This morning, after a very rough start, I left Buffalo for Cody, Wyo. This morning, as I lay writhing in pain in my motel room, I thought my trip was a goner. I had calculated how I could possibly make the drive back to Boston, let alone drive to Cali, and around the SW and back. But miracles do happen. And no, I am not 100%, but I am feeling much better and more confident for a few reasons.
First, friends. Particularly Julie, who talked me off the ledge this morning and gave me sage advise. I also want to thank Ben, Beth, Tom, Joy, Glenn, and many others on FB who all offered advise and encouragement. It really meant a lot. Truly.
Second, my Airbnb host, Johanna, sent me the name and phone number of a massage therapist who luckily had an opening this afternoon. April was amazing. She worked that nerve and even though it is still super-tender, she told me that she sees this all the time.
Being a massage therapist in Cody, WY, she said that she sees people who are on their first extended road trip and have over-done the driving and now have their first case of sciatica from sitting in a position in the car for hours where the nerve is exposed. At first, I thought she was blowing smoke, but she detailed all the people limping in and I felt less humiliated. So, I’m not alone! Phew.
On the wall of her studio she had a great John Wayne quote, “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” Well, ain’t that perfect, partner? Ha.
So, after a day or two resting in this sweet little tourist town, I will saddle up and ride on. I have a great little cabin up on the Apple Jack Ranch and it is absolutely perfect, but I have to move out tomorrow since she is fully booked. When I mentioned this to April, she said I shouldn’t have any trouble finding a room since this was the low season, after all the kids had gone to school. She said the town is full of the “nearly dead and newly wed.” Retirees and newlyweds who don’t have kids to worry about and can travel this time of year. So, I’m not newly wed, so I guess that makes me…?
The drive over from Buffalo was spectacular. (It is getting hard to think of new superlatives.) I drove over the Big Horn mountain range and passed grasslands where battles for the plains were fought between natives and the army. Little Big Horn, where Custer took his last stand was not far off, but I didn’t have the patience for more driving. Plus, battlefields are weird places. Hard to imagine the bloodshed that took place there when semis are driving past at 80 MPH and cattle munch grass nearby.
At one point, I passed cowboys herding their cattle along Highway 16 over the mountains. The cows mooed their displeasure in having to walk up the mountainside and the cowboys yipped and hustled them away from oncoming traffic. Just like in the movies. Wow.
So over and down and around I went, making sure I stopped every so often to stretch my legs and take a photo. Once I made it Cody, I checked in to the cabin and headed into town for my massage.
After that I hit the town, strolling down Sheridan Street where there are tons of trinket shops and cowboy wear outfitters. I looked into a couple of galleries, then headed to The Local for a delicious meal of butter leaf salad and Elk kabobs. Just what I needed.
Now, I am back at the little cabin. It is so sweet and welcoming and view is unbelievable. I wish I had more time here. But for now, I’ll snuggle into the comfy bed and listen to the prairie winds howling outside.
Good night. Tomorrow: The Cody Museum.