We left Lander in route to Rawlins, WY and moved to our new home at the RV World Campground. While the management was more than friendly and helpful, the park was not much more than a gravel parking lot. We later discovered the other options in Rawlins are no different. But, we are only here for a night or two, so we made do with what we had; we have definitely stayed at worse.
The following morning we decided to see the thriving metropolis of Rawlins, and in doing so, stumbled upon a sign that read “Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum”, and so off we went. (As usual, click on any image to enlarge)
Visiting a prison was never on either of our bucket lists, but I must admit, it was interesting. The prison opened in December 1901 with 104 cells in cellblock A, and had no running water or electricity, and a heating system capable of warming the inside to just 20 degrees above the outside temperature. The weather in Rawlins during the winter is frequently below zero. The “modern” gas heater in the picture below in cellblock A wasn’t added until 1978.
During its operation, it housed over 13,500 inmates; 9 were sentenced to hang and 5 met their demise in the gas chamber. It was closed in 1981. The inmates would stick pictures on the walls of their cell using toothpaste, the only approved method. Anything else would have led to them being charged with destruction of state property. It is said the gentleman that drew his likeness on his cell wall met with swift and cruel punishment.
I can’t imagine being incarcerated with such harsh conditions, but in those days, if you committed the crime, you did the time. The grey and white stripped uniforms were made of a denim/burlap material, and were very harsh to the skin; at least they didn’t suffer from eczema. Other inmates liked the grubs and were actually rehabilitated before earning their release; while others did not fare nearly as well.
The following morning it was eastward to Cheyenne, an easy 150 mile drive across I-80. The roads were great and it was an easy drive until the southerly winds picked up forcing me to put both hands on the wheel. And then it happened, 55 miles from Cheyenne; Murphy returns! He manages to rear his ugly head at the most inopportune times. Something no one likes to see on their dash, the amber “Check Engine” light was on. CC grabbed the Freightliner Manual to research our options, but as she read aloud, “Take the vehicle to the nearest authorized service center”, my heart skipped a beat. She quickly got on the internet and found a service center in Cheyenne, and after calling them, and speaking to a service advisor, my heart resumed normal operation. The tech said, “Bring it in, and we’ll look at it. As long as the light stays amber, everything is OK, but if it turns red, pull over and shut off the engine.” My heart returned to its skipping routine, hoping and praying we would not have to pull over.
We arrived about 11:30, did some paperwork, and took the Equinox to find some lunch. The technician said he would call me if they found anything. After lunch, we found a shopping mall. CC had not seen one in weeks, and the look on her face was pure satisfaction, as she was grinning from ear to ear with excitement. She found Jacques Penne to her liking and departed with a few pair of shorts and a cute t-shirt type blouse. Around 3:30 we returned to Floyd’s to check on the progress of the rig. They were just pulling into the service bay as we arrived. Four LONG hours later, the problem was diagnosed as a glitch in the ECM (Electronic Control Module), the brain of the rig. The technician reprogrammed the ECM with a software update from Freightliner, and by 8:30 we were on our way to our original destination, Tom and Trudy’s, just north of Cheyenne.
We spent the next couple of days visiting with them and Ed and Bev, who had driven their MH up from Ft. Collins to join in the festivities. It’s always good to re-connect with old friends, even if it is only once or twice a year. When I was younger, I never knew older people could or would have so much fun. On Saturday, we fired up Tom’s smoker, loaded it with ribs, pork shoulder and sausage, imbibed in a cerveza fria or two, and continued the funfest. Thanks to Tom and Trudy, for opening your home and your RV Park; we had a great time!
The next leg of our journey took us down I-25 south to Castle Rock, and east on CO-86 to Elizabeth, where we will be staying at Rick and Zoe’s homestead for the next few days; it is so quiet and peaceful. We have an appointment on 9/12 back in Denver to have some repairs done on the rig; it’s always something.
CC made the monumental decision to lose her 9 year old locks. Women can understand this decision, but it is harder for men, since they are pre-programmed to realize and accept that they will eventually lose theirs to Father Time. Now, a couple of days later, she says she wished she hadn't cut it, adding "I look OLDER now". What do you think? Please feel free to comment as she needs some feedback.
I try to be supportive by reminding her that she is, after all, a Great Grandmother, but for some reason, that didn't help much. Geeez....what's a guy to do?
We plan on spending the month of September in Colorado, and after it cools down in the Midwest, move to the Oklahoma City area in October to spend time with CC’s mom. Thanks for stopping by and until next time, take care and stay well my friends……………