Wyoming Continued (Day 16)
We left Laramie around 9am, and headed north through Wyoming on the back roads. The driving was surprisingly pleasant. It was mostly one lane in each direction and the speed limit was 70mph (!!!!), but there was so little traffic that I only had to pull over every 15 minutes or so to let faster vehicles pass. The road was also very straight, with gentle sloping hills, and a nice wide shoulder. It was ALMOST fun driving on these roads.
At one point we came down a long sloping hill into a large flat area with numerous wind turbines and I thought it was a perfect photo opportunity, so I pulled over and we spent a few minutes taking pictures. From there, we continued on to Casper, but hit a bit of rain on the way. So far on this trip, we have been very lucky to avoid rain, which is good, because I don't really like the idea of grime and water from the road hitting the house at 60mph. Although I did a very good job making the house water resistant, sustained travel in the rain at those speeds will inevitably lead to water problems. Lucky for us, the rain only lasted for about 30 minutes and then stopped. I guess the house will also dry out faster at 60mph, right?
We stopped in Casper for fuel, and then kept going, with plans of stopping in Thermopolis, WY at the hot springs there. Once on the way, we entered Wind River Canyon, which started as a gentle depression and quickly turned into a steep sided canyon. At one point, there was a set of three tunnels cut into the rock. I find it hard to believe that it was easier to make a tunnel than to just blast the rock out of the way, but it was pretty cool to drive the tiny house through.
Wind River Canyon emptied right out into Thermopolis. After a short detour around a low railroad bridge, we were at the hot springs. Although the hot spring is natural, the only way you can enjoy the hot mineral water it to pay to enter one of the three establishments that have man made pools that are fed by the spring. We choose the one that stayed open the latest, went in, took off our rancid clothes that we had been wearing since we arrived in Boulder (or was that just me that didn't change my clothes?), and jumped into the pools. There was an indoor and outdoor pool that were about 98 degrees and a smaller, hot tub like indoor pool that was around 104 degrees. There was also a pretty sweet water slide that, if you got the technique right, allowed you to go fast enough to catch some air! Even I found it a bit thrilling, which is definitely saying something!
After finishing with the hot springs, we went for a quick walk around the area, and then decided to continue on north to Cody, WY to spend the night. We ended up driving for an hour in the dark which I didn't enjoy. The narrow back roads are fine during the day, but at night with the trailer, it's not quite as much fun. Add in one fox who decided to cross right in front of us, and the five pronghorn (small deer) I saw just hanging out on the side of the road, and the drive became quite a bit more stressful. We made it to Cody without incident, parked at the Walmart, and got some sleep. Tomorrow, BOZEMAN!!!!
Mileage: 366 miles
Fuel Cost: $112.00
Toll Cost: $0
Truck MPG: 8.6mpg