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10/04/2011: Day 5: Casper to Dubois, WY
The plan by Casper had become to see the Tetons before Yellowstone, because we are already so close. But the weather is closing in; rain and snow are forecast for the weekend. We have to chose between racing to the Tetons in hopes of seeing them today, or moseying and not worrying. Or still possibly seeing them after Yellowstone.
Meanwhile, the Showboat breakfast was out of bagels, but had Belgian waffles and real butter. But only Aunt Jemima syrup.
So after breakfast, email and such, we started off by gassing up at 10. We left the interstate (I-29) to head south along WY-220, stopped in a Mormon historic site, then turned up US-287 to get to Dubois, WY at about dinner time. Most of the day's details are in the picture captions. I suggest browsing them:
Karen checks email and FaceBook just before leaving the Steamboat Motel in Casper, WY.
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Heading down WY-220 we finally see some mountains
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I wanted to stop to take a picture of some interesting clouds and hills, but the turn off turned into a longer stop. The Mormon Handcart Historic Site (http://lds.org/placestovisit/eng/historical-sites/mormon-handcart-historic-site) was quite interesting. Especially on the heels of last year's visit to Salt Lake City (http://danklarmann.com/2010SeptTrip/trip.cgi?Date=20101011)
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One thing the Mormons did differently was to construct cheap hand carts instead of trying to buy pricey Conestoga wagons. This modern reproduction shows many of the cost cutting measures, to those who know what is involved in building one of those high-tech 1850's wagons.
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The church Elder who led us through the history of their journey was fascinated to meet me, a guy who states up front that I am not religious, but who actually listens with interest. She was secure enough in her faith to describe things in my secular paradigm rather than insisting on the absolute truth that less confident believers might insist.This is a snapshot of some of the collection of artifacts from the trip through Devil's Gate they have on display in their museum. It is an excellent snapshot of life and death on the high plains.
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Finally, that shot of interesting light that I stopped for originally. The glowing sun on clouds of either mist or dust. I never was sure which.
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Apparently quite a few folks still follow this trail.
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Just before a state highway rest stop, there is this obviously multi-layer sign board promising us a nice show as we head up US-287 to Lander
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Signs that this road may not be open for long. Snow is in the weekend forecast.
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Yes, we braked in Lander, WY for cappuccino at Old Town Coffee, a place that I'd looked up on my Droid between finally getting some 3-G but before we actually hit town.
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Threatening weather ahead gave interesting light. I like layered textures in clouds and mountains.
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When I later viewed time lapse dashboard clips from Karen's and my own driving, I noticed something interesting relating to how we each handle our lane control. I plan to post more on this later.
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We passed through the Wind River Indian Reservation and I snapped this shot as we zoomed past Fort Washakie and the Sacajawea grave site. US-287 is also the Chief Washake Trail.
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We zoomed down some winding roads as I admired various geological formations from afar.
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Clouds striped the landscape that we barreled through.
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Layers. I love the layers. Chemically and physically incompatible strata that could only have been laid down at different epochs. And with late 20th and early 21st century science, we can figure out when and why they are the way they are.They are pretty.
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Glowing festoons of modern infrastructure heading to the hills.
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Highway 285 follows this river for many miles. Pretty deep blue water and red hills are simply pretty scenery.
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We finally stopped in Dubois, WY. This is a charming little town on a bend in the highway. We decided to stay at the Historic Twin Pines Lodge and Cabins (http://www.twinpineslodge.com/). We could have had a cabin to ourselves, but I opted to stay in the lodge. Our room was next to and two steps up from the registration desk in the lobby. This 1920-ish log cabin has all the modern amenities. And the price is quite reasonable.
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The moose over the main fireplace is supposedly original, as are the lanterns. But the lanterns now have halogen bulbs rather than oil wicks.
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We walked from one end of town to the other to select an eatery. We had surf'n'turf at the Cowboy Cafe. Shortly before we were done, some teen girls sports team invaded and occupied three tables around us. It got loud and we got out.
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I just had to take a snapshot of this hybrid recumbent chimera that we passed on the way back to the motel. There is a gasoline engine with two drive wheels between the two rear pedaled wheels. The complex chain path and many odd structural choices brings Rube Goldberg to mind.Very creative.
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This is our room in the Twin Pines Lodge. Step down and beware the various architectural choices made over the 80 years this place has been in business.
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And then we went to bed. I got up early the next morning, and selected and "developed" all these pictures. I finally posted the captions the following evening.

Next: Day 6: Dubois to Jackson Hole in the rain

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