Wyoming 2014 – Day 111 – Casper: Cult soccer

Sunday September 7, 2014, 12 miles (20 km) – Total so far: 4,985 miles (8,023 km)

Ah, the grass is so soft. Who needs a mattress with air in it when you are fortunate enough to camp on irrigated grass? I lounge around and enjoy a lazy morning. Hunger is what eventually drives me from my sleeping bag. I don’t even have to pack a wet tent for once. We raid the nearby Walmart for ridiculous quantities of vegetables, fruit, sliced turkey, cheese and crackers. We also get a few days worth of non-perishables because I’m not too sure of our plans for the next few days.

Today is just a lazy Sunday, though. We take our feast down to a park along the river and have a picnic. There are plenty of people out today – families riding along the bike path, guys fishing, people picnicking, and some people tossing around a football. The guys hang out on the rocks by the river. The river is flowing much lower than when we here last.

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The guys hang out at the whitewater park on the EPA Superfund reclaimed site.

Then we go explore the extent of the bike path system. It’s pretty good for a town of 60,000 that is conservative and resource-based. Then, we stop at another park to lounge in the shade. It is incredibly windy today. I imagine it would have been a very quick ride east from Shoshoni to Casper today! Those prevailing westerlies are making up for their absence yesterday.

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This cottonwood is big and old enough that it would have been seen by all of the emigrants on the Oregon Trail – which ran just up there on the bluff.
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Platte River running through Casper with the anticline in the background. We are on the Oregon Trail here.
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The guys try out some new positions on a different bike.

A bit later, a group of about five people ranging in age from about 20 to 55 ask me to join them in a game of soccer. My soccer skills are very limited, but it’s okay, because it seems their skills are pretty limited, too. Still, it’s fun, and it uses muscles that don’t always get much movement on the bike. I, at first, think the group is a family, but I slowly conclude that they are not related. Once everyone is tired out, we sit down and they ask about the bike tour. The conversation continues and I ask about what life is like in Casper, etc. Then, they start talking about religious things. In my head, I’m trying to figure out what denomination they are. The best I can guess is Seventh Day Adventists of some sort, but as they talk more and more, it gets almost disturbing. The ideas, words and Bible interpretations are just bizarre. I start to realize it is some sort of cult. And that they are trying to recruit me! Duh. I can’t believe I didn’t see it coming! No wonder everything felt a bit odd and not quite right the whole time! I politely listen to one woman go on for a bit, but when she comes out with the question, “So have you found God”, I make my escape. I stand and say, “No, I don’t think there is any point in looking for her. I’m an atheist, and though I enjoyed the soccer game, I’m not looking for any sort of religion. All the best to you guys though!” And then I’m off like a shot.

The whole reason to hang around Casper today is so I can call Nigel tonight. Once again, I’m overdue. I will have to pry myself out of bed at 3.30am if I have any chance of catching him, but I’m not sure when I’ll next find a landline phone. It’s been a fun day – and nice to laze around on a Sunday and ALMOST feel like I have the life and schedule of ‘normal’ society. Ha!

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