Douglas and Glenrock, Wyoming
One of the more interesting aspects of our lives as nomads is seeing where Keith’s work as an electrician will take us next. There are jobs all over the country and in the past 3 years since our wedding we have lived in Colorado, Louisiana/Arkansas (job was in southern Arkansas, but we started out in a hotel across the state line in Bastrop, Louisiana), Utah, Antarctica, Colorado again, Oklahoma (Keith’s worst job ever coupled with our worst landlord ever), and most recently, Wyoming. In between jobs we have also traveled to Africa, England, New Zealand, Ecuador, and various parts of the U.S. and Canada, usually touching back at our home base in Kansas between each trip or move.
Wyoming was kind of a spur of the moment thing. With a bit of a lull on our earthbag house project in Kansas and a dwindling savings account, Keith figured he might as well be making money and looked up some jobs. He found what was advertised to be a 6 to 8 week commercial job (which actually turned out to be industrial and a lot longer than 8 weeks) in Wyoming and a couple days later I helped him pack up and sent him off. I helped out with a few more projects around the property and then bused out to join him.
The first place we visited when I arrived was Ayres Natural Bridge Park. This is a lovely park and I definitely recommend it! Unfortunately Keith had injured his leg a few days earlier and was hobbling around with a brace on.
We started out living in a hotel in Douglas, but with rates at $350-$500 per week and the weather getting nicer, we decided to pitch a tent at an RV Park in Glenrock and pay $400 per month instead. During the week in Douglas, I dropped in at the visitor’s center and learned more about the area, and walked around their railroad museum. Douglas is on the Oregon Trail and the area has a rich history.
A few days later I went to the RV Park and got everything set up for long-term camping. We lucked out with an electrical site right next to the shower house and bathrooms and a strong internet signal. With electricity we could run our heater on the colder mornings and use our computers without having to find a place to charge them up. Yay!
I scoped out the small town of Glenrock and discovered it was equipped with a library, grocery store, and really nice rec center where I could sign up for dance fitness classes. Yes, please! It wasn’t quite the same as the bailoterapia in Ecuador, but it was fun and allowed me to mingle with some other people at least a few times per week, all while helping me stay in shape.
I usually worked several hours per day at the library, and spent some time each day grocery shopping for a day or two at a time and getting a new bag of ice for the cooler. Between keeping the tent in order, cooking over my little camp stove, and other little tasks that always take longer without a house to do them in, I managed to stay fairly busy. I also made a trip to Colorado and Washington to spend a couple of weeks with my family.
When I got back from my trip I discovered that a robin had taken up residence in the lilac bush next to our tent and had laid three beautiful little blue eggs in her nest. She got quite used to seeing me walk by and usually stayed in her nest even though I was only a couple of feet away from her.
Glenrock has a pretty neat little dinosaur museum which is definitely worth seeing if you’re ever in the area! The museum is run by a small staff of volunteers, including a retired high school science/PE/language arts teacher who is marvelous–she just brings the place to life with her vivid descriptions of the dinosaurs and the lives they must have lived. Before she gave me the tour, I watched her take a group of young children through, and even the smallest ones seemed spellbound by her presentation as she led them through the museum. Other volunteers–all senior citizens–help to clean the fossilized dinosaur bones and piece them together for display, which is a painstaking labor of love and patience. Go see this place. Sadly, I didn’t have my camera with me when I went, but check out their website: paleon.org.
After 5 weeks living in the tent, we packed up and drove back to Kansas. The day before we left, the first baby robin hatched from its egg. Something had happened to the third egg somewhere along the line, but I could see egg #2 in the process of hatching.
I checked the nest one last time the morning before pulling out, and sure enough, baby #2 was wriggling around in there (and I forgot to go back and take one last picture before leaving, DARN IT). Too bad we couldn’t stick around to watch them grow!