Wyoming is a land of wide open spaces and in parts there are miles and miles and miles of open highway with huge vistas and little traffic. If you are coming from a part of the country that is bound up with traffic congestion most of the time, a person can get a little carried away. Wyoming can bring out the Mary or Mario Andretti in all of us.
I happen to be lead footed by nature. After all, I live in the land of NASCAR. Driving in and around Atlanta is nothing more than a chance to exhibit what I’ve learned watching my favorite driver (Mark Martin) zip around the track dodging competitors.
So it happened one day driving down from Montana to Cody that the inevitable happened. I got pulled over by a lady State Trooper. (So much for using my feminine wiles!) She asked what the hurry was, and as it turned out, I was in a bit of a hurry, so I explained that I was on my way to Cody to watch a horse I was hoping to buy in the next day’s auction perform in the ranch competition. She only seemed mildly interested. My friends who were with me chimed in that I’d come all the way from Georgia! This garnered a smile which translated to “gotta dude here who needs a lesson”. She patiently inquired if I knew what the speed limit was; and I said that it was 70. She asked how fast I thought I had been going. “More than 70”? I guessed. She then began my education. The speed limit was 65, it changed when I crossed into Wyoming…did I know when that had occurred? Not really. She then proceeded to quiz me as to whether I had seen each of a half dozen or so speed limit signs noting their exact and precise locations for me. I wanted to say that I guessed I had been going too fast to notice, but some part of my brain kicked in and told me that would not be smart. The end result was that I got a ticket, but she did give a discount because we all were wearing our seat belts; further proof that it pays to be safety conscious.
I was relating this story to Mark and he agreed that the Wyoming Troopers were pretty no nonsense. He confessed that he himself had gotten stopped for speeding recently, which given the fact his brother is a cop made it somewhat of a worse situation. As it turns out, Mark relentlessly teases his brother about always being at the donut shop. He never fails to ask what the flavor of the month is or inquire about what bad guys might have been nabbed while hanging out getting donuts. So now Mark is trying to use his cowboy magnetism on the Trooper to hopefully just get a warning about the dangers of speeding across Wyoming. At this critical moment, 7 year old daughter Kameron pipes up from the back seat and asks the Trooper, “Hey, do you like donuts?” Needless to say, Mark got a ticket, along with a valuable lesson relating to little pitchers having big ears!
When you come to Wyoming, and you find yourself pushing down a little hard on the accelerator, just try to relax, slow down and enjoy the ride. And for Pete’s sake, if you do get stopped, don’t mention anything about donuts!