‘Twas a beautiful morning as we pulled out of York and onto I-80. The farmland stretched out mostly flat for miles and miles. Lotsa irrigation. Mostly corn but after all, what is Nebraska? The landscape changed as we drove west and the hills started rolling. The soil obviously changed too since the crops gave way to range land which gave way to pretty much nothing. The buttes rose up in the extreme western part of the state and the landscape stayed that way into eastern Wyoming.
The hills became more severe as well. I was downshifting to make it up the hills and using the Jake Brake and fan to make the first five mile 4 percent descent down the other side. (The Jake brake is a system that uses the engine to help brake the rig and the fan is a separate and distinct braking system that I don’t have a link for.)
The plateaus were gorgeous. We saw a lot of antelope but no deer so I guess they were not able to play. I would think that these innocent creatures could mess up the front of a truck so I hope they stayed on the range and avoided the pavement.
I would be pulling into Rawlins, Wyoming, an hour or so before dusk. But the town just to the east of Rawlins was Sinclair, home of the Sinclair refinery. We noticed that not only was there gases being flared from the designated stack off to the side of the complex, but a big ass fire burning right in the middle of the refinery. It was far enough off the freeway that I couldn’t see exactly what was burning, but Dudley said he saw streams of something, perhaps chemicals, being directed onto the fire. This looked like an emergency situation to me. Being in a truck and not a car, we did not pull over to investigate, but a goodly number of other vehicles were pulling over. I guess they wanted to see the explosion.
Rawlins was only a few minutes further down the road and although we couldn’t see the refinery from the truck stop because of a big hill, we could see the dark smoke still billowing into the sky.
Rawlins was obviously a cowboy town. The freeway into town was lined with dozens of small livestock pens occupied mostly by horses.
I parked at the TA and we took a quick “rest.” I did my post trip and Dudley got behind the wheel. Before it got dark we saw more pretty scenery. Passing through the town of Hershey, Wyoming, we saw a large silhouette of a coyote at the top of a hill. Of course its nose was pointed up, howling.
Dudley drove on into the night and into Utah. I saw some serious mountainage but could only see a few hundred feet off the freeway. I’m sure it was gorgeous, just gorgeous. We picked up I-84 north of Salt Lake City and followed it to Ogden where we spent the night.
We did not shower.