Day 48-49/Drive to Douglas, WY

Trip Start May 01, 2013
Trip End May 01, 2014

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Saturday, June 15, 2013

June 15 - Today we drive south to Douglas, Wy where we will switch the kids back with Heather and they will go back to Denver.  It has been a great 2 weeks and we have seen so much with them (as you have witnessed as well) - Custer, Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore, Devils Tower and SO much in-between.   Today's journey takes us through tracts and tracts of rolling hills with nary a house or ranch or even my beloved barns are few and far between.  We enter train country, coal mining and drilling for oil.  Lots of pronghorns and for the first time we see sheep. And along the way for good measure, the prairie dogs.

I was enamored with the cloud formations.  The sky is so blue and the clouds in the distance over the hills so white and puffy.  Some taking on great shapes of things known.

The trains are absolutely amazing.  The photos do not to them justice.  They can hold up to 145 cars (the lady at the train museum - her husband is an engineer) - one train I counted at 130! You see them all the time in this area, full or coal and moving along with 2 to 3 engines, or they are lined up two or maybe three strong at a switching station waiting to be filled.  They have to stretch for over a mile.  My math majors - you do the calculations on the length of one car times 145 and we'll see how far they really do go.  

We have seen some quarries - coal...and small drilling arms scattered throughout the prairies for the oil.

June 16 - In Douglas we went to the train interpretive center and they had a Steam Locomotive, a Dining Car, a Sleeper Car, animal transport (double decker), a Baggage Car and a Caboose!  Some we could go inside.  They were pretty neat - some back to the early 1900's.  Then off to the Prairie Museum which turned out to be 8 rooms chock a block full of everything you could imagine, artfully arranged by period - from the fossils that date back millions of years, to all the wars, the clothing of the early settlers and the indians, all the wars uniforms - then cowboy things galore from saddles, to buckboards, to buggies, to guns, rifles, swords, etc, etc. etc.  It amazes me how much of this stuff is collected by people, still found today in the land, or just in someones attic.  I did feel at times like I was looking at my grandmother's things.

We stayed over night in  Douglas with a hotel with a pool, so the kids enjoyed that as well as going to a water park as we waited for Heather to join us, so it wasn't ALL educational for those two little guys.  There was a little fun mixed in....

I forgot to tell you about Hulett.  A little town 8 miles from here (population 363)  There was also a small museum there that was part art gallery and rather upscale, but nonetheless full of interesting things from Wyoming.  As we were walking around we noticed a sign for a fundraiser for the fire department and a young firefighter came across the street to invite us to the free barbecue - so we came back and had the dinner, met a few locals and the kids got a nice ride on a large truck originally from the Chicago area.  Thinking of you T.H.!!

 The smallest town, that we saw only the sign for, was for LOST SPRINGS - Population - 4!!! Wonder if they have a post office?  We have seen several tiny ones in our travels.  There is even one here outside the Devils Tower entrance in our campground.  Cool.

My right hand is suffering from carrying my big camera around to the point where it is swollen and the ring finger is beginning to curl up (don't want an operation on the tendon out here).  Other than Aleve and soaking my hand in the hottest water I can stand, which helps to relax the finger to where I can straighten it out for a short time.  Anyway, I only mention this because today (17th) we leave for our Family Motor Coach Associations Rally in Gillette, WY for 4 days, so I'm thinking that I won't be taking many pictures, so maybe the hand will recover a bit before we head up into Montana and the shutter will be clicking non-stop for the next two months! 

Hope all of you are well. 
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