We left the Lusk Elks Lodge Tuesday morning around 11am. Before we pulled out, I walked to the Subway sandwich shop on the corner of Main Street. I took a sandwich with me for lunch on the road and we headed south on US85. This highway has light traffic and a smooth surface. It runs south through large cattle ranches. In much of Wyoming, you’re likely to see more antelope than people – as my buddy Jimbo would say, “That ain’t a bad thing.”
Our route took us through Torrington, one of the larger towns in the area with a population of 6,700. As we headed back into ranch land, a curious thing happened. We were in one those areas with little traffic and few people when two motorcycles approached in the oncoming lane. The lead motorcyclist raised his arm and gave a wave as they passed. I wasn’t sure what that was all about.
A few minutes later, my cell phone rang, but Donna couldn’t pick up the call – we had spotty cell service. About 20 minutes later, I stopped in a rest area so Donna could make a salad for her lunch. I checked my voicemail and had a message. It was from my friend and fellow Alpine Coach owner Dave Hobden. He was the motorcyclist waving at me on US85! I could hardly believe it – here we were in a remote area of eastern Wyoming and we pass each other like two ships in the night. He said he recognized our rig from a quarter mile away. He was on a road trip to Rapid City with a friend.
Eventually, US85 bends to the southwest. It was windy – the wind was coming from the southeast so we had a crosswind. It was a steady 20+ mph breeze so it wasn’t too hard to handle. Gusty winds can be a handful, but this was okay. We hit I-25 south and drove a few miles to I-90 east and found our way to Sierra Trading Post on Campstool Road. Sierra Trading Post has a large facility here – it houses their headquarters and fulfillment warehouse as well as a retail store. They have a marked RV and truck parking area with stalls about 90 feet long and they welcome RVers. This was our destination for the day.
We set up in their lot and Donna went shopping. She can spend hours in their store browsing through clothing and trying on clothes, especially when they’re having their annual summer clearance sale! She also checked us in at the fulfillment center – they like to know who’s in their lot and keep contact info. We were the only rig in the RV/truck area. A guy stopped by and talked to me. He was a former full-time RVer and is planning to get back on the road soon. He and his wife had to get off the road after five years to attend to her fathers health issues, but he said they weren’t ready to stop traveling yet. It turned out he was the fulfillment center manager and he told me we were welcome to stay as long as we wanted.
Later, a couple of other rigs pulled in to shop and spend the night. We had a quiet and uneventful night. On Wednesday, I shopped in the retail store and bought lunch at their counter – it’s mainly for employees but they serve the public as well. Most of the cars parked in the two lots are employee vehicles – I don’t know the number, but a lot of people work at the headquarters and warehouse.
We decided to hang out and spend another night. Thursday morning the weather forecast called for a cold front to move into the area and bring high winds – gusts up 50 mph possible by afternoon. I dumped and flushed our tanks at the Sierra Trading Post dump station and we headed out by 9:30am to beat the wind. I had talked to a trucker the night before and he strongly recommended staying on US85 and avoiding I-25. He said due to some construction and low speeds in a couple of towns, the trip might take 15 minutes longer, but he said I-25 was a crap shoot once you get past Loveland. Wrecks, distracted drivers making crazy maneuvers and whatnot were a constant on I-25. We followed his advice after topping up on diesel fuel at the Pilot/Flying J down the road from Sierra Trading Post.
We pulled into the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont, Colorado before noon. We were happy to find open pullthrough sites. They don’t take reservations here – all sites are first-come-first-served and they only have eight pullthrough sites. I paid for five nights but we may extend. We have 50 amp electrical service and fresh water, but no sewer. They have a dump station that we’ll use when we’re ready to leave.
After setting up, I got our DISH satellite dialed in – there is a Moto GP race this weekend and also a Formula One race. I set up the Weber Q grill and Donna took over. She’s becoming quite the grill master. She cooked herbed bone-in chicken thighs and also grilled patty pan squash with onions and peppers. She served it with steamed spinach. Donna’s following a strict diet called Bright Line Eating – so we don’t always have the same meals together. Last night it worked out fine though and the dinner was delicious.
High barometric pressure has moved into the area. We can expect mostly clear skies and temperatures reaching 90 degrees. The humidity is low – in the teens. There is some haze over the mountains to the west, but the reports of smoke from wildfires in the west seem to be exaggerated a bit. Typically at this time of year, a passing afternoon/evening shower comes from the mountains in this area, but nothing remarkable is in the forecast.