A Diamond in the Rough

by Betsy Finley

The last you heard from me I had just made it to Cheyenne, Wyoming.  I was greeted by several locals who were amazed that I’d ridden my bike from Aspen, Colorado all the way to this charming cowboy town.  They were anxious to invite me back next July to enjoy the Cheyenne Frontier Days.  I promptly added this to my calendar, but explained that my goal on this trip was to make it to every state in the U.S.  My travels may take me too far away to make it back for next year’s event, but now that I know more about the Cheyenne Frontier Days that draws people in from all surrounding states, I will need to come back some year to enjoy all the fun, food, and festivities.

The hospitality in this town was super.  I needed to know where some good local campgrounds were and was immediately given invitations to stay at 3 different people’s homes.  I declined knowing that I wanted to get an early start to my travels.  The

Cheyenne KOA seemed to be my best ticket for camping and it was fairly close to a highly recommended diner.  I was also able to shop at The Quilted Corner, buying some unique fabrics for my trip quilt.  My goal is to buy fabric in every state and make a quilt  depicting my travels.  It will be a nice memory of this trip I’m on.

After a good meal and a good nights sleep I continued north to Chugwater, Wyoming.  For a town so small you’d miss it if you blinked, I found a Mecca.  Chugwater was having their annual chili cook off.  The town was filled with people from all over and the aroma of chili filled the air.  I found a quaint embroidery shop and was able to pick up some bling to add to my quilt.  Needless to say I had chili for dinner that night.  It was just the ticket to keep me warm on a chilly night, no pun intended. 

As I continued chugging north on the I-25 corridor my thoughts go back to the miles I’ve traveled.  So many sites I’ve seen, becoming closer to God with each mile traveled, finding that peace we all seem to be looking for.  I’ve reached my next goal which takes me off I-25 and onto Highway 20.  Saturday I’ll head east towards Chadron, Nebraska where, like I’ve said before, this whole notion began.  

And although my adventures are only in my head, I’ve learned about some places along the way that I may truly go visit.  Who knew that Chugwater, Wyoming had a chili cook off?  So if you decide to take a bike trip whether real or imaginary like mine, research the places you are headed to.  You may find that some towns have a lot more to offer than meets the eye.  Sort of like we humans, if you don’t get to know a person you may never know all the talents that person may have and how they may influence your life.  I know I’ll be better about not taking people or towns for granted for I may be looking at a diamond in the rough.


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