I hate shopping. I am not the type to browse and check different stores for a better price. My method is blitzkreig-style; in and out as fast as possible. Get what is on the list and get outta there. This applies to grocery shopping as well as every other type. Thank the Lord for online shopping.
Having said that, Cheyenne was a different story. We holed up in the Greenway Trailer Park and Campground to wait for the solenoid that Jim ordered for the generator. Once he installs it, we are in for a couple of days of urban boondocking on the way to Billings and we will need the generator. Staying put for a few days made sense so we broke out the bikes and planned to explore Cheyenne.
But first, the trailer park. It was one of what we call “long term” parks where most of the trailers haven’t gone anywhere for a long time. Some are never going anywhere again. These parks are real eye-openers. If you want to get a good real-life picture of the working poor, this is the place to come. It is quiet because everybody works, but they are never going to get ahead. Many have lots of “good stuff” surrounding their trailer, from kid toys to motorcycle engines and old cars.
A few people have children and they pack the whole family into an old and often rundown unit. While taking Carmella out for a walk, I got to know the kids next door who were visiting their divorced father for a while. It looked like Dad’s main priority was beer drinking but the kids were cute and smart and personable. They have a big friendly kitty named Sebastian and Jordan posed for me with him. He was much friendlier than our neurotic cats.
One morning I thought somebody was knocking on the bus door but it was Dad Next Door under his trailer banging away on his plumbing. Sure enough, his black tank valve was open – WRONG! He beat on it for a while, becoming obviously frustrated and then they left for a few days, probably to a motel. Maybe he hadn’t lived in a trailer very long but everybody knows that you only open the black tank valve when you are ready to dump or the liquid will run out creating a mountain of poop in your tank. I have heard it is not fun to clean out. Our neighbor across the way. He was friendly but obviously stuck in a bygone era.
Cheyenne is another town that is really easy to get around by bike. There are some dedicated bike lanes on the streets but you can always find a back route through neighborhoods to get where you’re going.
Downtown is unlike a lot of other towns we have passed through. The main street is bustling and shops are open and plentiful. Some of the sidestreets storefronts are empty but not like some places. We scoped out the Wyoming Rib and Chophouse and made a reservation for dinner. They rate highly on Yelp. We found a jewelry store that does repairs so Jim could get his fancy New Mexico pawnshop bolo restrung. We had lunch at El Charitto Mexican restaurant, and like all of our Mexican lunches, it was dinner too.
It is about 10 days until Frontier Days, the big annual rodeo, and we want to make sure we are out of town by the time that happens. I want to do that but not this year.
Train yard selfie
The Wrangler, right on the main street. Many thousands of years ago, when my family went on our working ranch vacations in Montana, we always stopped here for cowboy boots, hats and jeans. The Western Ranchman Outfitter, which was katty-korner to it, is no longer there.
We stopped in to the Cheyenne Artist Guild’s Western Art Show. These remind me of my talented friend, Catherine Hall.
Back to the shopping. You can see it is not a high priority. While we were walking around downtown, we passed a Consignment Shop. Jim said, “This looks like an interesting shop.” I thought WHAT? But he had bounded into the store and the next thing I knew I had bought two very cool western style jackets. I had the one picked out as soon as I saw it but the other one had So. Much. Fringe. I couldn’t resist. I also bought a blouse. I haven’t bought clothes in ages so making up for lost time. I wore the fringiest one to dinner at the Chop House.
The next day we were on the bike trail and passed a bike shop in an out of the way spot. I discovered in Denver that my bike shorts were a little threadbare. I don’t know why, I’ve only had them for around thirty five years. We went in and found a two for one sale. And the best thing? They weren’t all black! So I should be good for the next 35 years.
We stopped at the Lincolnway Super Pawn thinking they might have some Indian jewelry. When we went through the Southwest in Jim’s Falcon in 2000, we discovered the pawn shops were full of the good old heavy turquoise and silver jewelry. That’s where his bolo came from. We were in shopping mode so I thought what the heck?
Unfortunately Fortunately they only had one silver/turquoise watchband sans watch. We passed.
The generator part came and Jim installed it and working fine.
Time to hit the road.