Welcome to Wyoming, JohnBoy!

Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Blog posts with pictures! (what a concept)…

This morning I was finally able to download photos from my new iPhone, with which I am having a VERY rocky relationship. Long story, as most JohnBoy stories are. But enough of that – let’s get this show on the road.

I entered Wyoming on I-80 in the extreme southeast corner (about as far south and east as one can be in the state). I stopped at a Rest Area/Welcome Center just a short ways into the state at Pine Bluffs and I will tell my story about that shortly, but I know you are all starved for more photos.

This Rest Area (photo above), a different one, is located about 2/3 of the way between Cheyenne and Laramie. After I got to Cheyenne I could already start seeing snow on the mountains in the distance:

My guess is that it is Medicine Bow Peak, which tops out at 12,013 feet, located due west of Laramie.

Another unique feature of this particular Rest Area is the towering statue with a bust of Abraham Lincoln, keeping a watchful eye on the highway below:

I say unique but I swear I saw (and posted photos of) a similar statue of Honest Abe somewhere else in the country.

Now that I’ve lightly scratched your photo itch let me tell a quick story about the Welcome Center I stopped at upon entering the state. I parked and went inside, planning to use the men’s room and snag a state map. As I walked in a gentleman who was seated in the lobby “jumped” like I had startled him and started shouting something, like I had woken him up from a nap. I don’t remember exactly what he said but I ignored him and went in the men’s room . There was already a traveler there using a urinal and I used the urinal next to him. I said “that guy’s a piece of work” and the man next to me said “yes he is”. We could hear the man in the lobby shouting travel-related advice to other people and I then said “Gee, he should run for governor”. I thought a moment and said to the man next to me “You aren’t the governor, are you?” and he assured me he was not.

I finished my business and went back out into the lobby. The man, with a long, scruffy white beard and bib-overalls (about whom I had already made a nasty judgement call, dubbing him a “crazy old man”) was now standing and said “You look like you’re here on a big adventure” to me. I assured him he was correct and told him I am from North Carolina and was on my way to Lander.

Turns out he works there, and his banter is his way of welcoming travelers (and he has some great lines in his repertoire). He is retired from having been a professional truck driver and had lots of stories about various areas of the state. I ended up chatting with him for 20 minutes! He was fascinating, and gave me tips about various places I needed to be sure to visit, some of which were on my list but I made notes about the new things. He even gave me two pins – one which says Pine Bluffs (the name of the town/Welcome Center) and the other a small Wyoming state pin. As I drove away I wished I has asked if I could have taken his photo for the blog. Who knows, our paths may cross again…

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