Glorious Wyoming - my new favorite state.

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

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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Saturday, June 20, 2009

We left Jackson early enough to see the dawn sun burning off the clouds in the valley with buffalo emerging through the mist and the Tetons peeking out in the sunlight above. The US26 climbed into the mountains and for a long time we were the only ones on the road with no sign of civilisation. There was snow covering the pasture at the sides of the road, and when we passed a frozen pond I looked at the thermometer and saw that it was 0.5C outside. All in all not somewhere to breakdown... Which thankfully we didn't.
Finally we made Togwatee pass, once again crossing the Continental Divide, and descended into the beautiful, and extremely sparsely populated, Wind River valley. This was a wide, perfectly flat grassland valley floor with vertical sandstone cliffs along the sides, startling red against the clear blue sky. I say the valley was flat, it actually concealed the Wind River, which had gouged out its own meandering canyon in the valley floor – invisible, like a haha. I saw some soaring brown birds of prey, which I later discovered from my "Mac's Field Guide" were golden eagles! I also saw loads of prong horn happily mixed in with the black angus herds. We only went through a couple of towns in 200 miles, one of which was Hiland pop 10 elev 5998! My theory that the 2 lane highways go through more towns was shot to pieces. The road descended further into more mundane, man-made scenery, with the now familiar giant irrigation systems greening the scrub. Mid afternoon we stopped off to see the Crazy Horse work in progress and Mount Rushmore mountain sculptures, which were tourist circuses as expected as was Keystone We made camp for the night in Rapid City, a sprawling town of low-rise buildings and malls. It had been getting gradually hotter as we descended the Rockies and it was about 30C by the time we got to the motel - hot and dusty, a complete opposite from the start of the day.

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