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Draplin Design Co., North America
April 12, 2003
Road Jitters, Wyomin' Memories
Posted at 02:52 AM

Ah, the weekend. My favorite time. The guards come down, the clock slows to a crawl. I savor these days cuz they are wholly mine. Do whatever I want. Sometimes lots, sometimes not a damn thing.

Tomorrow I gotta get busy. Gotta get the house ready for Melissa’s triumphant return.

I leave on Wednesday night to head back for her. Gonna try to get to Boise that first night. 430 long miles. I’m hoping to get up early, get a good day in at CINCO and jump ship a little after 2pm, or so. The next day I’m gonna push to get into central Wyoming. Find some little motel in the Rockies, call it a night. I might even go the frugal route and just pull into a parking lot and curl up in the back of Big S. More than enough room.

- - - -

Wyoming is a land of majesty. Yellowstone, Devil’s Tower, the Targhees, the Rockies, the Big Horns outside of Gillette. Lots of memories for me here.

1. Caught some of the biggest air of my life in the Targhees, hiking off the road, just outside of Jackson “Hell.” We pulled off and built a big booter…blasting and landing in three feet of fresh. Never gonna forget that feeling…anticipation and excitement as I dropped in pointing it for the kicker. That night we ate at the Gun Barrel Restaurant…giant steaks, an antelope appetizer and some other weird meats. A rugged eatery, complete with a whole kingdom of stuffed beasts staring you down as you pick the gristle and fur out of yer teeth.

2. Got pulled over one time in Greybull and almost didn’t make it out of town. That pig pulled me over three miles outside of town, for “breaking the speed limit three miles before town.” He rooked me. That cash I turned over to him went right in his fuckin’ pocket, I assure you. I remember the cashier who helped me take money out of the ATM gave me a little look along the lines of, “I’ve seen this little scam played out a million times over.” Ha. What could I do? Not a damn thing. I hope that money went to something good.

3. Driving through Yellowstone in the wee hours with Bry Aleshire…three days into our historic journey that took us west from our Traverse City homeland. What a mission. We ate in Cody that night and kept up a good pace towards Yellowstone. I remember the ranger at the east entrance saying, “Be careful in there. Being in the middle of August and all, the buffalo like to lay on the pavement, as it feels nice and cool.” It felt like we were entering Jurassic Park. There was one moment that got our blood pressure going real good: We rounded this bend and saw this giant elk ass poking out of the bushes/woods. It had to be a good six feet tall…no shit. Those things are goddamn monsters. Giant. We powered through and found a little campsite on the Idaho/Montana/Wyoming border.

4. Chatting with the inmates at the Rawlins State Penitentiary giftshop. There was this big guy there, large and gruff, peddling leather wares and trinkets that were produced in the Wyoming State Prison. He was lucky enough to work in the giftshop, on the outside, carted back in each night. I remember dad saying, “So what are you in for.” He leaned in, raised an eyebrow and stammered, “Let’s just say that the IRS and I don’t see eye to eye.” Whoa! Goddamn wild west outlaws, selling up moccasins and shit.

5. Devil’s Tower is just plain awe-inspiring. Just go there. Real weird.

- - - -

Looking forward to finding some new routes in Wyoming, open to all adventure…be it taking the “road less traveled” or outrunning smokies and hell, maybe even some loose-lipped chatter with some high mountain folk.

There Are 3 Comments

As you were growing up you always talked about wanting to “walk the earth” and you are at least seeing almost every state and a bit of New Zealand so far…..

Can’t believe you didn’t mention how bored you were when you were with your family in Yellowstone, having to see yet another waterfall, beautiful overlook or burned forest…..I remember you enjoyed all the bikers in Cody that blistering August day…..

I think being cramped into that little mini van of ours was an adventure in itself with you supplying the non-stop gaseous annoyances to entertain your sisters when things would get boring.

In your book of travels I know you will recount the east coast adventures, how hard you worked on your cousin’s row house in Harlem, being abondoned by the carney boss in da U.P. of Michigan……talk about a road less traveled, how about the adventure of “RED” on that Alaskan Highway?

You’ve seen more of the world at 30, than I will have seen when I reach 60…..at least I was able to live the sights and sounds through your eyes.

Posted by: momma d. on 04/13/03 at 7:35 AM

Jesus H. Christ.
Draplin on the road. PJ on the Road. The Girl’s headin’ to Vegas next weekend.

What the hell am I doin?

Damn. I hope you guys have a blast. I can taste the city’s hot breath.

Posted by: Ramblin' Ryno on 04/13/03 at 9:43 PM

Little known fact: The summer of 1982 my family lived at the East entrance of Yellowstone Park as my father worked that summer as a ranger. All I remember is no TV, no radio, just a huge back yard and lots of awesome days to explore it. We did our grocery shopping in Cody, and that was where I saw E.T. and Poltergeist on the big screen at the drive-in theatre.

Posted by: Cam on 04/13/03 at 10:00 PM