Wyoming: The world’s Parking Lot
Greatest resource: Elbow Room
Speed limit: As fast as you can go to get through this
Weather: 60 mile winds, yet nothing is moving
Littering Fee: $750,000
A long drive made longer. When construction dropped the speed limit to 65, we felt like we were walking. Have you ever been to Wyoming? No? Here.
Now you have.*
*Okay, I understand that one doesn’t get the full experience of a place from the freeway, but this was all we saw.
There was one cool little town we passed through and, coincidentally, it happened to be a very special town to a very special friend of ours. Our friend, Phil, had a brother he loved dearly. He was taken from this world way too early, but passed on his love of nature, sports, and adventure to Phil before he left. Everyone called him “Big Kid”. A Cowboy through and through, Big Kid taught Phil how to jump from one horse to another while in motion, how to make swords from willow reeds, how to drive a tractor before his feet could touch the pedals, how to break in a pair of Levi’s and how to see life through a smile. We never met “Big Kid”, but Phil introduces us to him daily. This picture is from the town he went to college in, and this toast was for him.
A “Grownup” dinner:
One of the perks of being sans-Rudy is the ability to sit at a bar when the whole restaurant is packed. We knew we’d be hitting Salt Lake City around dinner time. What I didn’t account for were the HUNDREDS of people there to tour the Mormon Temple, or the other half of the city that was out to watch the college basketball game between North Carolina and Duke, or the almost impossible task of parking a truck AND trailer in any downtown part of a city, let alone a Saturday night crowded one. . Anyway, I had looked up a restaurant called Whiskey Street about 3 hours prior, checked out their menus and we were sold.
So, by the time we rolled into town, we were so committed to this place, we were ready to fight for it. 30 minutes into driving around town, waiting at stop lights, Jared needing to pee so bad, his beard was yellow, we FINALLY found a double spot! The restaurant was packed and overflowing, but this little “party of two” with no child present sauntered right up to the bar like we owned the place! Epic success!!
A WALL of whiskey and scotch lovingly welcomed us (this picture represents maybe 1/5 of their stock) ranging in bottles from low-average price, to the bottles reached only by ladder that clocked in at over $1200…for liquor!
Jared ordered a peanut butter cup old fashioned that tasted exactly like it’s name suggested. I had a Thyme and Wood. Essentially whiskey with muddled thyme and herb bitters. You guys!!! Soooo good. Then we shared a spinach salad and, I kid you not, the absolute BEST lamb chops I’ve ever had. Let me expound…
As I hung my head to weep over the taste of this fluffy animal’s sweet sacrifice, I believed that if death took me at this moment, that would be fine by me. I had reached the pinnacle of flavor Valhalla and I could enter into my eternity fulfilled. However, as poetic as that sounds, what really happened was a 15 minute sloppy love affair with lamb bones, drool, mint something-or-another, and charred salty grease on my face. I turned to apologize to my polite and sophisticated husband, only to witness his face had become my very own lamb-shanked reflection in just as much umami enjoyment as me. Truly a perfect match.
The lamb was our evening’s first casualty. The raccoon on the highway was our second. But, I fortunately didn’t see it happen because I was typing. As per usual, my husband assessed the situation calmly, knew that swerving would ram us into any number of vehicles around us, or cause others to swerve, so he stayed the course, sparing us, and making quick work of the raccoon. I sure hope that raccoon had lamb chops for dinner.
In my “deflecting sadness with humor” way, I quickly sang this re-write.
“Cars to the left of me
Semis to the right
Here I am,
Hitting a little raccoon”
We’ve made that same Denver to SLC drive at least half-a-dozen times. Yep, that picture is all you see for what seems at the time to be half your life! And the wind, OMG, the wind!