Pretty chuffed

Trip Start Jun 05, 2009
Trip End Jul 03, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Monday, June 8, 2009

Feeling very pleased with myself (and the car) - 820 miles today! We've made it across the Great Plains and can see the Rocky Mountains out my window.
We've been going in a straight line for most of today (one 400-odd mile stretch across S Dakota! The intensively farmed plains of Iowa continued, and the scenery wasn't particularly inspiring until after we crossed the Missouri when S Dakota got a lot wilder (and sunnier). I've got loads of photos of the road stretching ahead over rolling grassland under a blue sky with little fluffy clouds - lovely.
The other big surprise of the day was Wyoming. There are all the grassy hills and the odd pine clad valley you expect, but there is also a large (coal-fired?) power station just as you enter the state on the I-90, and lots, and lots of Indian (I'm assuming) shanty towns, which looked particularly sad and dilapidated in the pouring rain. Crossing into Wyoming meant we only had 165 miles to go and I was hugely relieved that the car had made it - some of the long gaps between towns had been pretty nerve-wracking.
There was a definite wild west theme to the places we stopped off today. Some were touristed-up, some, like the Cowboy Coffee House, were the real deal. We stopped in at Al's Oasis for lunch, but only had time to get a shot of Harry posing with the giant buffalo before I was scared off by the geriatric coach party buying t-shirts. And we had to call in to Wall Drug, which has adverts along the road every mile or so from Omaha onwards (649 miles away!)
Just to reassure you I'm not avoiding the immersion therapy presented by the roadtrip I must describe breakfast, if only so you can share my pain! It was Macdonalds, and I'd convinced myself that a sausage an egg mcmuffin would really hit the spot (I'd been on the road a couple of hours already). Unfortunately the closest they had was a sausage, egg and cheese mcgriddle - 2 small but thick pancakes, soaked in syrup wrapped around the aforementioned contents. Now I admit I have long been a fan of the bacon-syrup combo, but gooey cheese and syrup!? Subsistence rations on the road are that stuff the americans call coffee, beef jerky (and the treat of a bit of buffalo jerky, which was definitely superior) and butterscotch sweeties.
To within striking distance of Seattle tomorrow night - perhaps I'll find my first Starbucks since Ohio.
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