#WYnot prep for the Big West.

Dear 30, 

Wyoming here we come. A new state will be visited (#3). A book will be read (#13). A roadside attraction will be visited (#7). It'll be a big trip for the list.

Unlike our trip through Iowa, on this one, we'll see mountains. So clearly some prep steps are in order. First it's important to cut out letters spelling out your final destination and hang them in your home. (Hanging over the bookshelves are hand cut letters that say WYOMING in brown, green and red) Secondly, a countdown should be prominently displayed in your living room. Both crucial steps when a vacation you've waiting months for is just around the corner. 

Truth be told my Barbour jacket is not yet in hand. This is one of Kevin's newly re-waxed jackets. Fancy.

Truth be told my Barbour jacket is not yet in hand. This is one of Kevin's newly re-waxed jackets. Fancy.

Then there's the outdoor gear. HBF has four Barbour jackets. Four. Waxed cotton is ideal for night time temps, wicking off rain showers and looking as cool as James Bond as the chilly evening descends on the Little Laramie. Since it's so important to me to at least look the part of a fisherwoman, I'll wear my first (and only) Barbour jacket on this trip. Either that or I'll wear my Jcrew factory outlet navy blue Barbour knock off jacket. Matching outfits are important to a successful roadtrip. Looking like twins make you seem more serious. This is true in life and in fishing.

With a ten hour trip in front of us, a well thought out soundtrack is crucial. Nothing worse than a 2 hour lull where you have to talk about Nebraska landscapes and affordable health care. Yikes. As mentioned previously, This American Life is a given. That Ira is always telling me stories that make me learn, laugh and cry, usually all in the same hour. But This American Life will only get us so far, especially considering how many we burned through last trip (6) and how many I have left on the iTunes (1). What we really need, more Miley Cyrus. (That's a relevant pop culture joke. Finally.) But seriously, I need to snag a few more of those audiobooks for the Hyundai. And some down-home-on-the-range type music. Recommendations? I need them.

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There's also the meditation necessary to transform oneself from the Trout Slayer to the Trout Mayor. After killing the only two trout I caught whilst wading in Iowa streams due to bad fisherlady hands, I'm experiencing serious anxiety about my respectful relationship to the spotted fish. I plan to be more mindful. Or at least have a better grip. Or better outdoor eyes. Let's just all hope I'm generally better at fishing at 8,000 feet.

Finally there's the issue of snacks. Roadtrip snacks have always been a hotly debated issue. I once chose bagels and cream cheese as my snack of choice en route to Minneapolis. I have yet to live that "snack foul" down. When choosing what to bring as the third passenger (You need the total amount of snacks to weigh as much, or take up as much area, as a third person. Road trip snack mathematics lesson) it is important to consider the basics: Rice Krispie treats, Wasabi peas, White cheddar Cheez-its and really anything chocolate that won't melt to a pool of mess in this heat. Oh and you should ask your trip buddy what he would like to eat. And he'll probably say that he just wants to stop a couple times for soft serve strawberry ice cream. Probably.

Denny Palmer is the best at rice krispie treat sculpting.  (If it's not yet a recognized art form, that means you haven't seen something he's carved, nor have you attempted to carve these sticky treats. It's hard man.) Not only are his creations tasty, they always look better than this little one I made tonight. Always.

Denny Palmer is the best at rice krispie treat sculpting.  (If it's not yet a recognized art form, that means you haven't seen something he's carved, nor have you attempted to carve these sticky treats. It's hard man.) Not only are his creations tasty, they always look better than this little one I made tonight. Always.

Thanks to Chels and Chase we'll be spending 4 days in a family cabin, taking in the mountain air, fishing the blessed river and eating all the kinds of incredible food fixed up by Momma Chels. It's going to be an escape from the hustle and city bustle of Des Moines with no cell phone reception, many cheese plates and beers at sunset. I can't wait for rugged eastern Wyoming. #WYnot.

May it rain this week here in Iowa, may your last few days of August be awe inspiring and may Liz's birthday be celebrated. Now I have to go pick some banana peppers from the backyard that are pretty enough to cross state lines.

xo-LP