Just Down the Road in Wyoming

In Travels With Myself on July 30, 2013 at 1:17 am

I 90 runs down from Montana to Buffalo, Wyoming, then I 25 picks up the north-south traffic and continues on down to Colorado. I followed them down only as far as Casper, however, ad will be glad tomorrow to get a last off of the interstates for a while. Not that they aren’t good roads. On the contrary, I would highly recommend that anyone thinking to make a trip west consider taking I 90 across the northern plains and through the mountains of Montana and Idaho; and I 25 is really the only reasonable way to travel from Billings to Cheyenne, the alternatives either being less-well-tended roads that either simply run alongside the highway or meander through the hills without adding anything of real importance to the trip. You can break up some of the highway monotony by taking every advantage of a “business loop” through one of the small cities along the way, or by getting off at a way-station of sorts and visiting some small place, such as the little Mennonite-run general store and restaurant (dinner only by reservation) that I discovered in Gold City, Montana. The store had a fine deli counter and shelves of bulk goods, including some of the best cold chocolate milk mix and hot chocolate cappuccino mix I’ve ever had.
And there is a certain degree of monotony. By the time I got into Wyoming, I was beginning to find myself simply rolling along with the highway as it bobbed and ducked and wove its way through the hills of Eastern Wyoming, only to be occasionally startled back into awareness by coming around a corner or over a hill to see an enormous fortress of a butte jutting up from the plains to one side or the other of the road, only to disappear behind me just as quickly. Fortunately, the winds are not so intense in Wyoming and I could set my own pace. There is very little traffic to speak of, only a few cars and the ubiquitous double trailers that go by and toss ne momentarily in their wakes. The usual speed limit (which is actually rarely posted) is 75 mph; but nobody minds that I take a much more leisurely pace in the right-hand lane.
Wyoming has remarkably little signage on its highways, in fact. They do, however, have occasional railway-crossing-style gates that allow them to completely shut down long sections of the highway, presumably to cope with severe weather conditions, such as drifting snow. Alongside these are warnings that going around them can lead to fines and other penalties. A side note, though, to the people who put up city welcome signs along the highway. It is not possible for people traveling 75 miles-per-hour (or even those like myself driving a great deal more slowly) to read long lists in too-small lettering describing all the many wonders awaiting them at the next exit. Better to put up several signs like Burma Shave, so that passers-by will become intrigued as they learn each new bit of local information. Yes, I’m talking to you, Kaycee, Wyoming; especially since it is so easy to keep going on down to Casper. And you really do have a nice little Main Street that warrants a visit.
I am, however, done with highways for a while. Tomorrow I will get off onto US 20 to take me through Nebraska and all the way to Sturbridge, Massachusetts. That’s right. I am now just down the road from Sturbridge; only a little matter of seven states, a couple of time zones, and a major river between me and home.

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