It's 8:30 A.M. mountain time and I'm sitting in a place called "Prairie Inn" in Evanston, Wyoming. I can see a mountain from our motel window. it's so close that I can't really view the top unless I stretch my head out and peer up. This town is nestled in the mountains.
There are buffalo and cow heads mounted in the lobby area and deep red carpet. It's a strange place, but charming in a way. The air is fresh and kind of dry.
Today we're going to check out the town of Evanston a bit, grab some breakfast and hit the road again. Our next stop is Nevada.
Yesterday morning we explored the little town of COZAD, Nebraska. (This town is even smaller than Newton Falls, Ohio). The population is 4,163 and it's located on the 100th meridian. It used to be a stop along the pony express.
First we wandered around the corn fields a bit
Then we drove into town to find a place to eat breakfast. The town was small, desolate in areas. A lot of store fronts had closed years earlier but a few remained. We walked into Kelly's Hardware store in search of a new watch. The older man behind the counter greeted us from the back when we entered.
"I'll be right there!!" He called to us.
The store smelled like Gasoline and the supplies were haphazardly lined up on the shelves. He had a display with watches that was a little dusty.
when he emerged from the back room, I explained that I took my watch in the shower and it stopped working. I needed a waterproof watch.
"Well, these days they are called Water resistant...", He chuckled "now lets see now..." He took a watch out of the display and started opening the package.. "Yes, this one is water resistant up to 90 feet. Now you can't go deeper than 90 feet in your bathtub, you hear?" he chuckled again.
I liked the laid back demeanor of everyone in town. They were friendly, talked slowly and had a good sense of humor. The pace was relaxed and not many people walked through the town. It seems like everyone knows eachother's name.
We asked him where we could find breakfast.
"Well, the only place in town is called "The Green Apple Cafe", he explained "It's right around the bend"
Green Apple Cafe served breakfast, lunch, dinner and pastries. Their soup of the day was "Cheeseburger soup".
Although, I think I would go crazy in a town this small and this empty... but it's nice to visit. It's a taste of a different way of life.
After breakfast, we hit the road again.. and began our drive through Nebraska.
The landscape began to change after a while. The rolling hills of Corn began to dry up and slowly disappear. More and more rocks appeared. Mountains began to form in the horizon...
At one point we were driving right on the edge of the border of Colorado and we could see the tall mountians in the horizon.
After a long drive we reached Wyoming. We stopped in an empty visitors area for the restroom. Mountains were on all side. A lone car or two was parked up front and a very friendly older woman was behind the service desk.
We told her we had a reservation booked for a little inn in Evanston, but we had to be there by 10 P.M or we'll lose our room...
She showed us a map and explained that Evanston was right on the border to Utah.
"It's a long long drive, so you both have to hurry up if you want to reach there in time. But you should be okay", she explained "Good luck!"
So we grabbed the travel brochures of Wyoming she had given us and we rushed to the car.
Eric began patting his pockets frantically as he stood in front of the car door. "oh &*%^%$^&!!", He cried out. Then he peered in the car window "oh no..oh no..."
I looked in the car to see what he was viewing.
The Keys were in the ignition and the door was locked.
"Tell me this isn't happening...", I whispered.
So we returned to the front desk and explained the situation to the older woman that ran the visitor center. "Oh dear...", she said shaking her head "That's not good at all. The closest locksmith is many miles miles away. it will take hours before he can arrive"
Eric ran out in search of a wire hanger to squeeze in the car door and unlock it. we bumped into a couple with a mini van that was entering to use the restroom. "Do you have a clothes hanger??", Eric asked in desperation.
"Well, now that's an odd question", the man said with a chuckle. "But you know, it just so happens that I do have one. Come with me"
He had a rack of clothing in the back of his car and they were all strung up on hangers. It's an odd way to pack your clothing, but brilliant at the same time. He pulled a shirt off and handed the hanger to Eric "Out of curiosity, why do you need a clothes hanger so badly?"
We explained the situation "Our keys are locked in the car"
"well now, that's not good. Let me see what kind of car you have"
He couldn't help, Eric couldn't get the lock to push up... he tried unrolling the window.. but the feeble wire couldn't grasp the handle to lower the window. It just kept bending and hitting the windshield.
A man with a broom cleaning the front area heard about our situation and said "You know, the local sheriff, Mike, might be able to help you get that car open. I'm not sure where he is but I'll go into town and search for him"
"Thank you!", I was relieved that people cared and wanted to help. I was beginning to panic.
The clock was ticking and we were now an hour behind schedule.
The older lady (her name was Mildred) said "My husband has some supplies that he could probably use to open that door. Let me see if I can call him up... I'm sure he'll help"
Her Husband arrived 15 minutes later. He was an older man, that moved very slowly out of his car.. He pulled a kit from the back and approached our vehicle.
He spread all the tools out over the street and got to work.. pushing wedges in the door, sticking in metal prongs and sticks.. poking, prodding... He managed to pull the lever under the seat with a metal stick and that caused the trunk to pop open. We were able to get the spare key out of the trunk.
We were so grateful. Eric gave him all the cash we had and thanked him over and over.
We returned to Mildred at the front desk and thanked her for calling her husband. She was so sweet and happy that we were able to continue our journey.
That's a picture of that wonderful kind woman
It it wasn't for her, we'd still be stranded in the middle of nowhere
The couple that gave us the clothes hanger waved and smiled. "Good luck in San Francisco!!"
We started up the car and it didn't sound so good. It bucked and came to a stop. Then We tried starting the engine again.. it was a little bumpy.
"It's the belt", Eric explained. "It's normal for an old car like this with so many miles"
That's the first time the car has acted like that. We're going to have to slow down our pace from now on. I don't want to push our little corolla too hard and end up broken down on the side of the road.
But despite the stress of the key situation, the ride through Wyoming was beautiful! The upward climb going into the mountains caused our little corolla to wheeze, but the view was breathtaking on all sides.
This is what we dreamed of. Open roads..mountains...fresh air.. fields of deer, cows and buffalo...
I didn't want the drive to end.
We reached Evanston, Wyoming by 10, and we entered just in time. The room was spacious and surprisingly nice considering the cheap cost. We actually expected it to be a dump.
Now it's time to hit the road again.
I'll update again from Nevada