Tuesday, May 13, 2008
We didn't charter a plane to Wyoming, and we didn't drive. Either of those would have been my choice over flying commercial, but I couldn't justify the price of the charter, and couldn't talk my dearly beloved into hopping in the car for a 1700 mile jaunt. So, to the airport we went. Oxygen shock in Denver was pretty brutal; you just don't think about the differential in the oxygen content in the air between our elevation, around 800 feet, and Denver, the Mile High City. My poor husband was positively grey as he puffed through the airport, and I wasn't doing all that well - this despite the fact that I had taken up walking about a mile every day for 3 months beforehand. The little guys, of course, were hopping around like it was just any old Thursday. They were amazed at the working oil wells (and my 8 year old wanted to know if we would see any "gushers") and natural gas wells. There is a lot of sky out there, and the grass is not the same color as we see here. Much less water, and spring isn't really there yet. The marvelous car rental agency did not have the Town Car I had specifically requested, and I had to sort this out with a guy to whom English was assuredly not a first language. ("What part of 'I do not want a truck' do you fail to understand?"). Then, when I hit the snowstorm on I-80, I was almost sorry I hadn't gotten the truck.
Laramie must be about 4-1/2 miles long. I drove down Grand Avenue, the main east-west road. At 45th street, there's just a berm and this lovely view of ranchland. The University is nice enough, but I felt rather claustrophobic there. The buildings are very close together, and you can only drive around the 4 sides of the campus, from a practical standpoint. Given what I found at 45th Street, I really don't understand why the state doesn't add to the size of the campus, but, hey, they didn't ask me for my opinion. I did chuckle at the Library Bar. Their sign said, "Mom and Dad! This is where your kid has been when he said he was at the Library!"
We stopped at the smallest town in the country, Buford, Wyoming. Notice the population; I went into their gas station/trading post and counted exactly one soul. Notice also the snow embedded in the fence post beside the boys. This photo was taken Saturday, on my way back across I-80 to Cheyenne, and it was snowing again! Foolish me, I thought May was spring. Obviously, I didn't wear the pink sundress I'd chosen for my daughter's graduation; in fact, I took a long leather coat I'd bought her and she had never worn ("Blondes can't wear tan, Mooooothhhherrrrr!").
And the little boys got to see dinosaur skeletons. Lots of dino skeletons. And what little boy doesn't love dinos? And aside from the fact that the airline gave me a hard time about getting on the plane (yes - I do so look like a troublemaker), taking the redeye back from Denver to Philly on Saturday night was brilliant. Even though we live 125 miles away, the flight was over $250 per person cheaper by returning to Philly in the middle of the night, and that more than paid the $420 for the limo to bring us home. We all slept, stretched out on the lovely leather stretch limo seats, and someone else did the driving, and I still saved $600 over flying in and out of my home airport. If I had flown both ways out of Philadelphia, it would have cost more, factoring in the cost of gas. Sometimes, all the stars align just right, don't they?