(Dubois, Wyo.) – Kaylee Wells and her six-ton Idaho potato on a tractor-trailer rig took a typically long Wyoming detour on Monday, just so she could visit her grandparents in Dubois.

On the latest run of the five-year-old Famous Idaho Potato Tour [ www.bigidahopotato.com ] Wells persuaded her employer, the Idaho Potato Commission, to haul the truck with its huge sculpture of a spud into the Wind River Valley, rather than heading straight east on Interstate 80. She wanted to spend a night with Becky and Alan Werner en route.

The truck is headed for a charity “wellness” event in Crossville, Tennessee, on July 1. As far as Wells was concerned, a stop in Jackson for a photo-op in front of the Teton range was only a bargaining chip, to persuade the Commission to allow the delay and the detour.

Her grandparents, who lived in Casper at the time, bought a weekend cabin on Union Pass 31 years ago. Alan later worked for six years as an ATV ranger with the US Forest Service. They sold the cabin and retired to a home in town in 2011.

The Dubois stop was a last-minute surprise for Dubois, because “we just got the permits on Friday,” said Wells (no relation to the Dubois ranching family). The truck pulled into the Town Park around 7 PM, followed in short order by three fire trucks and a police car. “This is sort of unprepared,” Wells said to the small crowd assembled a few feet away, as she answered questions.

Wells and her college roommate, Jessica Coulthard, travel with the potato from March to September with their job promoting the Idaho potato. What will she do the rest of the year? “Probably travel,” she replied.

The six-ton potato is a huge sculpture. The heaviest real potato on record, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, weighed 10 pounds 14 ounces and was grown by a man in England.

Story h/t Lois Wingerson

Kaylee Wells, her grandparents Alan and Alan Werner, and Jessica Coulthard posed in the Dubois Town Park for a family reunion photo with the Idaho Potato Commission’s 6-ton spud. Photo h/t Lois Wingerson.

Folks in the Upper Country began to show up at Dubois Town Park after the Six-Ton Potato stopped there overnight on Monday. Photo h/t Lois Wingerson