Day 79 –The Flat Jack Burrito

There absolutely could be NO perfect timing in choosing to leave Gillette. The day I left, the super-hot weather, turned to rain that afternoon. I can’t win! While in Gillette, I made a friend by the name of Dennis. Dennis was from Michigan and moved here about 3 years ago. He had lost his job and was recruited by a local construction company to move here. He isn’t the only one! Over the last 2 years, metrics show that the Gillette population has become 20% people from Michigan. It has also grown another 8% with people from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Georgia. What’s up with that?

It appears that it is hard to find people to work in the area. In addition to the abundance of coal mining, Methane Gas has recently brought a lot of jobs to the area. For all you unemployed people out there (including me), you may think about looking into the area. I’m just saying…

There was absolute ZERO services available for today’s walk. Nada! I was lucky just to find a guard-rail that I could sit on or even find a scrap of shade. Towards the end of the day (around 7pm) I decided to stop, due to the storm clouds forming ahead. They (again) were the ominous types that you just don’t want to mess with. But…where will I camp? I am in tall grass prairie land filled with snakes and no homes close by.

In the middle of nowhere, there was however, a piece of land that a construction company was using to store their equipment. This looked inviting, as it would provide some shade and potential shelter. In the middle of all the equipment, there were several semi-trailers that looked just perfect! My tent, when squished down a couple of inches, would fit just perfect underneath! I spent the next hour building my camp and getting ready to hunker down for the night.

Within ten minutes of finishing building camp, you could see the rain and wind bearing-down fast. I got in the tent, and WHAMO, the wind blew my spikes out of the ground and slid my tent a bit! I forgot to take off my shoes, so immediately I was getting dirt and mud all over everything. No matter, life preservation is more important than a clean tent.

To all: It is important to remember however; that a Clean tent is a Happy tent!

I layed down on my mattress and started to stress a bit. Remembering the wind damage I observed in Missouri and South Dakota. I soon realized that I was laying underneath a trailer that could very well blow over and squish me. Great! It didn’t help that the trailer was shaking and making an eerie whistling noise. A whistling noise that didn’t stop all night I might add…

The storm did eventually dissipate after a while and I faded away with plans to get up before dawn to begin walking. My sleeping bliss was, of course, interrupted several times with my damn mattress refusing to stay inflated. I gave up though, and just embraced being entombed like a burrito.

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