Rodeo & Pool Cues? Really?

There was a nasty winter storm coming in, so as we traveled we decided we had better find a place to park that had reliable electric, water, and sewer.

We really appreciated the hospitality of our new friend Kevin allowing us to park at his 110 year old schoolhouse at Hinkley, Utah but with the storm heading our way, we would be a lot more comfortable with a full hook-up site.

We decided to skip the Elks Lodge in Salt Lake City and keep heading up I-15, take I-80 east and on into Rock Springs, Wyoming.

Rock Springs offered us the Sweetwater Events Complex (which is also the Sweetwater County Fairgrounds) and they have 1200 full hook-up sites and offer Escapee RV Club members a 25% discount on camping fees. We were glad to have outrun the storm and ready to hunker down for 2 or 3 days.

We made it just in time. 1200 spots, only about 4 or 5 others occupied … and the slushy snow started coming down. We were glad to be off the road safe and dry.

Our Escapees RV Club is having their annual “Escapade” at Rock Springs in June of 2020, so we decided to give our club members (via Facebook) a little early invite!

As the afternoon and evening went on, we saw more and more other “campers” coming in. At first I thought everyone was just trying to get off the road, but I quickly realized these were nearly all horse trailers. By the next morning, we were surrounded by lots of families in their “horse RV’s”. These rigs were BIG and had plenty of room for maybe a half dozen horses, a tack room, and living quarters for the family.

The next morning we found ourselves surrounded by horse trailers

As it turned out, this Friday Saturday and Sunday was a youth rodeo. In this part of the country, the kids go to school four days a week and Friday and the weekends are reserved for rodeo and work on the family farm/ranch.

We went on in to the arena to see the kids compete. They’re all timed and judged on technique.

One of the contestants gives it a try

The other interesting event going on there was a 3 day pool tournament. I’ve never given this sport a thought I guess … and when I finally did think about it, I figured pool players were probably bar patrons that just play pool for something social to do at the local bar. But evidently, it’s a big thing in Wyoming! I asked if this was a regional or state-wide tournament and the response was “no – it’s just a local thing”

Yes, that’s 48 pool tables!

We were fascinated by the fact that they bring in FORTY-EIGHT pool tables for this 3 day event – and I’m guessing pool tables are certainly not easy to transport, assemble, and level!

But the really wonderful part of this stay was the new friends we made. When we were at Ruby’s Campground at Bryce Canyon we met (online via RVillage.com) other campers Mike and Judy. We had just checked in at Bryce and they were just heading out. We talked about our travel plans and it seemed we were pretty much on the same path.

When we pulled in to Sweetwater / Rock Springs Mike and Judy were already there! We walked on over to their rig and had a nice visit at their place that afternoon, staying inside in the warmth and out of the rain and slush

The next day the four of us climbed in our car and made a “road trip” to Flaming Gorge Reservoir and Dam. We saw a lot of beautiful country, learned a little about each other and our families and had a lot of laughs during the drive and over lunch at a local cafe. Mike and Judy are also full-time RV’ers, originally from Florida and have been on the road just about the same amount of time as we have.

Clicking on any of the smaller thumbnail images will always bring up a larger view.

After the 3rd night at Rock Springs, we decided the roads were clear and dry so we continued our trek north and east toward Fort Peck, Montana.

AND THEN TRAGEDY STRUCK!

Our next stop for the night was to be Kaycee, Wyoming. We were running low on fuel, so we stopped in to Flying J Travel Center at Rawlins, Wyoming.

Our stop for diesel fuel at Rawlins Wyoming (south of Casper)

After we filled with diesel (and propane), time to turn the key and move on north … and crap! Crank crank crank …. but no ignition. A sinking feeling came over me – what could it be? It’s a diesel so I know there’s no spark to be concerned about .. no ignition coil … no spark plugs or wires, but it could be a fuel pump .. or something a whole lot worse.

We have emergency roadside assistance through FMCA, Escapees, and CoachNet but we were stuck here blocking the pumps and I really wanted to get help soon so we could get a diagnosis and hopefully continue moving on down the road.

Right next door to Flying J was a truck/auto repair shop called “Boss Shop“. I walked on over and even though their mechanic was in the middle of another job, he was kind enough to take the time and walk on over to our place to check it out.

He determined it was indeed not getting any fuel and went back to the shop to get a new replacement fuel filter / water separator. He (Jamesen) was back in record time, and replaced the filter.

I had to crank the engine quite a bit to get the fuel line primed as our 2002 engine has a mechanical fuel pump whereas the newer diesel engines utilize an electrical fuel pump – which would only necessitate turning the key “on” to energize the pump.

My new Best Friend Diesel Mechanic Jamesen (also known as JT)

So although we had another “bump in the road”, we were saved by the good work and kindness of others and were quickly heading further north.

Stay tuned for our next post “A Sleepy Little Town”. Thanks for riding along and we invite your comments down the page. See you next time!

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10 thoughts on “Rodeo & Pool Cues? Really?

  1. Tom and Maura here- Hinckley is where Maura’s son lives. Know exactly where the old school house is and the efforts to refurbish it. In fact it’s only a block from his house. Small world…. We park in the big town of Delta when we visit. Boy, u really take the back roads. Safe travels

    1. Hi Tom & Maura — Yes it is a small world indeed. It was “off the road” but we like to have the opportunity to meet new friends and our membership with Boondockers Welcome allows us to do that — we have a ball! Take care and thanks for riding along and commenting — we look forward to seeing you in November!

  2. Love watching where you’ve been and where you are heading to. Right now, we are awaiting confirmation for a job up near Lewiston, ID. But, have to get our electricity fixed, first.

    1. Idaho … we still want to get there … had lots of opportunities to work there, but had already committed to this job at Fort Peck. We hope you get your electrical problem taken care of. Good Luck

    1. Hamilton, my advice is to stay away from the larger RV dealers (especially Camping World) and if it’s an RV problem go to a smaller, older established dealer or repair shop. If it’s a motorhome (gas) go to the brand truck dealer – if it’s diesel go to a truck center like; Freightliner/White/International, etc. There are and still will be good guys out there when you’re ready to hit the road

  3. Amazing when a dark cloud comes over head…there is always a silver lining inside…great to hear there are great prople out there…safe travels you two!

    1. Thanks Mike — Yes have been very fortunate and there are a LOT of great folks out there. Just sometimes a challenge to find them and sometimes they’re right there in front of us!

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