"More Education Than a Year In School!"

Trip Start Jun 17, 2010
Trip End Jul 03, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Friday, June 25, 2010

John still wasn't able to convince me to drive to Yellowstone, so late this morning we left Denver and headed north to Wyoming.  Tonight, after driving all day through eastern Wyoming, he admitted that an extra 20 hours of driving would have been too much!

Our first stop after leaving our Colorado was Cheyenne, Wyoming.  We didn't really do anything there but have lunch.  The capitol of Wyoming has a distinct 'western' flair, with a huge western outfitter called "Wrangler" in the downtown area next to the train depot.  There are several museums here that pay tribute to the old west, cowboys/cowgirls, and rodeos.  Unfortunately, because we really wanted to visit the Oregon Trail Ruts (more on that below), as well as make it up to the Devil's Tower area in the evening, we weren't able to visit any of the sites. 

After lunch, we drove an hour or so north to the town of Guernsey where we learned about the Oregon Trail.  There is a preserved site of Oregon Trail wagon ruts, as well as Register Cliff, a sandstone cliff above the North Platte River where hundreds of pioneers carved their name as they were heading west along the Trail.  This was so interesting to see, and a great connection to the Lewis and Clark expedition that we had learned about last week in Saint Louis.  As Elisabeth said, this two week trip is giving her more eduction than a whole year in school!

After leaving Guernsey, we traveled north on a two lane road for around 200 miles.  Southeastern and central Wyoming was reminiscent of Kansas, but seemed much wilder and remote.  It is really beautiful.  We saw lots of wildlife, particularly antelope.  I can't get the song "Home On The Range" out of my mind after seeing all of the "antelope play"!

After a long day of driving, we finally made it to northeastern Wyoming.  While we were still an hour or so away from where we wanted to stay the night, we decided it might be a good idea to try to find a hotel.  I found phone numbers in our GPS unit for hotels/motels close to Devil's Tower, and called the first one (the Hulett Motel).  They had one room left, for $64.  We didn't know what to expect, but we went ahead and booked it.  When I walked into the lobby of this very quaint motel this evening, I couldn't believe it... this motel serves as a base camp for hunting expeditions (www.intrepidoutdoors.com), and there were lots of dead animals (also known as trophies) on the walls.  The guide even has a hunting show on the Pursuit Channel.  (For those of you who don't know what that is, be glad.)  Needless to say, this stay will be a highlight of the trip for John and Ben!

Hulett, Wyoming is a really interesting town.  There are maybe 10 buildings (including the motel), out in the middle of nowhere.  There's a saloon, a pizza parlor, a bank, a law office, a general store, and "Rogues Antiques". At Rogues, there's an 1880's jail out front, along with a wooden skeleton in a coffin, and a noose reserved for "Tree Huggers, Limp Wristed Liberals, and All Other Sissy Types".  There is also a sign on the front door (below the "Open" sign) that says, "Hell with it!! (gone to the bar)".  As I said, Hulett is interesting.

We'll visit Devil's Tower National Monument tomorrow morning, and then head east to the Black Hills of South Dakota. 
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Jennifer Ballard on

When Patrick and I drove to Montana for school, we did the same thing about finding a hotel in Wyoming. We ended up staying at this little camp like area off the interstate that had one working cabin left with running water. It was off a lake and nothing else around. Keep having fun!

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