Daily Archives: June 3, 2020

But For The Virus . . .

we would have been on the road this morning, heading to Gulf Shores for our big family reunion. Everyone from here in Texas and all Jan’s sister’s family from Illinois were  going to be there, I think a total of 18 people.

Jan and I would of course be in the RV and everyone else would have stayed in a big rented beach house. Then Jan and I were heading on down to Florida, and coming home we’d take a detour up to Athens AL to visit my relatives, before coming home.

Hopefully we’ll  be able to reschedule this soon.

And here’s another in our Where we were 10 years ago today series.

June 3, 2010

Poison Spiders and a broken record…

Well, today started out less than spectacularly, but it got better fairly soon.

We left Fort Caspar Campground in Casper WY a little before 9 am heading for Rock Springs, WY about 230 miles away.  And then it went downhill very quickly.

We should have known something was wrong when we ended up on Poison Spider Rd.

No, really.

Due to a map glitch, Margaret, our GPS system, could not route us on SR 220 like she should have. Instead she routed us on CR 201 and then on CR 319 which is also known as the Oregon Trail Rd.

And, yes, CR 201 is also called Poison Spider Rd as it leaves town. And it runs right by Poison Spider High School. Whose motto according the sign out front is”Caught in a Web of Learning”.

You can’t make this stuff up!

After starting out OK,  CR 201 became a gravel road.  But before we could get too worried, it became pavement again, and all was well with the world.

Until it skipped gravel road this time and went straight to dirt.

But I rationalized that in only two miles we would be turning onto CR 319, which just HAD to be a better road, right?

I mean, it’s also called Oregon Trail Rd.  It’s got two names,  it’s got to be a good road, right?

Of course, when we got there, that’s not what we found. What we found was an even narrower, even rougher dirt road.

I think it was called the Oregon Trail because it was the original one, complete with wagon ruts. It was just an opening in a barbed wire fence with

No way was I going any further. I spent about 10 minutes trying to figure what went wrong. Turns out that the GPS program wouldn’t route me on the right road, SR 220, because it couldn’t. No matter what I did, the program would not allow any route on SR 220.

I ran into this once before, when coming back from Memphis to north Alabama on  US 72.  No matter what I did the program would not let us on US 72. It’s caused by a glitch in the map data file so that the GPS program thinks there’s no connection between two ends, kind of like a bridge out on a road.

Once I figured out what was wrong, the solution was simply. Turn around and go back to Casper and then back out on SR 220.

Easier said than done, however. I needed to turn around, but there was no room. And I couldn’t back up because, unlike towing a trailer, you can’t back up while towing a vehicle with a tow bar, at least very far.

So, I had to break my perfect record. I had to unhitch the truck so I could turn the rig around in the opposite direction. It’s been a point of pride that I’ve never got in a situation where I had to unhitch to get out of it.

Until today.

After unhitching it took about 30 seconds to get turned around. After hitching back up we drove back into Casper and out of town on 220. Then, once I was past the dead spot on the map, every thing went smoothly.

Leaving Casper, we started climbing up into the beginning of the Rockies, finally peaking out above 7300 feet. We crossed the Continental Divide 4 times today and saw some spectacular scenery.

We’ve seen a lot of these open fences along the roads in Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming. They’re snow fences, set up to keep the blowing snow drifts off the highways as much as possible.

SnowFence 1

SnowFence 2

We also see these crossing gates with no train tracks around. They’re set up to keep cars off the highways after they close the roads for bad weather, usually snow or ice, or both. They’re normally near exits so you have a place to go to get off the road, but I did see one out in the middle of nowhere.


About noon we stopped in Rawlins, WY to have lunch. We had planned to eat at another Sanford’s Grub and Pub like we did in Casper. And we even found a parking place right downtown only a block away from the restaurant.

Rawlins 1

But when we got to Sanford’s, it was closed.  We asked a trio of Wyoming Highway Patrol officers, who also found the place closed, where they suggested and they said Square Shooters Eating House, right up the street. So that’s where we went.

Rawlins 3

The place is decorated in Western Dead Animal motif, and the salad bar is a chuck wagon, so we weren’t sure what to expect. But it turned out to be very good.

Rawlins 2

Jan had the Roast Turkey and Dressing with Mashed Potatoes, and I had the Chicken Fried Chicken with Fries, and we both had the homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. All of it really good.

Leaving town we came across another one of the painted mascots that we’ve seen in other towns, a Pronghorn Antelope.

Rawlins Antelope

We seen a lot of others, like bears, moose, pelicans, and mermaids.

Bear 5

Pelican 1



We got into the KOA in Rock Springs, WY about 3:30 pm and got set up. About 4:30 we headed out to get some supper and pick up some fuses. We ended up at Village Inn, a family restaurant chain we’ve eaten at several times before.  Their Wisconsin Cheese soup is delicious.

Tomorrow we’re headed for Draper UT to visit some friends.

BTW our GPS system is called Margaret after the little girl in the Dennis the Menace comics. Whenever you take a turn she doesn’t like, she just nags and nags, and won’t shut up.

Jan and I watched another SpaceX launch this evening, this time taking a cargo of 60 StarLink Internet satellites into orbit. A spectacular night launch.

And another great landing that we watched live as the returning first stage nailed the target on a drone ship barge out in the Atlantic.

Thought For The Day:

“Never do a vast thing in a half-vast way.”


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