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Nothing like the desert to show you the stars. Last night I saw the "Arch of Heaven" , the Milky way, for the first time in too long. Shows you how long it's been since my last trip.
I doubt it's been gone anywhere. I've just had my head down.
Sixty degrees in the desert, with a stiff wind, feels like forty degrees anywhere else.
I pulled into the Maverick Cafe in Shoshoni for breakfast. I was a little surprised to find, casually wedged behind the non-dairy creamer and the jelly packets, an unusual bit of tableware - an old green flyswatter. It turned out to be useful.
Despite this ominous note, the food looked good, the place was full on a Monday morning, and everyone including me was having a pretty good time. There didn't seem to be a non-smoking section.
If you sat in this place long enough, swattin' flies, you could probably learn everything there is to know about everyone in the county. These people don't need no stinkin' phone line to hook up with a newsgroup.
"'Randy,' I said, 'You leave that baby alone. That's his soft spot.' I said, 'Randy, you better listen to me!'"
"When I was a waitress, I was quicker than this."
"Honey, when you was a waitress, they didn't have eggs yet."
"You back for good?"
"Hell no. I'm in Missouri now"
"Yeah? That's what happens when people leave here. They end up in Mis-er-y, don't they?"
"Ain't you heard? He's in the hospital again. Coughin' his lungs out."
"Shirl! What was the name of those cigarettes you used to smoke? Lord, they was rank!"
"I'm gonna have the steak 'n eggs."
"Don't do that. There's enough bull at this table already."
"Who you writin' Hon? Your mama?"
"How'd you know?"
When breakfast arrived, that slab of ham, with the bone in, had it's own plate. And from the deep yellow look of those eggs, some chicken spends her life pecking away in a yard somewhere. The waitress had a way of making you feel guilty if you didn't take a 4th cup.
"You don't like my coffee? I brewed it up special, just for you."
The price for all this food and entertainment? $4.78, plus a two dollar tip.
I'm heading into Casper. I need to wash clothes, and I ought to find a phone line. I'm building quite a backlog of this stuff. Maybe I can find a Web 'n Wash.
As soon as I left Shoshoni, people were right on my tail. I'd pull over, and three more would show up, coming around me blind, two at a time. And I was going the speed limit.
Then about 10 miles east of town, I came across a Hwy Dept. sign with a couple of yellow lights on it. "Hwy 26 closed when lights are flashing. Return to Shoshoni."
The sun was shining brightly, with only a little high cirrus to mar a perfect blue. For just a moment, the thought came to me: "Y'know, I probably have the tools to start that sign to blinkin'."
But at 70 mph, these moments pass pretty quickly.
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