Gillette, WY -- July 30, 2007

Most bus stations aren't this comfortable. When we got off the bus at 4:15am in Gillette, Wyoming, about twelve hours since I'd departed Helena, we all thought we were seeing a mirage. Even though this was the end of the line for me, I slept until 8am, then learned Powder River, the bus line that operates through this area instead of Greyhound, wouldn't honor my Discovery Pass, contrary to what I had been told when I bought the pass. Arrrrr.

The bus depot is several miles from town and, despite our Discovery Pass debate, they called a taxi for me....maybe more just to get me out of the station.

After explaining to the taxi driver what I was looking for--bookstore, library not too far, coffee shops, people reading, this is where she dropped me off. Had the taxi driver been unkind? No. She just assumed I wanted to go to the Hastings store. There is no independent bookstore.

The day got progressively better, starting with breakfast at Perkins where I discovered free wireless, the library, the existence of an actual downtown and a conversation with the 1997 Wyoming Teacher of the Year who was reading Harry Potter.

Though, it was a day that I would have had better luck blogging about Help Wanted signs. As my taxi driver told me, Gillette is a boom town, the energy capital of the United States and it’s always been booming, but since it got into the methane, it’s booming even more and there isn’t enough places for people to live yet and the service industry jobs are going unfilled.

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