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Ten Sleep is a small town up in north-central Wyoming. The town was a Native American rest stop that was 10 days travel or “10 sleeps” from Fort Laramie (near where I live). Here is my report from One Sleep on my travels.

Shortly after leaving the Rest Stop yesterday,  I enter Central Time Zone.  I can see why someone may have chosen that spot for the time change. There are many other changes too. I see lots of small lakes or large farm ponds. The terrain flattens and looks less like Wyoming. I see trees. I like the Central Time Zone and being in the central U.S. I feel centered, which is good after the earlier “Bob episode”.

I decide to pull off I-80 as planned, at North Platte, NE. I easily find Buffalo Bill State Park. The camping area is a nice, primitive loop right alongside the North Platte River. I have only one camper, a fifth wheeler, as a neighbor.

The trees are still leafless and the landscape brown, but I just can’t believe I am along the river. It’s a beautiful, simple place. There are beautiful crane viewing spots all set up. However, I don’t find any stragglers. They have all moved on to Canada, as I expected. I do see a lot of mid-size birds with black feathers and red up on their neck. They sit on the tops of upright branches and even on the tip of last year’s cattails. They appear quite agile and they sing wildly, a one syllable, a “breeeee” sound. I haven’t looked them up yet.

Tango and I walk around to stretch our legs after arriving. We set up camp and tend to our dinners. I turn on the computer and Internet (Verizon sky card) and am delighted to find 4G service. In WY we have very unreliable 3G.

camp no platte

cooking set up

Camp kitchen all ready

potatoes

Instant Mashers Tonight!

no platte and vanBanks of North Platte

Shortly after dinner Tango and I take off on a two-mile walk. Display signs tell us about the surrounding “wet meadows,” an important habitat for migrating cranes.

Locals wander into the area to fish along the river. A little girl wanders into the river to cool off, fully dressed. At dark they all leave

The night air is cool. I wonder about keeping the van doors open all night and letting the breeze flow through. For some reason I am worried about snakes, being so close to the river.  I begin to think maybe I should close the doors tonight. Then I remember snakes are cold-blooded and probably not active at night. In the end, it gets too cold and I have to shut the doors anyway.

Morning arrives and I get ready for 5K training. Tango and I take off down the gravel road. I find myself not walking, not jogging, not power walking. I am bouncing around but not going very fast. I decide to call it “wogging” for walk/jog at the same time.  I wog for 2.5 miles, and I am pleased to be keeping to my training schedule. Plus, I feel great. Something happened this morning, I was able to wog most of the time instead of  the walk/jogging intervals. I don’t know if I am improving of if the elevation is already dropping.

While drinking coffee, I charge the computer and check emails. I am super jazzed because my BFF in Colorado Springs sends an email. We lose touch for 6 months to a year, catch up, then lose touch again until I get to the Springs for a visit or pass through on my way somewhere. I was worried, and sure enough, he had not been feeling great. Things are much better and I am super upbeat after we talk later in the day.

But now, time to dig out a protein bar for breakfast and pack up. I get back into North Platte, NE, gas up, and check tires. I start talking to a young Aussie couple who are traveling by car around the U.S. I tell them about my mini Aussie, Tango. They have never seen a mini, so I get him out of the van. They fall in love with him and goo goo gaga. No single men going gaga yet.

So, back onto I-80. Although I will do my best to exaggerate and fabricate something, today is simply uneventful.This is Middle America – cool, calm, collected, stable, kind of boring at times. Fittingly, along the way I get a call from Doc. The blood work looks great.

By now the two Platte Rivers have merged and are now just the Platte River. I see it on my right and the rail lines on my left. Here I am right in between on I-80. Why is this interesting? The first white settlers came out in their wagon trains along the Platte River (the Oregon Trail passes nearby where I live). The second wave of homesteaders came out on the train. The largest wave came into the west on I-80 (myself included 38 years ago). Today, I pass so many pioneer and prairie museums, historical markers, and landmarks. This is a driving day so I go onward.

Another egg-white Subway for lunch. More stops at rest areas.

rest stop

Van at Rest Area, Tango and I walk a ways

At Lincoln, NE the landscape changes again. The scenery is greener. The irrigation rigs disappear and farm land appears to be rain fed. The landscape gets hillier. I get through Omaha, NE by 4 PM—glad for that. The commuters are polite to me as I putter along, and I don’t have to sprinkle any love dust on aggressive drivers here.

Everything changes once again as I cross the Missouri River and enter Iowa. The Platte River joins the Missouri and it heads south, so it’s goodbye to that piece of history until I return.  The terrain is very hilly and green. The air is humid, and I feel a few raindrops. I start to see why people so often confuse Iowa and Ohio. This part of Iowa looks just like the part of Ohio where I grew up. I know more plains lie ahead, but I am enjoying the green hills and dales.

As the day comes to a close, I decide there are three options for Two Sleep

  • Camp somewhere if I see a place
  • Get a motel room
  • Just keep going

The motel room is appealing for 2 reasons. The first is a shower : ) The second is NCIS. Tonight is Part Two of the Four Part season-ender. I could use a glimpse of Jethro, plus last week left us with an awful cliff-hanger.

Pushing on is appealing too. A wintery storm is driving down into this area and I want to be far enough along to miss the snow. Just not sure yet, but I need to make a decision soon about where I will stop.

I expect a rainy day tomorrow, regardless.  However, where I am heading to camp on Lake Erie in a few days is looking very nice with 70s late in the week and lots of sunshine.

Since I don’t have much else to write about I will share about keeping electronics charged today, with the following photos:

charging computer, final

Charging computer and air card at campsite this morning. I am plugged into the camp site electricity.

radio  inverter

Charging computer some more while driving…the inverter is plugged into the 12 volt port, the regular computer plug is plugged into that. Satellite radio is visible, plugged into second 12 volt port.

charging kindle

Charging the Kindle using a 12 volt cord plugged into 12 volt port. Satellite radio is also visible and plugged into other 12 volt port.

12 volt 4 prong thingy

This is my fancy 12 volt multi-plug thingy. It can be plugged into a 12 volt port and then 4 12 volt cords can be plugged into it. Since I only have one 12 volt cord with me  I am not totally sure why I brought it along. It’s a cool gadget, anyway and makes a nice photo.

Hugs and love dust from Iowa, in America’s Heartland.

iowa

3 thoughts on “One Sleep

  1. Sprinkle love dust over Iowa for me…..born and raised in northern Iowa…..don’t get back so much anymore….have a cemetery plot up there, though, so may get back some day to stay!

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