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Wyoming Gridlock Becomes Ultimate Tailgating Party [Commentary]


What do hundreds of thousands of people do when stuck in a state wide gridlock? Throw a party. Get out the food, the football and the Frisbees.

The final count is not in. But we have a few estimates of about half a million folks on the road. It was enough traffic to clog every interstate, state highway, county road and gravel road on the way out of the eclipse shadow line.

The people in the car behind mine decided to toast Pop-Tarts on the hood of their idling car. We offered them butter. They had never heard of butting butter on a Pot-Tart. 

Some passengers got out of their cars and strolled along side them, just to experience the odd sensation of walking at the same pace as traffic on an interstate where they usually drive 80 mph.

Unfortunately, there’s not much for toilets out on those long stretches of Western highway, so when you got to, you got to. And it was easy to tell who had to. The door to their car would open with a bit of hesitation. A cross legged traveler with a look of embarrassment on their face steps on to the pavement and does the walk of shame down into the ditch where they hope they can answer nature’s call without being seen. This is harder on women than men, unless the man has to take a roll of toilet paper with him.

With so many folks having camped for the eclipse there was a lot of left over food. It was not long before folks began sharing sandwiches off the hoods of their cars.

We wondered about the odd mist that hung like a morning haze over the prairie until we realized that it was actually the dust from all the cars trying the back gravel roads as a faster way home. I learned later that this side-road tactic was not much help. Sooner or later that traffic has to merge with highway traffic, which slows everyone down.

So when I am asked why in heaven’s name I would want to put up with all that congestion for any reason, earthly or heavenly, I just point out that I really did not mind it. It was kinda fun being caught in the worst traffic jam in Wyoming history, once we made a party out of it.

Besides, I grew up in Florida. This was nothing compared to the line to the haunted house at Disney.

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