In memory of our beloved companion, Shyla. This is our first year traveling without our faithful companion Shyla, and needless to say it feels as if there is something important missing. There is a void in the vehicle, literally where she used to lay, that seems too difficult for us to fill with our normal traveling paraphernalia. We find ourselves glancing back at times to check on her and then remember that she can now only be found in our fond memories of the adventures we shared together. She will be missed. This post is in memory of all the memories she helped to create in our past travels.
Wyoming is our destination this summer, specifically Cody, Wyoming which will situate us close to the mountain regions bordering Wyoming and Montana and offer a short hour drive to reach Yellowstone National Park. We have chosen to stay in a small cabin on a family ranch. The couple that owns the property converted their log garage into a small efficiency apartment consisting of two rooms that houses a full kitchen, sleeping/living area and bath. The cabin is built with real wood logs and though quite small, appears to be well equipped and cozy with wonderful tranquil views from every angle.
The drive is rather long, estimated at around 1400 mi. We want to maximize our exploration time and minimize our travel time so we have decided to plow through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado, all in one day. Not sure is this is the best decision we have made, but as Cody, WY is in the northwest region of the state, this will divide the travel distance about half. We have driven this stretch of road several times over the years visiting Colorado and we are almost on auto-pilot as the miles tick over on the odometer. As our first day winds itself to an end we find ourselves completely exhausted from the many hours cramped in the truck and find slumber very quickly that night.
As we drive deeper into Wyoming the next day, it is not as I would have pictured. I had imagined mountains and trees galore. I am sure that the western part of the state is very much like this, but today we drive for countless hours on roads that wind through rolling hills covered only in golden grasses. There are no bushes or trees, scarcely passing a home or town. There’s miles and miles of golden prairie grass bending this way and that as the strong winds coming off the mountains to our west push eastward.
It is very windy on these roads and many times the truck struggles to maintain a forward motion. I would not want to venture down this way in a Smart car! I imagine that the strength of these winds could move one of those lightweights sideways fairly easily. We travel for miles without seeing a living soul and cell service was non-existent. The traffic is just a sparse as the terrain. Luckily we fueled up before venturing on the back roads, otherwise I believe it would be hours before we would see a passing car that might be able to offer assistance.
We arrive late in the afternoon at our destination but the surrounding landscape was break-taking at this time of day. The valley is comprised of a dozen or so small ranches, mostly with horses, cattle or hay crops. It is exactly what we hoped for, peaceful and secluded enough to get away from the daily hustle of city life.