Shell, WY – One of the many benefits of bicycle touring is being able to stop and appreciate the wayside history information and roadside art.
These are normally clever pieces that, in a car, you drive by so quickly… but on a bike, they bring more flavor to the experience.
All side by side in Greybull, WY. They were all along the east side of the railroad track.
Kindness of Strangers
Meet my new best friend, Irbi.
“What’s Irbi short for,” I asked.
“Nuthin,” she said. “It’s my name.”
Irbi has lived for 30 years in a grand house in the small, small town of Shell, WY, at the base of the Big Horn Mountains.
Irbi lived around the corner from the Shell Community Church. She didn’t have a key but she did have a church directory.
“The church gave me this. I’m a member but I never go… because I’m lazy,” said Irbi.
She was direct and dry. I loved her immediately.
Irbi worked the phones and then we went to explore my “nest” for the evening.
Polly, her small white dog, tagged along.
“Now, Polly, you get over here,” said Irbi.
“She can hear me, she just doesn’t listen,” said Irbi.
Dressed in blue pants and a simple white t-shirt that had ‘Alaska’ decoratively written on the front, Irbi relayed some of her own history and some of Shell’s.
She was an acrobat in her day. “Needed to have both my shoulders replaced,” is how she described her career… which extended into college.
Irbi got a degree in physical education. She came to Shell when she got married. Her husband died at 77, several years ago.
Now it’s Irbi and Polly holding down the fort in Shell.