Memorial Day we woke up at the Rodeway Inn, in Sundance, WY (which as the best place we had stayed at the whole time, I would recommend it to a friend). Not having a computer in bus we had to change the timing by hand because of the high altitude- too bad everything was closed for the holiday and we had no idea where Sherm's feeler gauge was. At least Sherm was able to clean Neil's spark plugs and replaced the points in the motel parking lot. We made it to biggest town before we got to the mountains, Buffalo, WY. We just got a hotel for the day since everything was closed. It wasn't too bad having a day off: I got to do laundry and swim in an indoor pool.
The next morning we worked on the timing. Neil has a type IV engine, but was converted to single carb from fuel injected - that makes it tricky to find any factory mandated timing. It took a lot of research and guess-and-checking to get him sounding right. After two hotel pit stops and two rest stop tune ups, we got him running slow and steady. He still doesn't like the high altitude (he's missing his cojones). We think he needs new sized jets to help make up for the altitude, but we're fine chugging along rather than mess up the carb tuning . Even more, he is still more fun than the jeep with a trailer would have been.
Buffalo was the end of the line before the landscape started getting really mountainous. We had to make the decision to bypass Yellowstone and take the southern route back to I80, the highway we were on in Iowa. I drove southern Idaho last summer and was really excited to see Montana this year. But our bus and our sanity are more important.
We drove straight to Casper, going between two mountain ranges. From there the interstate went out of our way around a set of mountains so we took a secondary highway along a river south back to I80. It was a beautiful drive with amazing scenery. There were farms and cows, like South Dakota, but they were more spaced out with mountains, rock formations and rolling plains of small shrubs between them. We pasted one ranch that went for thousands of acres - we went for miles without seeing the house on the ranch.
At our last pit stop, we saw the first other air-cooled vw on the road since we left! This guy's beetle was great. He drives it all winter. It had big tires on it - it looked so much fun. Between seeing that and all the awesome dirt roads along the highway (which have become more twisty since Wyoming) I can't wait to get Washington and rally!
Last night we made it to Rock Springs, WY. Salt Lake City if our next milestone, then Boise Idaho. It's hard to tell how far we'll get anymore now that we are above 4000 ft, but we keep chugging along.