Can't say I'm proud of it, but the words just seem to tumble out whenever I meet a fisherman on the road: gosh, I'd love to trade some ___ for fresh fish. I try to trade something I've made, like an skillet oatmeal cake, but today I suggest I could trade some fresh Chicago rooftop honey (brought along for this express purpose) for fish...if only we were staying.
Ten minutes later the exceptionally nice Gary (looking a bit like Billy Bob Thornton), who is eyeing our site for parking in after we leave, returns from his idling rig with this: a bag of frozen filleted walleye, ready for defrosting and our frypan.
Hooray! Honey is promptly exchanged and Gary tells me a short while later his wife is looking forward to having that honey on toast the next day.
The fisherman were really moving in with their big rigs at this point.
We're on the road again, cows grazing the Sandhills.
Out here, everyone waves: car to car, pass it on.
Raw beets with a lamb sausage sandwich.
Toward western Nebraska, the landscape changes dramatically.
I'm sorry to miss the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument just south of where we are on Route 20, but at 2 pm (1 o'clock Mountain Time and we appreciate having an extra hour today), we're crossing into Wyoming to find a campsite in the next 100 miles or so.
Elevation on the sign--and confirmed by our alitimeter--4700 feet.
Before we know it, we're in Wyoming, home to two spectacular national parks: Yellowtsone and Grand Teton. Plus dozens of smaller parks. You know you're in Wyoming when you hear yourself say "take a left at the stagecoach museum."
We're heading south toward Guernsey State Park, but when we arrive we discover it's on the edge of an Army-National Guard area (no kidding--this place feels like freakin' Afghanistan, at 92 degrees and dry dry dry), but mainly there's no water in the park.
We're always drawn to camp near water. It is unbelievably hot and dry and I expect to see Hoss and Little Joe at any moment.
The park has a nice pavilion, though, where we sit to rehydrate and regroup with the map.
So off we go, and while we try not to stay at private campgrounds, in order to send these posts into the ethers (and keep my day job) we have to do it occasionally. Here we are at a KOA campground near Casper, Wyoming, where the wi-fi is full strength for the $32 buck fee.
It's not very pretty, it's not very quiet, and they're doing a most uncamplike activity here:
We're heading back into the trees, up toward the Rockies, and down the road. Thanks for coming along. Check in soon for the Deep Woods Off edition.