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Pennsylvania's Most Interesting Blog

02 September 2007

Tell me WY...(can't we get a decent cup of coffee?)

Near Fort Laramie, WY

DAY SIX: Torrington, WY to Cody, Wyoming (50 miles east of Yellowstone NP). Well. We are back in the West. Cowboy country. The true frontier. Boots 'n sh*t kickin'. And it feels DAMN FINE! Plus, there is something very comforting about being back in a region where having Washington State plates is not exotic. See, from here on out, the Seattle area is not far off (that whole still-hundreds-of-miles-through-Montana-and-Idaho thing is a mere triffle). We plan to treat ourselves to some of Yellowstone tomorrow to soak in the majesty of nature and then will head up to Montana. Madge has seemed to handle the ascents in elevation quite well (4,000+ feet) and we'll take it easy as we ascend even further and hit mountain passes.

A few pics from the road--I'm writing from our motel room in Cody, WY and our pepperoni pizza from 'Pizza on the Run' just arrived. "K" is outside the motel door sharing road stories with our neighbors in the next room. They are on a motorcyle trip cross-country and now seem to be enjoying their stogies on the stoop. Plus, it's time for some Crown Royal on the rocks and/or with Sprite.

Keep on commenting on the blog and we will do the same!

Somewhere crossing Nebraska, yesterday (Day Five): "Hey, does anyone know where I can get a thinga UDON NOODLES?"

This morning, in Torrington, WY: For Shannon--see, we DID find the chicken shack. They were closed last night but we couldn't leave town without getting a pic for you. And you were right, they did have the giant ice cream cone on top, sweet:

Road victims:

At the Fort Laramie National Historic Site (southeastern Wyoming)

Ladies and gentlemen, we have MOUNTAINS, and they are only the beginning (on US-26W)

Wyoming is full of quirkly things. I mean, what is NOT to love?

We happened upon the above his 'n hers (his 'n his? hers 'n hers?) biffy at the "Plains Motel and Trading Post"...Here, I ordered a 'steak sandwich', not realizing that it would be...

...a freaking SIDE of BEEF. I neither finished nor doggie-bagged it.

But you gotta love summer scenes like two kids over an ice cream (and then later taking off for who knows what adventure on their bikes)

Today's drive through Wyoming was HOT and therefore quite tiring. But I must say that the scents and silence of the land is truly something to be experienced. We crossed Oregon trail markers and scanned historical sites and areas of journeys past--and you just wonder how it was back in the day, with life on the plains for natives and newcomers alike. (Heck, I wonder what life out here in this godforesaken area is like NOW...)

Malt break in Shoshoni, WY. We then opted to take the northern route up towards Cody to get to Yellowstone tomorrow. The route was advertised as "THE FUN ROUTE" so what's not to love?

"Wait, don't put that one in--then they'll know we went to a CHAIN!" (or: it's kinda sad that McDonald's has the best coffee around. I think it is safe to say that we will be mainling espresso drinks once we get back to the land of too much good, strong coffee, where you can't swing a salmon without whacking a barista and/or coffee stand...

Our tractor antenna ornament purchased in Illinois is still going strong. Made in China, but it's QUALITY, oh yeah.

No work tomorrow and Meeteetse, WY was totally hoppin' at the country bar. And this was a real country bar-maybe there was a rodeo in town? Who cares. A man in Wranglers, boots and hat is always a welcome sight for the weary traveller, no?

See why we take the back roads? It's KINDA gorgeous out here.


Yes Dorothy, we WERE in Kansas...!

Our antique stop near Athol, KS. What a character. As he pointed out, it's too bad that we're not going to be in town NEXT weekend to get down with the "2nd Annual Great US-36 Highway 'Treasure Hunt': 400 Miles Across Kansas; Find Yard Sales Galore From Border to Border" event...

DAY FIVE: Fairbury, Nebraska to Torrington, Wyoming. Talk about tracing the paths of the pioneers. This is the heartland, the prairies, wide open spaces, the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails, you name it. We have lots and lots of stories to share but again are pretty pooped after a day out and about. And jeez this country is HUGE. Suffice it to say that this off-interstate thing is A-OK because you never know who you'll meet and the natural wonders you will experience. Today's route included a dip into and across nothern Kansas, to see the 'geographical center of the continental US', per the hot tip from our new friends at Cather & Friends Cafe and Bookstore in Red Cloud, NE (holla!). Suffice it to say that I'm looking forward to my new used copy of Willa Cather's "O! Pioneers" I bought today since I have now been ensconced in some of the land and environs--and have never read the book. Now I have no excuse.

"Yes, we know. Totally hot." (Red Cloud, NE)

Sunflowers and Kansas-can you have one without the other?

Time for some 'midwest campy' roadside attractions. Smack in the middle of the continental US.

Look quick! It's the little house on the prairie!

Nebraska is just 'plains' fun...

...and gorgeous.


and the landscape keeps on varying.

"K" took this sweet shot from the passenger side, taking a break from hours of working the wheel.

We drove into Torrington, WY tonight and let me tell you, there is NOTHING going on here on this Labor Day weekend Saturday night except bugs and the train whistle just outside our room. It's very ranch-quaint meets rugged frontier. Prior to rolling in we did see Chimney Rock National Monument from a distance (it's on the Nebraska side) and we tended to agree with the pioneer-days native American name for the formation as something to do with resembling elk genetalia instead of the place where the smoke blows out. Can't you just picture the Euroamerican pioneers writing back home that they'd spotted the giant phallic symbol on the Oregon Trail and that hopes and dreams for a better future were just around the bend?

It's after midnight (mountain time zone) so that's all for now. Tomorrow: up towards Yellowstone on US-26 N. We'll see how Madge takes the high elevations! Keep on commenting!