The evening spent in Cheyenne at the Lone Ranger motel (or whatever it was actually called) was definitely the worst night’s rest I had on the entire trip. On top of it stinking of some weird blend of smoke and BO, right before laying my head down for the evening I found a scattering of dark hairs on my pillow and even more under the covers. Inexplicable. Despite that and the fact that it was a Sunday night, I still managed to have a good time on the town, stopping at the local Saloon and photographing Cheyenne’s Internationally renowned Boot!
I awoke from a night of fitful sleep with a mild hang-over and what felt like the beginnings of a chest cold. As the day wore on, the symptoms seemed to persist but grew neither worse nor better. Just a lingering shortness of breath and irritated lungs. It was only after a day of this that I finally concluded that my symptoms were not the onset of a cold but just a reaction to being at a really fucking high elevation! When I was young and came to the mountains, it was no big deal but now its like I smoke a pack a day. What a drag it is getting old.
So after another stop at the good ol’ Village Inn for a bit of breakfast pie, I was back on the road and zooming through Wyoming. I was straining my eyes for the first glimpse of the mountains but I had to pass a whole bunch of wind farms first. Energy independence, here we come!
Then, after a few more hours of driving I was able to view in the distance the first protuberances on an otherwise level horizon. It was these very same protuberances that caused an intrepid French explorer many years ago to exclaim “Mon Dieu, they look like giant nipples” or something to that effect. Ah, if only more geography had been named by randy French explorers – what a world it would be! I’m looking at you West Vagina.
Thus begins the steady ascent in to the mountains. A truly breathtaking experience and definitely one that shouldn’t be done while operating a vehicle and a camera at the same time… but I digress.
Probably the town I enjoyed the most on my trip was Rock Springs, Wyoming. It felt like a real old Western town and had a main street that had been kept up over the years but still felt quite authentic. I stopped there for lunch and had a burger at this 50’s diner that was playing re-runs of Happy Days. They gave me a free order of fries for the road and a giant soda. The waitress had evidently grown tired of all the Happy Days re-runs because she had taken to drawing on table mats and she was really talented. Her sketches were great and I tried to snap a shot of them but this was right about when my camera died due to my own charging negligence.
I attempted to charge my camera in the lighter outlet of the truck but it would give just enough juice to allow my camera to turn on, tell me that its battery was exhausted and then go back to sleep. On an aside: Do they still make cars that come with the lighter portion of those outlets!? I haven’t seen mine in, like, 5 years. I do remember burning a large circle in my thumb when I was younger while testing to see if it was actually hot or not. Brilliant.
So without a camera and lunch already under my belt, I had no excuse but to gun it through the lovely Rocky Mountains towards Salt Lake City. I did manage to catch a few last shots before the Camera was kaput, including this choice one of what appeared to be a Plumber’s truck parked at a gas station where I was tanking up.