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Monday, July 26, 2010

OPAL - LITTLE AMERICA

EROSION - NEAR LITTLE AMERICA, WYOMING
AT 8,000 FEET ONE CAN SEE FOREVER IN WYOMING
MY ROOM - LITTLE AMERICA, WYOMING
LITTLE AMERICA AND VAN...SAM IN TRAILER
US 30 NEGOTIATING A 50 MILLION YEAR OLD LAKE BED


D E S O L A T E...that is the way from Opal to Little America...35 miles of 4 foot high sage brush & tons of oil wells.

Today, I felt the altitude. Walked 26 miles in intense heat including some long hills climbing up vertical bluffs to land so flat on top (old lake bottom) I could see forever in all directions. Would have been beautiful if there was something to see.

Had some difficulty getting full lung (deep breaths) climbing the hills. But, we did it. Got a ride back to the Van...didn't even put out my thumb. A real roughneck fellow stopped going the other way...

Wanna a ride?

Yes, yes thank you...but you better pull off the road; a truck is coming behind you

He burns rubber getting out of the trucks way. I think...OH OH.

I got in and again rubber burns pushing me back into my seat. He, the driver of 60 or so, farm clothes, bushy grey beard (could use a wash & comb). He reaches between the bucket seats into the back seat, handing me a can...

Wanna beer?

No...no thanks...

Well, don't mind if I have another...SNAP...FIZZ...GULP..AAAHHHH

I'm still shoving empties to make room for my feet.

Used to live in Opal in the 80s...moved away & just came back...sure has changed

Really...

That big brick building in center of town (town is 2 blocks long) used to be my meet'n place...now it's closed.

Sign on US 30 said "FOOD", with an arrow to Opal. The big brick building has painted on it's sides..."POP"..."BEER"..."SANDWICHES" and is boarded up tight...maybe they should remove the US 30 sign.

Yep them were the days, the 80s...from Boom to Bust.

He let me out next to the Van, snapping open another can of beer.

Probably just as well I didn't take his picture.

I got outta Dodge,,,er Opal (pronounced "Oh Pawl".

I drove along my previous walk, which came up 9 miles short of Little America.

Took a room at Little America and drove back to the Wyoming Department of Transportation in Grainger. 6 miles back up US 30, The Manager, Kim, spent a good half hour with me going over maps, talking about Frontage Road conditions ...like: This road has really steep hills...These roads here are very narrow and have NO berms. this road is not paved..etc, all the way to Rawlins, where I can again pick up US 30 to Laramie.

Bottom line...stay off the Frontage Roads...walk the freeway.

Kim then made xerox copies of his personal DOT Manual pages, giving details of I-80 exits, including distances between...OH, and don't try to walk through the Tunnel...has no pedestrian space...there is a side road around it tho...

Offered Kim lunch...

No thanks, but Would like a picture together with you.

We did the picture in front of SAM's logo on the trailer

Bye & stay safe...

Back at my room. Took a couple pics of Little America. Bought a milk shake - it was awful - Now will study Kim's papers & map to work out a scheme for walking I-80 withot leaving blood smears on the pavement...Wow...75 mph & me walking...

It is now 5 pm (local) and the Sun is GONE,,,obscured br angry black rolling clouds that been building all afternoon. A storm of some signicance is about to crash down on us...and after three weeks without a day off, I am a bit weary.

So, I have decided to NOT walk further today,...go have a good dinner, get a good night sleep and see what morning brings.

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