November 21, 2015
We were up early and out the door after a quick breakfast. I was ready to face the hordes of traffic that jams the 80 and to my surprise, 10 miles in we were completely alone on the road. It seems that the 80 splits as traffic moves south to Denver and the remainder is light and easy. Nebraska’s scenery was mellow – filled with corn fields and flatlands. Still very green though which, for some reason, seemed surprising. I guess I’d always imagined a golden, sun-parched Nebraska.
As we wound our way through some long sweeping roads the cool temperatures began to give way to a hot breeze and the landscape seemed to change. “Welcome to Wyoming” the sign said indicating that more than a time-change had occurred. Everything was changed yet we had travelled less than 10 miles. Visually the landscape in Wyoming was becoming interesting – little pots of green bush danced about in sand-like fields and those gave way to rolling hills and jutting bluffs. Perhaps it was the landscape but I hadn’t noticed the fuel light pop on, and when I did checked the range. 50 miles in the tank the bike told me and, with the next town a mere 20 miles away I decided to blow past the station immediately to my right. 19.5 miles later the bikes front-end lurched downward and all power was lost. I’d run us out of gas. Checking the range the bike remained confident that I had 30.2 miles of gas left. Why do I listen to computers? So, in the now 91 degree heat we pushed the bike half a mile to the gas station. I waited for one person to ask me if I was hot in all my get up. “Go ahead.” I though to myself. “Make my day.” But no-one did. Lucky :)
All gassed up we roared down the highway noticing the large amount of deer on the side of the highway. What is it with deer? They’re cute but not so smart. Anyways, two fingers on the brake lever the entire way to Rawlins.
What can we say about Rawlins? It’s a roughneck town, lot’s of mobile homes a couple of decent hotels and the local called “The Peppermill.” Now the Peppermill in Vegas that Joey took me too back in the day is one of my faves. This one? Not so much. Still the beer (and the staff) was cold and the food was surprisingly tasty. There was a small dance floor and I imagined some of the dramas that had perhaps unfolded there. The women seemed too old for their age and the men were generally dirty (literally) staring types. We headed back to room and enjoyed the inside.
Rawlins wasn’t a keeper.