Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wyoming and High Altitude

We hardly spent any time in Laramie. The town, flat and barren, but I felt the effects of the altitude. I rode Herman's ten speed, becoming very short of breath. I walked across an empty lot to the convenience store, amused at the prairie dogs popping up and down all over the land. I loved the summer any where, but so much fun with interesting and different things to do.
The Dairy Queen was the only ice cream stand in town. So strange from Shenango Valley. Diane and Herman drove a long way to Fort Collins, CO for Baskin Robbins ice cream. We did that and toured through the Rockies, Estes Park, had to climb Mt. Evans, where nothing but sky spread out before our Nova's hood. Herman drove, Mom and Dad sat in the front and Diane and I cut up in the back seat.
Snow lingered on the mountains, although summer temperatures prevailed.
I saw a double decker outhouse at a mountain museum. We stopped at Fort Laramie, not near the town. We stayed a night at Jackson, ate at Jenny Lake Lodge, where Princess Grace vacationed. We strolled around Jackson. Somewhere around here, we watched Yankee Doodle Dandy, with James Cagney on the motel TV late night movie. My mother enthused about his dancing. This was my first encounter with his hoofing.  I love the grand lodge at Yellowstone, next to Old Faithful. We didn't stay there. I stared at the bubbling mud near the geyser, as we walked over the wooden path.
Casa Bonita, a Mexican restaurant in Denver, was my first introduction to Mexican food. This huge place included a dinner show with divers. I loved most the sophipias- oh, heavenly. Never found them again like at this restaurant.
Mulling around the Cody Museum in Cody, WY, I heard a camera click and some laughing. Boy Scouts trailed me and took my picture. We got to talking and found out we were practically neighbors. They lived in Coraopolis, PA. Being fifteen, having boys pay attention to me was quite a confidence boost. I loved how the dry air relieved the frizzies in my hair.
We also were introduced to buffalo burgers and raisin cream pie. One restaurant that appeared as a hole in the wall, had a great dinner. I remember most the bacon wrapped petite steak. Food, on vacation, tastes better than other food.
So many memories of this trip. The best was Dad could drive long distances again. Mom and I were at that friction phase of teen age daughters and mothers. I couldn't even tell you why I didn't like her then. She felt it and bought me a pair of horse head earrings, with an apology, which made me feel very awkward. Couldn't I just have my rebellion in peace?
A rodeo also filled the new experiences for me. Funny how I admired the girls in their boot cut jeans, plaid shirts and cowboy hats, but knew there was no way I could wear that back home. I did get boot cut jeans, though. No cowboy hat.
A fresh accident just outside of Laramie with barefoot jean legs, lifeless beside the road caused shuddering. Also, seeing a boulder rock indented into one of the roads we were on, just prior to when we came upon it. Life could be cut off in second.
Long evenings driving in the car, we could listen to WFAR from Farrell, PA. A taste of home before the internet was imagined. Love the skip off the heavyside layer.
The expanse of the sky, the low humidity, the prairie dogs, bright sunshine and new experiences comprised a wonderful vacation. I renewed my friendship with Diane. I grew some from the learning.
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