camera and the memory card that goes with it? There aren’t enough boxes in this warehouse to fill the bed of a pick-up, yet she doesn’t know about the other two packages.
This distresses me.
“Do you have the tracking numbers?” she asks.
I tell her I’ll go out to my van and look them up online. This persuades her to walk 15 feet to a cabinet and open the door. The cabinet is empty, except for two packages . . . mine.
I thank her and leave. I sit in the PTV for a few minutes to allow my nervous system to untangle itself before I attemptt to find my way out of Riverton.
Even so, I’m so rattled that I lose my sense of direction.
After twice driving the length of busy Riverton, we turn onto Route 789 to drive across the flat, desert plain to Lander.
That’s when we are hit with the notorious Wyoming wind.
You’re probably seen the Wyoming wind sock . . . .
I envision the PTV and BLT bouncing like beach balls across the flat landscape.
Gee, it’s only another 25 miles or so to Lander. Do I want to drive in this wind? Noooo. At that moment, two miles south of Riverton, we approach a big, flashing sign: Wind River Hotel and Casino.
“Well, Bridge,” I remark as I drive us into the casino parking lot. “Tonight will be our first experience with casino camping.”
All night long the casino parking lot is lit up like daytime.
I cover two of the three windows with Reflectix, leaving one uncovered for ventilation. Even so, my brain is not convinced it is nighttime.
And then there are the reefer trucks and the highway noise and the monster RVs and the diesel trucks and the motorcycles and the people laughing and squealing . . .
You get the idea.
If there were a Love’s Truck Stop or Pilot nearby, I would drive over there for some peace and quiet. I’m amazed and thankful that Bridget sleeps through it all.
Wow! What a charming post this is . . . . Oh well, not all days are lollipops and roses.
Thursday, September 4
Peace at last! It’s mid-morning at the Wind River Hotel and Casino. When I finish this post, I’m going to secure the interior of the BLT and the Bridge and I will hit the road for Lander where my vehicle registrations are being sent.
I haven’t tried my new camera yet. I haven’t even figured out how to attach the strap.
NOTE: I investigated the disappearance on my blog of the email-notification-of-comments feature. At WordPress I discovered this has happened to many bloggers as a result of an update. The solution is a convoluted puzzle of inserting code that is way above my tech-competency level. And it doesn’t always solve the problem. I’m sorry.
Hey, blogorinos! You did a great job making everyone feel welcome in the comments section!
Reminder: Do not worry if we are absent from this blog for a few days. Bridget and I may be camped in a canyon with no internet.
THANK YOU, RVSUE SHOPPERS!
Here are a few of the items recently purchased at Amazon from my blog:
Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon
Coleman Expedition First Aid Kit (205-Piece)
PetSafe Busy Buddy Squirrel Dude Dog Toy
Spa Bath Wrap Towel for Women with Velcro on waist
EOTech EXPS2-2 Holographic Sight
Omron Tri-Axis Pedometer