Well, we made it to Buffalo and back safe and sound. But we almost didn’t. And by the way, Google Maps, that’s Buffalo, Wyoming. Not New York. It does not take 21 hours to travel 210 miles…though for a while there, I thought it might.
Before we set out on our trip, I was worried about an impending snowstorm that might affect our drive home on Sunday. I didn’t give Friday’s weather a second thought. Partly cloudy, 20% chance of scattered rain showers in the afternoon? No problem.
Until the rain turned to snow a couple of hours before we set out. And the snow turned to ice. By the time we crossed the Wyoming state line, it was so slick we kept our speed around 50 mph on the interstate…way below the 80-mph speed limit.
Suffice it to say, not a fun drive. The roads got better west of Sundance, but it was still dark, with occasional snow and fog. By the time we pulled into Buffalo a little after 10:00, we looked at one another and said, “Let’s save these road trips for months that don’t end in –uary.”
The way it is around here, even months ending in –arch and –pril are iffy.
But, Saturday was perfectly lovely. Our motel was just two blocks from the very charming downtown.
After grabbing breakfast at Busy Bee Cafe, we headed for the southern Bighorns. As bad as the interstate had been the evening before, we were a little leery about driving over the mountains, but conditions were fine. It was a beautiful, warm day and the scenery was fantastic.
We drove clear to Worland on the other side of the Bighorns. Stopped in a vintage store where Tara found a midcentury modern starburst clock in great condition. Score!
Then we backtracked to Ten Sleep Brewing Company—hands down the most scenic brewery I’ve ever visited. They didn’t have any sours on tap and I’m not a beer fan otherwise, but we stopped nonetheless. Wouldn’t you?
I got a red beer and Tara enjoyed a golden ale and an outlaw amber.
Back over the mountains we headed. Got back to Buffalo late afternoon and walked down to the saloon in the Occidental Hotel, where we parked ourselves for the next 5+ hours. Really cool place that dates back to 1908, and it’s filled with the usual Old West decor: lots of mounted animal heads and other paraphernalia. Supposedly, there are still bullet holes in the ceiling from the rough ‘n tumble outlaws who liked their whiskey cold and their women hot.
A few Old Fashioneds and Bud Lights and some decent grub later, there was live entertainment. A local duo played mostly country music, but put their own spin on a few rock ‘n roll classics. Like this little ditty from Prince.
Five years ago, if you had told me I’d be sitting in a historic saloon in small town Wyoming, watching men in cowboy hats twirl their partners around the floor while a country duo played Brooks & Dunn, I’d have called you crazy. Yet, this really is my life now.
And I wouldn’t change it for a thing.
We ended up basically closing the place down…though, this being a small town in Wyoming in a month ending in -uary, that meant 9:30 on a Saturday night.
After all the hoopla over the impending storm, our drive home on Sunday was a nonevent. Partly cloudy and low 50s.
This morning is another story. It’s currently windy, snowy, and -3º. Tara’s got the day off and I decided to join her since I had a floating holiday I had to use up before the end of March. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to venture outside in this.
Then again, tomorrow’s going to be even colder and even snowier. I’ll have no choice then.
Whatever. That’s a tomorrow problem. We’ve got a fire to build in the basement and a movie or two to watch!