~Friday, May 20, 2022~
After last night’s snow/rain, Billie Jean and Hank are looking a little more sparkly today. Wyoming skies are looking a bit too cloudy, keeping our high at around 45 degrees, though the temps should be more favorable in the coming days. However, a hard freeze is expected tonight with temperatures around 27 degrees. Time to bring out those skylight/vent blankets again. 🥶This crazy weather has also left my closet very confused. Instead of hanging one season worth, I’ve had to add winter gear as well, making for one stuffed closet. And this one is the size of a medicine chest. Gee, I wonder what kind of weather we’re in for as we head into the open plains of South Dakota and Montana? It’s quite something to look back on what ground we’ve covered over the last month and a half. From desert to high mountains, to the plains, you can’t get much more diverse than that. No wonder deciding on what to wear has been such a challenge!!
Yay….finally a down day! I know, we sound like spoiled children with what appears to be an everyday vacation. But to be clear, a nomadic lifestyle is not always merry and bright. Between planning out the next move, truck/trailer maintenance, tracking weather and pushing our limits of trying to see “everything”, it’s downright exhausting. So, throwing in an occasional “chill day” is welcome and oh so necessary. We might even need 2 days of recovery after yesterday’s ambivalent journey and grueling driving conditions.
Generally for us, the day after a stressful travel day is typically spent adjusting to our “temporary home” , hitting a local supermarket and tackling a few projects. Before I dug into some computer time, I took a chilly, brisk walk over to the office to settle up, per last night’s instructions. Nobody home. I happened to see a staff person in her golf cart nearby and asked how to handle payment. She said due to the weather, no one would be in today and to just use the“honor box”. I was prepared to write my check for what Jeff was originally quoted…… $15/night until I saw a sign that said ‘hookup sites-$30/night’. Big difference. We do have an electrical site so wrote my check for the $30/night rate. Hopefully, we’ll get this all figured out tomorrow, if the staff ever show up.
Our only neighbor in the park, a Wyomingite as they’re called, asked after seeing our California license plates, how we liked Wyoming so far. We replied, “COLD!!” She said, “Too bad you weren’t here last week when it was in the upper 70’s”. It appears we’re off by a week with most everything lately. We asked what brings them to the park. “The golf course”, she said. You can’t beat the campground location as it’s tied right in with the 9-hole golf course, across from the North Platte River. And between the 2 rigs, we have the entire place to ourselves. I guess this late winter storm kept people away.
Another cool little feature of our campground is getting to hear the military bugle calls of “Reveille”, “Retreat” and “Taps” coming from the Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center that runs right along the city park property. Hearing it sparked a question for myself……how did these 3 bugle calls originate in the first place? If you know your history, you can skip to the next paragraph. But if history isn’t your strong suit and believe in the “learn something new everyday” mentality, read on…….
Reveille-stems from the French word “reveiller” meaning “to wake up”. The morning bugle call was originally used in 1812, designed to muster the unit to call.
Retreat-signals the end of the official duty day and pays respect to the nation’s flag, rendering a salute. It is one of the oldest traditions in the U.S. Army dating back to the Revolutionary War.
Taps-Played at U.S. military funerals/memorials and a “lights out” signal for soldiers at night, dates back to the American Civil War. In 1862, a U.S. General by the name of Daniel Butterfield was dissatisfied with the standard bugle call at the time, thinking it should be more melodious. He reworked it to a 24-note tune to which his brigade favored. It even caught on with the Confederates. As far as the name itself, it is thought“Taps” is named after the 3 drum beats (known as drum taps), that followed the original tune.
And there you have it! Speaking of things from the past, we’re lucky to be near 2 significant sites that contributed to the expansion of the American West…….Fort Laramie and the Oregon Trail Ruts, both of which we hope to see while staying in Guernsey.
We each had a to do list for the day: mine……defrosting the fridge/freezer and writing. Jeff’s focus was on the trailer….. cleaning/conditioning the slide gaskets (way overdue), greasing a few squeaky hinges, fixing the latch on the sliding drawer under the dining seats that seemed to open on its own on travel days, cleaning the solar panels and changing the oil in the generator (also overdue). Quite a list, but all tackled.
Since Jeff was pretty involved with his maintenance, I decided to take over the kitchen for a few hours (a rarity). First, with our overripe bananas, I made my go-to banana muffins (always great to have on hand for hikes and travel days), followed by an horderves plate of hummus and caramelized bell peppers on Crostini, then onto dinner…..leftover spaghetti and spinach salad. Dish duty? Since we don’t have a dishwasher, it’s usually a team effort. Most of the time, I clean and Jeff dries. Gosh, if somebody asked me what I miss most about my kitchen, it would definitely have to be the dishwasher and my Riedel stemware! I look forward to the day we’re reunited!