Salt Lake to Laramie

Road Work

I didn’t get any pictures of Utah this trip, nor of the first several miles of Wyoming.

After we got our Wyoming Permits in Evanston, Wyoming we got back out on I-80 and headed east.  There is a mountain range known as the Three Sisters in this part of Wyoming.  During the winter time it is treacherous with the ice and snow.  This time of year the roads are being worked on.  This time they are putting some kind of rubber rope stuff between the concrete slabs, both horizontal and vertical.  This is supposed to help with the expansion and movement of the concrete from the heat, cold, and the weight stresses.  The rubber rope stuff is a buffer of sorts and keeps the concrete from grinding itself into major potholes.  Still happens.


This young man has the job of filling all the spaces in the concrete where the rubber rope stuff has already been packed in.  He shoots the tar/asphalt into the grooves until they seep out a bit.  He gets to work all by himself out here taking his chances with all of us crazy drivers.

Can you imagine doing this all day long?  The pay would be fairly good, weather would be iffy at best.  Wyoming is fairly cold in the mornings and evenings, summer time is very short – we’ve been told it is about 3 weeks long.  Might be an exaggeration but it is not far off.

Wind is a constant out here in Wyoming, it never lets up.  Blows hard enough to make walking in it very difficult sometimes.  Other times it is strong breezes.

Classic cars

There was a car show in Reno last Saturday, August 7th.

We were passed by a lot of old cars that have been lovingly restored.  That takes a lot of time, and not to mention money.  There is quite a bit of prize money involved at these car shows.

We have a friend that used to do upholstery in cars.  He and his late wife did the interiors of restorations and earned quite a name for themselves.  The sad part is that they didn’t garner enough business to keep it going but they did gain a reputation as being the best in the upholstery business of restoring older cars.

Jack told me that he could put the cloth on the interior roof in almost as much time as it took him to cut the fabric.  He learned all the tricks of working upside down.

One of the Three Sisters

This is at the top of the western side of the second of the Three Sisters.  As you can see, it has a steep downgrade then it goes back up at the other end – the eastern edge.

One winter I was riding with Joe on this particular piece of road, except going the opposite direction we are going today.

The road was covered with ice, snow was piled up at the shoulders.  His back truck kept slipping and sliding off the road and over the shoulder.  He angled the trucks into a partial jack knife and would give it some gas.  The tires would spin and we had little purchase on the road coming up this steep hill.  He kept asking me “Do you see the rooster tail?”  I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about.  I was totally terrified we were going to end up in a heap over the side somewhere.  He got us up this mountain then said “One more to go”.  If it weren’t so cold outside and out in the middle of no where I think I would have jumped out of the truck rather than do that all over again.  He got us where we needed to be and in good shape.  Joe is my Hero.

Strange rock formations

This rock formation has always made me think the upright one looks like a woman.  It kind of has boobs and a head of hair.

I can’t figure out what she is looking at.  Depending on the light during the day it looks like a person in a hole and coming out, other times it just looks like a rock pile.

This rock formation is out in the middle of a field.  Nothing else is around it for quite a distance so it stands out just because of that.

The sky had a lot of clouds that day.  None of them gathered enough to cause it to rain.  Usually the Wyoming sky is open and clear.  Blue from one horizon to another.  Almost like Montana’s “Big Sky” country.

Headed for a mine

This monstrous piece of equipment is going to a mine somewhere.

This is for a 1,000,000 volt transformer to power the equipment that is deep underground.

In the underground coal mines there is a system of fans that are located above ground.  These fans suck the methane gasses out of the mines to keep the volatile gasses from building up and exploding from a spark made under ground.

There are also pumps that carry the water out of the mines and out into stream beds somewhere.  If the pumps didn’t take the water out the miners would drown.

Most of the mines in Wyoming are above ground and the coal is got to by digging for it.  Huge machines with buckets as big as a house scoop the dirt out of the ground to get at the coal deposits.  Other machines go in and break up the coal then scoop it up into huge dump trucks that are about 80 feet tall.  Scary things those are.

Green River, Wyoming

The building in the foreground is a school.  I’m not sure if it is an elementary school or a high school.

I have always thought it was odd to place a building at the bottom of this mountain thing.  The formation at the top is known as a “stove pipe”.  There are a lot of stove pipe rock formations in Wyoming.

I wonder if the choice of location for this school is such a good one.  If there is an earthquake and some of these rocks should decide to roll down that school will be devastated.

It has been there for all the years I’ve been driving so I guess someone has decided that it is a safe place to be.

It certainly is beautiful at sunrise and at sunset anyway.


I don’t know what this rock is.  Quartz, limestone, marble, shale.

Makes me think of the Parthenon.  Course, I’ve never seen the Parthenon but the columns do remind me of some Greek structure from long ago.

I suppose this could be from wind and water erosion and it is just a regular hill side of dirt.

There is a certain angle you have to be to see these columns.  Coming to it from the west and heading east, as we are doing, at first it just looks like a jagged cliff.

I saw a few of the columns as I neared it, but it was being directly across from it that I saw all of the columns.  Beautiful it is.


Quite a few years ago Joe and I had a discussion about the days of the covered wagons and homesteaders that came out west to make a better life for themselves.

Joe has said he wishes there were such a thing as a time machine and he’d like to go back to that time.  Me….NOT.

Joe would have to go out and hunt for game for meat to be prepared and stored for the winter.  That would mean skinning what ever he shot, cleaning it out, then getting the meat cut into strips and dried.

