Monday, 13 October 2008

Point of Rocks (October 12)

(Three posts today as no wi fi until Rawlins)

Day 28

It had stopped snowing by 11 am, but Sunday ennui had already set in and I decided to stay put. I had planned to get to Wamsutter on Saturday, to Rawlins on Sunday and then have a rest day in Rawlins on Monday. Instead I was making today the rest day, I would try to reach Rawlins on Monday and the next place on Tuesday. Bumped into Tammy shoveling snow from the gas station forecourt and I helped her out with a broom, after which she took me back to her trailer for toasted fried egg sandwiches with coffee. Later she took me to the 'living' ghost town of Superior (past a pick-up truck that had skidded off the road last night and turned over)and I had a beer in the Canyon Bar dating from cowboy times. Tammy reckoned Butch Cassidy (who was a butcher in Rock Springs) and the Sundance Kid drank in this bar, which was run by an octogenarian lady, with dust covering every surface, from the intricately carved cherry wood bar to the animal mounts. Tammy told me how Mark's grandfather (who runs Point of Rocks) shot the tyres of a truck when he caught the driver stealing diesel and peppered this and other tales with the catchphrase “Hoooooly smokes!” She drove me up to the Jim Bridger Power Station as well, the biggest this side of the Mississippi, then to the laundromat, where we chatted to another trucker from Nevada who had some controversial theories about politics and women which I won't go into. Thumbed through the Sweetwater County Guide this afternoon, while Tammy took a nap. Some things I came across :

1.Main news on the front page – “Genealogy Class Set. Librarian Micki Gilmore will teach a class on genealogy...”
2.Front page of the pull-out hunting section – a beaming 12 year old girl holding the antlers of the bloody-nosed antelope she'd just shot.
3.Lost & found ads – Money has been found outside the Family Dollar store.

In the evening I rejoined Tammy at the bar, where we again shared a pizza (and she insisted on paying for everything) although she didn't drink beer with me as she had to be up at 5.30. Another trucker, who looked like John Voight with a moustache, said the reason the oilfields round here - and the offshore ones in the Gulf - were capped was because the military wanted to keep them in reserve in case of World War III. Tammy had introduced me to him and told him about my journey, but as is the case with a minority of people either side of the Pond, he wasn't remotely interested in what I was doing, who I was or where I came from. People like this are such losers. When I was able to turn my back on him. Tammy told me about her time in construction and how she walked across girders hundreds of feet up without a safety harness. One time a crane driver gave her a lift to the top of the building in his basket. When she had finished a small job, she hopped back into the basket, but this time he played a prank on her and dropped the basket so it was in free fall, until it was five feet above the ground. There was a sign in the bar that read “Your wife called and you can stay as long as you want” and I hadn't noticed before that the wooden structure in the middle of the bar with all the optics was an old wagon, or the wagon wheel candelabra suspended from the ceiling. Tammy gave me pepper spray in case I was attacked by wild animals and she drove me back to my domicile, where we said our goodbyes. John Voight was on TV tonight, in Deliverance, which I really shouldn't have watched, being a lone city boy in such a place, but I did. Weirdly there was an episode of Southpark on another channel with a piss take of the 'pig squealing' incident from this very film.

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