Now solo, I headed up I-25 into Wyoming. Stopped at the Visitor Center to pick up a map and brochures on places I would be going or may be interested in seeing. I knew I wanted to go to Wheatland, after reading about their park on RVSue’s site. They have a city park with electric hookups where you could stay (3 days max) for a small donation. I had changed my address to my folks’ place, and needed to get my mail delivered. Wheatland seemed like a place where I could wait for a few days, within walking distance to downtown, and decent weather.
But, it would be a few days before the mail package that my dad had sent would arrive. A couple of the ladies on the solo women RV group I subscribed to were camphosting at Vedauwoo (pronounced VEE-da-voo), a National Forest Service campground between Cheyenne and Laramie. They had said it was a fantastic site and I figured I would check it out, then maybe visit Laramie and Cheyenne. When I got there it turned out to be very cool (fantastic rock formations) and very cool (higher elevation with a nice breeze), and I immediately paid for 2 nights. [This was Thursday/Friday, August 23rd/24th.] After getting set up, Riley and I took a walk around the campground and onto the trail that led into the Medicine Bow National Forest. We saw a moose part way down the spur trail that led to the longer trail that goes all around the outside of the rock formations. I kept thinking how much my nephew, Kevin, would enjoy visiting Vedauwoo. He’s an expert rock climber. (Additional pictures in a slideshow at the end.)
The next day I noticed my house battery was VERY low on charge. I figured I would drive to Laramie so it would recharge. Laramie is a nice little college town. University of Wyoming was having their ‘move-in day’ for the students and families, so it was a little busy traffic-wise. I ended up stopping at Advance Auto Parts to look for an amber bulb for my outside light and a copy of my gas key (couldn’t seem to find anywhere that had a blank for that odd-size key.) Ended up checking out batteries. I knew 2 golf cart batteries (6-volt) was a better setup than the 12-volt I had. The salesman said the 6-volt farm tractor batteries they had were the same thing. I was skeptical, but figured he knew his stock. He gave me the directions to Kett’s Auto Electric for installation. When I got there the owner said no, farm batteries were not deep-cycle discharge batteries, and I needed the golf cart batteries. He called Advance and they sent over a guy with the correct batteries. After installation I swung back by Advance and settled up on the difference. The GC batteries were more expensive, but he knocked $10 off of each for his mistake. I went by Walmart and then back to the campground.
Nicole and Darlene, the camp-hosts, stopped by on their rounds and we got to visit a bit. Nicole is very knowledgeable on electrical systems and she looked at my generator and the wiring going to the batteries. She couldn’t really see why my generator wasn’t charging the batteries. Really, it’s just a 200 pound piece of junk and I should have uninstalled it before leaving. Later, Riley and I hiked the full trail – 3 miles or so.
The next morning we got on the road early to go to Wheatland. Since it was Saturday, I wanted to get to the campground reasonably early for a better chance at a site. With only 10 sites I thought it might fill early on weekends. Also, I wanted to stop by Cheyenne to visit the farmer’s market they have on Saturday mornings. When I got to Lewis Park in Wheatland there was only one other rig there. It was a guy from England. Alan travels in a motorhome about 6 months of the year then flies back to England for the rest of the year. He said there had been a bluegrass concert the night before and rumor was there was another Saturday night, too. Not long after I got set up another motorhome pulled in. I met Phil and Karon from Gulf Shores, AL. Phil helped me get level on my new Lynx leveling blocks that I had picked up at the Walmart in Laramie. Nice folks. We ended up setting up our chairs near the amphitheater and watching the bluegrass concert. Well, mostly we talked about our travels, with bluegrass background music. They headed on the next morning. Sunday night there was a gospel concert and Alan and I listened a bit, mostly talking about our travels. He gave me a couple of boondocking sites to check out when I got to Bryce Canyon.
On Monday morning I walked over to the post office and my mail had just arrived. So, I packed up and headed on. I wanted to get to Casper. Then I would probably go to Thermopolis and Brooks Lake before my main Wyoming destination – Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.