On the 130th anniversary, I recreated part of the journey of the first person to cycle around the world on a bicycle. Taking it one day at a time. View the archive.

VIPs

By Stuart Lowe on

As everything was closed yesterday (it was a Sunday), I had decided to stay on Monday so I could see Cheyenne. Sue had told me to visit her at work and she would show me the museums to go to. I got to her work about 10 am. She works for the school board. Storing my bike in her office we walked around to the State Capitol building.

Wyoming has a population of only 584,000 which is less than the population of my home town. I've met a surprising number of them and I was about to meet some of the most important. At the State Capitol Sue showed me around and then introduced me to the State Treasurer and Deputy State Treasurer. I nearly got introduced to the Governor but he was signing a proclamation so I was introduced to the Secretary of State instead! He shook my hand and gave me a mug, sticker and pin badge. I apologised for being dressed in shorts and a t-shirt - not that I could have been much smarter given the limited wardrobe of a cross-continent cycle trip. It was such an honour to meet high up people in the State government but I was ever so slightly cursing that I'd now have to transport a big mug across a couple of thousand miles in my panniers.

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Sue, the Deputy, and the State Treasurer of Wyoming

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The Secretary of State for Wyoming. I'm wearing my California Trail t-shirt from Nevada

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State Capitol ceiling

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Statue outside the Capitol

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Wyoming Capitol

I had a brief conversation with a policeman/security guard in the Capitol building who told me I should have a gun with me on the trip for protection. I told him that being British I was uncomfortable with guns and I'd be more danger to myself if I had one.

Sue had to go back to work so left me to explore more and told me where the State Museum was. I headed over there and spent a couple of hours looking around. I then went to get lunch and stopped at Starbucks hoping they had lunch-like food. They didn't so I got a hot chocolate. Whilst waiting, a lady started talking to me. She carried on talking on a bunch of topics about her life for the next hour. Every couple of minutes she changed topic telling me all sorts of personal details very loudly. I said about five words the whole time. She said the people at a hostel said she was crazy but she reassured me that she wasn't. She obviously needed someone to offload onto. When she randomly decided to call someone I made my excuses and left.

I got a sandwich at Subway then headed back to the School Board to pick up my bike and visit the Old West Museum. This was $10 entry and was a bit quiet. I did learn about the rodeo and Cheyenne Days but it seemed like a steep price compared to the guided tour back in Laramie. Afterwards I went to a bike shop to get a new lock as I'd lost my key somewhere back up at the summit of the I-80. The lock cost $45 and had no mounting bracket! I was way over budget for the day. I was able to top up my tyres though.

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Laramie County Library at Cheyenne Days

At the RV park I sat in the laundry charging my phone and then got picked up by Sue's son Jordan who was driving me to dinner at their house. He was a freshman at U. Wyoming in Laramie and ran a lawn cutting team to earn extra money. He showed me his impressive mountain bike and told me about the sports he and his friends do in the mountains. They are very lucky to have the mountains so close. Jordan told me I'd see a giant statue on the way to Nebraska and said I should stay at Lake Mc-something-or-other near Ogallala. It turned out Sue and Jordan had been to New Zealand so we chatted about that.

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Sue and Jordan

After dinner Sue gave me a lift back but on the way we took a ride out to the east of town so that I would know the way in the morning. A huge thanks to Sue for being so wonderful and kind. It is the kindness of strangers that really makes this trip.