13. The Freeway
I was not looking forward to this as there was really no alternative to using the 80 freeway on a long stretch up into Wyoming and fierce winds had been blowing. As it happened, the gale was directly from behind and I was able for once to nearly keep up with the mighty 18 wheel Macks, Peterbilts and Kenworths. It was a magnificent ride as rows of huge red bluffs, like clouds of a volcanic explosion, lined up along the edge of the highway so you almost seem to be flying, the flight of the Valkerie was playing in my head. However, when I tried to turn North to visit the settlement of Grainger, where a pony station had been located, I could barely keep the bike on the road even at 25 miles per hour.
When I was researching the journey on maps in Australia I noticed the name of 'Little America', a dot on the map in Wyoming. Now I passed a series of hoardings advertising it on this empty stretch of highway. They promised fuel, several types of accommodation and 24 hour mechanics on duty. Sure enough there appeared a mini city of Americana set down on the parched plains. At least 50 18 wheelers were lined up for attention as I entered the climate controlled serenity of the restaurant ,staffed by young, crisp-uniformed staff (where did they live ?) and was handed a long menu of deliciously described food. The contrast with the outside was total and I was impressed again with the ability of Americans to conquer their environment in the name of creature comfort.