Wyoming! (Day 15)
Living in a park and ride at the intersection of an interstate and major state highway gets old very quick. At all hours of the night there are trucks using their engine brakes on the off ramp rumbling by along with the occasion car without a muffler. Around 6am, traffic really starts to pick up as people begin their morning commutes. I’m a heavy sleeper, but even I have been having trouble sleeping through all the racket.
While we were sitting in Starbucks this morning contemplating our next move, we both came to the conclusion that we needed to move on to somewhere else in order to stay sane. But where? Plans A, B, C, D, and so on haven’t panned out, and there really weren’t any good options. Well then, how about back to Plan A. Bozeman, Montana here we come!
We put the motorcycle back on the trailer, secured everything in the house, and left the park and ride around 11am. From there, we headed north on I-25, and within an hour or so got to the Wyoming state line. A few miles further and we were back at I-80, which we had detoured off of a few days earlier to get to Boulder. At this point I hadn’t really thought about our route to Bozeman. I knew that we could either continue north on I-25 to I-90, which would take us directly to Bozeman, or get on I-80 west to Laramie and then take the back roads north through Wyoming. Based on our last back road adventure to Pittsburgh, I probably should have decided to stay on the interstate, but I had friends, Paul and Mackenzie, in Laramie with a tiny house, and so, in typical Charlie fashion, I made the last minute decision to take ignore my past experiences and take the back roads again!
It was a long, gradual uphill climb on I-80 and then a quick, 3 mile drop at a 5% grade into Laramie. Surprisingly, this was really the first sustained downgrade this steep that we have seen on this trip. What I found was that by putting the truck in 4th gear and giving the brakes an occasional pump, I can almost maintain a steady 55mph. Good to know for future travels.
We arrived in Laramie at around 3pm and found our way to the local Walmart. Most of the Walmarts have some parking around the side that shields us from the majority of traffic to the store. However today this area was taken up by a temporary car sale, so we were forced to park out in front, visible to everyone. We had an almost constant stream of cars driving by pointing and taking pictures. While we waited for Paul and Mackenzie, I gave the Subaru an oil change, and changed a tire on the house that had worn down past the tread. I don't think the previous owner got the axles quite straight. Surprise, surprise.
Paul and Mackenzie have lived in Laramie for the past three years in a tiny house that they built back in New Hampshire. Their tiny house was the first, and only, that I had actually seen in person before building my own, so it’s safe to say I got at least some of my inspiration from them! They showed up at 530, and we gave them the grand tour. We spent an hour or so comparing different features and talking about things that we might have done differently if we had to do it again. We took a quick trip over to Paul and Mackenzie’s tiny house so that Shenee could take a look, and then parted ways. It’s always good to see old friends, even if it is only for an hour or two!
Mileage: 119 miles
Fuel Cost: $58.53
Toll Cost: $0
Truck MPG: 6.8mpg