Ten Day Trek From Casper to Shoshoni…

Several photo posts below describe my walk on US20/26 in Wyoming through nearly 100 miles of emptiness. Naturally, in true internet style, the last days come first and the first days are last. Please click on the individual photos to read captions.

Other posts will be on my Facebook page: 

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And, almost daily, on Instagram:

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September11

DAY 10, Monday, September 1…Last day of this stretch takes me through Shoshoni, heading toward the spectacular scenery of the Wind River Canyon. It is only about 6 miles to Shoshoni. On the east side of town is a park with shaded tables and restrooms. I take a long lunch break there before heading through, and out of town. Lots of picturesque decrepitude to capture with my iPhone. I always feel ambivalent about that these sad but lovely places. Total 9.9 miles.

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DAY 8, Friday, August 29: First really-really hard day. Late start. Not a tree to be seen. Not a lick of shade. Not even a truck casting a shadow. The sun bore down like a laser even though it wasn’t much over 80. The town of Moneta turned out to be a strange residential compound with a house surrounded a barbed-wire-topped chain-link fence with two loudly barking German Shepherds and one little yapper inside. A Confederate flag flapped in the wind. The only person currently on Wyoming’s death row lived in Moneta and buried his victim’s car on his property here. I saw my first dead coyote and thought about how to rig a patch of shade with my emergency poncho. Finally called Lincoln to pick me up early. 9.5 miles.

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DAY 7, Thursday August 28: Not much going on today, but after yesterday, it feels blissful. A road sweeper swept away all the annoying little pebbles left on the shoulder after a resurfacing project. Not a tree to been seen… I had lunch in the shade of a Kenworth Truck belonging to Energy Transportion of Casper. Some guys I met yesterday at the Hiland Store stopped to say hello. I made up a car-counting game to keep me busy. The Willy Nelson channel on Pandora is great for quickening the pace in the last hour. 12 miles.

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DAY 6, Wednesday August 27: It’s pouring, but Hiland and its store, The Bright Spot lie six miles ahead and I can make it. The rain quickens my pace. On the way, I meet Lance, a real cowboy. He stops to ask if I need a ride. I admire the two border collies in his truck and of course decline the ride. He mentions he lives a half mile beyond the store and I’m welcome to come by. When I arrive at the store I’m drenched inside and out…the first time this year. It’s an inviting thoroughly authentic place. I make myself at home, shedding wet layers as fast as possible. “Are you the walker?” I’m asked. Lincoln has preceded me! It’s a fun two-hour lunch, drying off, talking to gas pipeline workers, and having a delicious BLT with fabulous french fries. Mostly dry, I tear myself away and slog on. Pretty soon I see a cool abandoned farmhouse and go investigate. Snapping away, I step around a corner and see two sleeping dogs that quickly and loudly spring to life. They’re Lance’s dogs, Mishka and Helper (aka Mother’s Little Helper). Lance appears from the adjacent trailer and offers to show me around. A cow camp, he calls it but it’s also an old homestead that has seen better days. 9.6 miles.

September11

DAY 6, Wednesday August 27: It’s pouring, but Hiland and its store, The Bright Spot lie six miles ahead and I can make it. The rain quickens my pace. On the way, I meet Lance, a real cowboy. He stops to ask if I need a ride. I admire the two border collies in his truck and of course decline the ride. He mentions he lives a half mile beyond the store and I’m welcome to come by. When I arrive at the store I’m drenched inside and out…the first time this year. It’s an inviting thoroughly authentic place. I make myself at home, shedding wet layers as fast as possible. “Are you the walker?” I’m asked. Lincoln has preceded me! It’s a fun two-hour lunch, drying off, talking to gas pipeline workers, and having a delicious BLT with fabulous french fries. Mostly dry, I tear myself away and slog on. Pretty soon I see a cool abandoned farmhouse and go investigate. Snapping away, I step around a corner and see two sleeping dogs that quickly and loudly spring to life. They’re Lance’s dogs, Mishka and Helper (aka Mother’s Little Helper). Lance appears from the adjacent trailer and offers to show me around. A cow camp, he calls it but it’s also an old homestead that has seen better days. 9.6 miles.

September11

DAY 5, Tuesday, August 26: After a day off, I went to what I call The Westward Ho Museum in Casper, formally the National Trails Interpretation Museum. However the walking day promised two things to look forward to, Hell’s Half Acre and the Waltman Store. Hell’s Half Acre is actually a parking lot next to 130 acres of classic canyon surrounded by a barbed-wire-topped chain link fence. There is not even a picnic table for the weary traveler. I found a patch of shade for my lunch break, and learned that parts of Starship Trooper had been filmed in the alien landscape. The Waltman Store however is a fragile treasure in its last days. For 50 years it’s been owned by Shirley, aged 89 and mother of 9 surviving children and looked after by son Bruce, who looks after Shirley too. (“She’s a lot of work,” he huffed.) They are ready to move on to new digs in Casper. I wish them well and hope someone will keep the old character but add ice cream and espresso. I tell Bruce I think that an espresso machine would be a good investment.. He tells me that I don’t get it.  I’m sorry to walk away but I still have miles to go. I find Lincoln waiting for me at the official highway Rest Area. 9.4 miles

September10

Follow my walk across the U.S on Rt. 20. You can also catch up with me on Facebook at my public Nancy Takes A Hike page.