I started off my day collecting a few items in the entryway of the Little America Hotel in Cheyenne, where we opted to eat breakfast. Since the only other Little America location we’d heard of was the original Little America Travel Center on the other side of the state, we weren’t expecting anything quite as opulent as the place we walked into this morning. I felt resigned to eating a $100 breakfast as we were seated, but was pleasantly surprised at how fairly priced our seemingly high-end breakfast was. After gassing up at the Little America Sinclair Station, we were on our way.
In no time, we found ourselves climbing in elevation as Interstate 80 took us through a portion of the Rocky Mountains. I happened to be leading—we trade off leading after every gas stop—and pulled us into a scenic rest area with extensive tourist information as well as a monument to the Lincoln Highway. It was a great stop, but ate up time. Turns out this would become a recurring theme this day.
The chase vehicle—also known as the blue Grand Caravan containing my wife and my eldest sister—actually did chase us today. The good side of that is that our group got to do everything together. The down side is that it took them every bit as long to reach today’s destination as it did the rest of us on our bikes.
As we continued on, the natural beauty of south central Wyoming had gradually turned into a rugged beauty. Green gave way to more and more brown. The majority of plant life seemed to be scrub, stuff that can grow around rocks. The wind was harsh and sustained. Dust, sand and gravel seemed to get blown everywhere. Wherever we got off the highway, intersections and parking lots were all partially covered with the stuff. Gas stops, our lunch stop, everywhere the same. Still we had our fun.
And the wind never let up. My son’s bike, a Honda 750 Shadow Aero, was the smallest and lightest in the group, so he felt it most. At times John was going straight down the highway heeled over at a substantial angle, and at times, he could not reach the speed limit (usually 75 or 80) due to the strong headwinds and crosswinds. But even Eddie and I with our heavyweight full-on touring bikes found ourselves wrestling an 800-pound gorilla because of the wind.
We made more stops, mainly for gas, but also just to get off the road and see things. We had fun together, but of course this ate up time.
Our last stop in Wyoming was at the original Little America Travel Center, where my son had stopped when he drove his old Chrysler sedan to Oregon last year, to begin attending the Portland Actors Conservatory. We shopped, looked around, ate ice cream and refueled. I collected a couple more fiberglass animals. We had much fun, but it ate up time
As we continued farther west, things got green again, and beautiful. When we crossed into Utah, our surroundings were downright lush. Again, if only I’d had my favorite photographer on board, I could show you some of what I’d seen.
At last we made it to our hotel, in Park City, a suburb of Salt Lake. It was quite late, too late to do much of anything, but still, we’d had a great day together.