No refrigerators to keep the meat from spoiling.  No washers and dryers to do the laundry.  A fire built up outside, an enormous kettle filled with water – from who knows how far you’d have to go get it, and then boil the clothes then wring them out and lay them on the ground to dry.  Nope, that is not my idea of a good life.

Sassy Cloud

I had to take a second look at this cloud formation.

Look at that sassy thing!  It is sticking its tongue out at me!!!

The clouds were moving from my right to my left…I guess that would be from south to north as we traveled.  This was last Monday – August 9th.

The clouds up higher were being sheared by the winds way up there causing pieces to move off an make these trails.

This cloud formation made me laugh when I saw it.  There is a darker cloud that is over the front of the white one.  This cloud looks to have a face, or at least eyes that are shut while the darker cloud makes it look sassy.

My Hero

Low Voltage

The Alternator

The Fluke Instrument

When I got this truck from Salt Lake City the voltage gauge was fine.  The needle is supposed to be pointing straight up.

After quite a few miles I noticed it was getting lower and lower.  I told Joe of my problem and thought I had an alternator going out.

We stopped in Rawlins, Wyoming at a truck stop so he could take a look at it.  He got his handy tools out and was getting ready to hook things up to see if we were going to have to replace the alternator.  Look at the face of Joe.  He is not very happy with me wanting to document this with pictures.  He’ll get over it.

As he tested things, poked his tools around, and clamped the wires on stuff I would not go near lest I come out with a finger missing his Fluke Instrument said the alternator was putting out 14.25 volts.  Just as it should be doing.

He must have moved some built up road gunk because when we were getting ready to leave my voltage meter was pointing up where it belongs.

My Hero.  Joe is so good to have around in a crisis.  Well, he’s good to have around at any time.

Okay, these photos are from the beginning of this week.  We have delivered these trucks to Perrysburg, Ohio and have gone down to Indianapolis, Indiana to get more. These new sets of trucks – Internationals – are going to San Antonio, Texas.

I will be letting you know about our trip across Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and into Ohio later.  Time is just not a commodity I have much of.

Today is Friday, August 13th, and it has been a really good day for being a “bad luck” day.  Everyone have a great weekend.


About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

9 responses to “Salt Lake to Laramie

  • Maureen Mathis

    I’m having a great “bad luck” day! I found out I get to meet you and Joe! I’ll be thinking of some really great spots to take you two in San Marcos for photo ops! We have several, and it’s a small town, so it won’t take long! Looking forward to seeing you two! Be safe!

    • Message In A Fold

      Hey, I’m pleased that you had a “great bad luck day” learning that Joe and I were coming through your neck of the woods.

      I loved your choice of places to take Joe and I for photo ops. Beautiful place you live in. Thank you so much.
      Love you

  • shar

    omg the ice thing how scary was that. My husband is an operational manager and dispatcher for a logging company here in nz a big difference from his IT job which restructuring ended him being an ops manager. he has no clues at all about the goings on of trucks so when he had time he would jump in with one of the drivers who ofcourse had to scare him on the steep hills little did they know that although he knows nothing about them his father knows alot and his constant companion was my husband so that went out the window. but the conditions of the roads well not even roads tracks on a steep hill omg fortunately my husbands anal on the upkeep of them. much respect to you guys

    • Message In A Fold

      Sorry for the delay Shar.

      I had to laugh out loud when I read about your husband and his rides in the trucks where you live. Having had spent so much time with his father I bet it was pretty hard for those rough truck drivers to pull a fast one on your husband. Now that would be a hoot just to see their faces when they had some devious thing planned to shake him up and it didn’t work. 😮

      I’ve seen some of the roads the log trucks have to go on. You are right, they are not roads but dried up mud ruts that will make your fillings fall out of your teeth. Truly, I hope the guys that drive the trucks appreciate your husband for the hard work he does in keeping those trucks in top running order. That is one mean feat to do. Broken springs, fouled air lines or brakes, drivelines that take a hammering. He’s got one of those jobs that no one appreciates until they know who has their back.

      You are a lucky girl, Shar. 🙂
      Love you – Leslie

  • Lynn Claridge

    No Friday 13th bad luck for us either.
    Just loved that sassy cloud, to me it looked either like it was puffing out its cheeks or like a big puffer fish with puckered lips 🙂

    Oh my steep hills, ice and snow are not my favourite things and to be towing a truck as well. I’d have been contemplating getting out and walking but I would have soon been on my backside :0

    Looking forward to seeing the photos when you meet up with Maureen, hope you all have a great time. How about towing some trucks over this way??????? That would give the road users around here a shock 🙂

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xxxx

    • Message In A Fold

      OMG!!! I laughed until I made myself cough. The thought of driving on your roads!! I’d be driving on the wrong side of the road!! And your roundabouts would give me fits, I’d really be driving in circles then 🙂
      Love you Girlfriend.

  • Pati

    Hey, was sure nice to see pics of you both again, and read what you had to say, that cloud, oh yeh, it looked like its mouth was open, and blowing, or something.

    Friday the 13th? No such thing as bad luck on that day, its what we make of it, as long as we have good days, we are ok, but somebody decided that the 13 was bad luck, hehehe, not so to me, every day is just a number. Had to work today, got your texts, nice, thanks, yep, except for coming on monday, vacation is coming real soon, but NOT soon enough, cant wait to see you both again.

    Love you both, be careful out there, Pati

    • Message In A Fold

      I’m going to have to write an entry about your impending vacation. I’m sure there are many that are curious about your references to the vacation and are not quite sure what is going on.

      I’ve been hesitant about it because of the situation that Les is in at his work. I don’t want to complicate matters.

      Love you Sis

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