Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wild Weather in Wyoming and an Unexpected Brush with an Artist

 June 4 

Today is a good day for a shower.  

We average one real (two minutes of hot running water) shower every four days. Of course we freshen up every morning, but shower days are something to celebrate.  

Eggs taste better over fire and are full of vitamin ash!
We are both clean, so let's go into town! 

There is a large prairie dog village near the entrance of the park

Hulett is the nearest town and I saw an interesting-looking store with antlers on the way in, and I need bacon for tonight, so off we go.  

The antler place is half museum, half antiques and curiosity shop. The owner is a painter of remarkable talent and shows us some of his current work. His name is Bob Coronato and he specializes in rodeo posters and Western art. Perhaps his most famous piece is a portrait of Russell Means (Russell posed for it) wearing the American flag upside down as a symbol of a nation in distress because of the plight of the Lakota people.

The museum is Bob's private collection and contains mostly American Indian artifacts and clothing, but also has a few humorous "spot the fake" pieces. Admission is free and I would recommend visiting if you are in the area.

As we are leaving, Bob gets a phone call from his brother warning him of a strong thunderstorm with hail heading this way. Bob is kind enough to pass on the warning and tells us about the only two awnings in town. One is at the Devil's Tower Inn and the other is a car wash next door. Hurrying back to the car, we notice the vehicle parked outside of the store. It is covered in huge dents from a prior hail storm. In double-time we dash back to the trailer, hitch up, warn our fellow Airstreamers, and get out of Dodge. Strong winds and rain are just behind us the whole way.

Pollen from the pines is shaken from the boughs and tossed into the air, appearing as a green fog.  

The sky turns a sickly color of green as we arrive in Hulett.

We pull under the protection of the car wash, but are unable to get all the way through because the air conditioner would scrape the spigot off the ceiling of the car wash.

Wind of terrific speed blows the red dirt horizontally as I get out of the car to put leashes on the dogs. The plan is to hide in the hotel in the event of a tornado. 

I am soon covered in dirt. It is in my hair and ears and mouth.

So much for that shower.  

The storm finally passes. We back out of the carwash, and go back to our site.  

We were spared from any hail and soon the sky clears back to blue.

God has protected us so far, and all of the big storms seem to go just past us or part and go around us.  

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