We found a local state park this morning about a mile away from the Flying J and were able to use their dump/water services for a small donation. On the way into the park, there was an enclosure with about a dozen bison roaming around. You cannot fully appreciate how massive these animals are until you see them in the flesh!
Our main destination for the day was Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. The Gorge is 91 miles long and goes from Wyoming down into Utah. The reservoir has red-lined cliffs and rock walls, which inspired the name for the area. We drove as far as Lady T could handle and then turned around. I explored the area quite a bit when I worked in Utah years ago and took a bunch of photos then. I will have to dig around to see if I can find them to post.
After Flaming Gorge, we decided to make a go for Cheyenne, which was clear across the state. We hit the highway, stopping every few hours to give Lady T a break. The whole day, we were never below 5000 feet in elevation. The constant ups and downs were challenging and we had to take our time on the inclines, sometimes slowing to 25 mph on a 75 mph road. With tractor trailers and cars flying by us at full speed, it made for an interesting (and stressful!) drive.
As the daylight slowly disappeared, we saw lightening off to the east. At 7300 feet, it got pitch black and then the rain came, followed by hail. The lightening became more intense as we pressed on but we just took our time and waited for it to subside, which it finally did about 15 minutes later. Definitely one of the more interesting rides on our trip but not one we care to revisit anytime soon!
We continued on towards Laramie, where we would meet our biggest challenge yet: the highest point on Interstate 80 topping out at 8640 feet. The dark and time of night worked to our advantage and we were actually looking forward to conquering this obstacle to reach the trophy at the top of the mountain…a giant Abraham Lincoln sculpture. Driving in the slow lane at 20MPH, we made it to the top at about 11 PM and took a few pictures for bragging rights ;o)
We made it to Cheyenne a short time later and settled in at, you guessed it, another the Flying J. Tomorrow, we will visit my cousin in Cheyenne and then drive south to visit my other cousin in Aurora, CO. See you then!