Trip Log – Day 63 – Pine Bluff, WY to Cheyenne, WY

Pine Bluff to CheyenneJuly 7, 2015 – Overcast, 60 degrees

Miles Today: 49

Miles to Date: 3,768

States to Date: 17

The sky dome was complete grey when I left the Pine Bluffs and it stayed that way all day. I was nervous about my route options – they all involved service roads or country roads that I know from experience might be gravel. But not in Wyoming! A nice paved route near, but never on, I-80 all the way to Cheyenne. Having good roads made it easier to counter the strong wind and occasional rain.

IMG_2773There were no breakfast options in Pine Bluffs, but there was a TA Truck Stop 24 miles away and a local one 16 miles on. I arrived at the first when the wind and rain were on an uptick, so I pulled off the bleak landscape and entered what could have been a scene from The Twilight Zone. The room was rich in pungent smells and colorful decorations. Five Indians sat at two separate tables speaking Punjab. I didn’t realize at first that they were the owners and staff; I the only customer. The proprietor greeted me graciously and while his son prepared spicy paan with yogurt and mango chutney for breakfast, he showed off his display of boxing clippings and medals. The gentleman’s English was enthusiastic rather than clear, so I’m not sure exactly what sport he championed and whether he won 400, 800, or 1,000 medals, but I was impressed nonetheless. The food didn’t match what I ordered, but was quite good; the five dollars he charged me had no relationship to any menu price. But we both seemed satisfied with our interchange. When I asked what brought him from Punjab to Wyoming, the man answered, “Lucky!”

IMG_2786I kept on to Cheyenne, which proved to be much more of a city than I expected. The exurbs have ugly, boxy houses just like any metro area and the central city has more one-way streets than anyplace I’ve been since Chicago. The Capital District is large and impressive, the downtown a bit ragged but the Union Depot beautifully restored. The painted Cowboy boots on the street corners are fun. I spent a few hours working in the Public Library, a recent building filled with cycle enthusiasts who wanted to know about my Surly and my journey. At four I met with Jim Magagna of the Wyoming Stock Grower’s Association, who had a unique perspective on tomorrow.

IMG_2784I backtracked to the northeast part of town where my warmshowers host, Tom, made a terrific pork chop dinner and then we hit a local pub for beer. Tom’s an early riser, so it was good by me that we were both in bed just after nine.

 

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About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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