Friday, July 12, 2013
Deadwood South Dakota to Evanston Wyoming
Departure day from the Black Hills. We were up shortly after 5:00 AM and rolling south by 5:52. We took US 85 south from Lead, winding through canyons until we reached the Wyoming border, where the countryside leveled out.
Today's Route (543 Avalanche/trailer miles):
We reached Newcastle, Wyoming where Sherm, Lanny and Stewey had discovered a great restaurant. We parked on the main street and went into Donna's Main Street Diner, which was almost full. There was a general hubbub of people actually talking to each other and there was not an electronic device to be seen.
Sandy ordered a "small eater's serving" and was unable to finish it while I had one pancake, scrambled eggs and bacon. There were supposed to be two strips but I got three. Sherm had an enchilada omelette. On the way out, instead of putting our remaining coffee in to-go cups, our server gave us each a fresh large coffee to go. It all justified the hype we have been hearing and we will be back.
Welcome to Newcastle Wyoming
Main Street - Newcastle
Donna's Main Street Diner
Small eater's serving
Where else can inventory be left outside overnight
We left Newcastle on SR 450. Before we reached the town of Wright (pop. 1807), we passed a giant coal mining operation. This turned out to be the Black Thunder Coal Mine, billed to be the largest coal mine in the world. They operate six drag lines, 22 shovels, 148 haul trucks and shipped 104.9 million tons to market in 2011. Their site said they ship by BNSF and UP, explaining the mix of motive power we saw.
One Black Thunder loading facility
A unit train ready to roll
Hopper cars as far as the eye can see
One of 148 haul trucks
Another loading facility
We stopped at the truck stop in Wright to unload some coffee. Then we turned onto SR 387 and followed it and the SR 259 and I-25 to Casper. We found that gas prices had gone up over the last week and what had been $3.38 was now $3.49. But it was better than home and we topped up.
Rest Area - Wright Wyoming
Oil trucks heading for SR 220
A new oil well being drilled
An interesting skyline
Butte or mesa?
Other interesting rock shapes
Welcome to Casper
Drive up liquor window???
From Casper, we followed SR 220 to Rawlins. The back roads here are great. Wide, no traffic and a 65 MPH speed limit. Nearing Rawlins, we crossed the Continental Divide. Twice. Uphill both ways.
The following photos are scenes along SR 220.
We went through Rawlins to the west I-80 exit. There we found many hotels, some has stations and exactly zero fast food restaurants, particularly the Subway or McDonald's we were looking for. We headed west on 80 into a stiff headwind to a Subway the GPS said was forty miles down the road at Wamsutter. It was there, located in a Love's Truck Stop. We fueled again and got some lunch to go.
There was a nasty cell south of us and Sherm got a flash flood warning on his phone. Luckily, we headed right past. From Wamsutter, we were single laned for quite a ways and the line was stop and go for a while until we got past the active paving zone.
Weather system to the south
The stopped part of stop and go - dog looking for a breeze
We crossed the Continental Divide again and possible a fourth time on I-80. Then we made a rest stop near Table Rock, both a ghost town and a geographic feature. The elevation was 7,037 feet and the wind was still against us.
Wind blowing the wrong way
We kept trucking towards Evanston. Sherm called the Comfort Inn we usually stay at and found they wanted $94.00. Then he tried the Super 8 and they offered to accommodate us for $66.00, so that became our destination for the day. We drove past Rock Springs and Green River and their interesting rock formations. We did see another wind farm with most of the turbines idled despite the strong winds. There have been others and I have to wonder, given the subsidies and incentives to build them, why the blades are not turning.
A beaut of a butte
Another butte and a driver
Easier to go under rather than over or around
Near Green River
Mother Nature has done beautiful things here
Getting close to Evanston
We arrived in Evanston at around 5:30 and got checked into the Super 8. I worked on some blog aspects before we decided to walk to JB's for supper. The desk clerk said we could get a 10% discount and it was within walking distance. I'm not sure how far he walks in a day. We all had the salad/soup/fruit bar and I still ate too much. Back at the room, I finished the blog for the day. We have another 580 miles tomorrow so early to bed is a wise idea.
House on the hill in Evanston