Friday, June 27, 2008

Surrounded by Escapees

We are at the Wal-Mart in Sheridan, Wyoming (map).

I'm guessing there were easily a dozen rigs here last night, maybe more. I would suspect that many (most?) of them are fellow Escapees, also en route to Gillette. (None was "camped" -- unlike the Cody scene, these folks were all passing through.)

We had a nice scenic drive yesterday from our wonderful little camp in the Bighorns. We stopped at Burgess Junction, where the Forest Service has a free, four-lane dump station. We didn't need to dump, but we did need fresh water, and there were two clean-water spigots there as well. Oddly, no trash collection, though, and we had packed out not only our own trash, but also whatever we found in our site (the fire ring was loaded with it), as there were no receptacles at Porcupine, either.

A mile or so further on, we came across the visitor center, which, I must say, is the nicest Forest Service visitor center we've ever seen. In addition to watching the little film about the medicine wheel, and browsing the exhibits, we bought a Bighorn Mountain pin for the pin collection, and dropped two small sacks of trash into their barrels.

It was, as they say, all downhill from there. We gave back every bit of elevation we gained on the Oh My God Hill. We got to partially make up for the crappy mileage we got on the up grade by getting infinite mileage coming back down, and free battery charging to boot. And while this grade was pretty steep, between 5% and 7%, it was not nearly as bad as the other side -- I was able to stay off the brakes, for the most part, with judicious use of the retarder. Some time ago I wired a momentary foot switch (under my left foot) into the retarder, in parallel with the on/off switch on the dash, and it really came in handy yesterday.

Upon arriving here in Sheridan, we proceeded immediately to the post office, where I expected my pair of DirecTV receivers from eBay to be waiting for me. However, they were not. I've already filed a dispute on them -- they were paid for on the 4th, and I'm guessing the seller never bothered to ship them. So the first set of receivers disappeared into the USPS, never to be seen again, and this pair is similarly irretrievable, which puts me back to square one on fixing the DirecTV system. I'm a hair's breadth away from just canceling the service.

There's a coin laundry in the strip mall across the street from Wal-Mart, and that was our next stop, with Louise doing a humongous load. The weather's been flip-flopping so much for the last couple weeks that we've gone through most of our summer and winter clothes. We're back down in the warmth now, so I think we're done with the winter stuff for a while.

That sapped the last of our energy for the day, and, after getting Odyssey squared away here at Wal-Mart, we walked across the street to the Sugarland Mining Company restaurant in the Holiday Inn for dinner. The food was a bit pricey -- it's a hotel, after all -- but bottles of wine were half price last night, which made up for it (we chose the Coppola Syrah).

Our Escapade ticket is for a Saturday arrival, so we have one more night before we're due, even though we're within striking distance right now. We'll meander over to Gillette on US14, rather than taking I-90, and probably end up someplace along the way for tonight.

A couple of readers have inquired just where Odyssey is in the photo we posted yesterday. You really can't make it out, as it's only a few pixels wide in the shot. I had the camera on it's highest optical zoom (2x), but we were over two miles away. We could clearly make it out with our 7-power binoculars, and so I know which pixels to circle here in this version (as with all photos here on the blog, click to view full-size). To save some resources, including upload bandwidth, since this is a repost, I have reduced this version to half size and saved it at a lower resolution, so Odyssey is even fewer pixels here:


  1. wow, I can't believe it, I actually had picked the dark spot you circled as being Odyssey. Woo Hoo for me!!

    I hope you guys don't mind that I'm living vicariously through you with this trip. Such great scenery.

  2. Like the previous comments, I've been picturing us making that trip, but maybe in a somewhat smaller RV! :)
    We actually made that trip in the reverse direction in about 1982 pulling a small popup camper with our Matador station wagon! We did a two week trip from Chicago to the Black Hills, Devil's Tower, Sheridan, Greybull, Cody, Yellowstone, the Tetons and back home! What a trip, but never in a popup again!!


  3. I have a reciever your welcome to have! When will you be in the New Hampshire area?

  4. I have a reciever your welcome to have I can ship or hold if your ever in the New Hampshire area

  5. @Robert -- Can you tell me what model it is? If it's the right one, I'll send you the postage and you can Priority-Mail it to me here at the Cam-Plex. Email me direct at slwelsh (at) gmail (dot) com.

  6. Wow, & cool too! I hadn't posted a comment on it earlier, but I had actually decided that that was the "Odyssey" at the same spot you've circled. But then again, I've been told I can spot a bus from miles away in the dark! LOL! Have a great day!
    Bryce aka Busted Knuckle


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