Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 11: Wyoming

The speed limit out here is 75 mph, which is making taking pictures of signs a little trickier. Not that we're complaining.

After bidding a fond farewell to the hotel in Evergreen where we'd spent two whole nights, we drove into Denver to meet up with some of Mark's coworkers. Then we hit the road, and found ourselves in Cheyene, Wyoming by lunchtime.

The Wyoming State Capitol.

Atticus isn't huge on reading/obeying signs.

We didn't go in, because durnflabbit, we're not going to be those people from Philly trying on every cowboy hat. Besides, we'd already done that in Omaha.

We parked with the intention of grabbing a quick sandwich somewhere, and then we saw this--

I prefer to think that this cafe is named after the ancient city of Ur, instead of just being spelled in texting shorthand.

An Indian/Greek restaurant in the middle of Cheyene? We had to know, so we went in and met a real frontierswoman.

Meet Dahlia, the woman running the Ur Way Cafe. Before Dahlia's family opened the Ur Way Cafe Cheyene didn't have an Indian or a Greek restaurant. The family (from Egypt) decided, Oh, what the heck, let's just serve everything! The food was pretty good, nice and spicy and a welcome break from the fried brown stuff that we've been eating. There may be a lot of wind-weathered cowpokes in Cheyene, but there's only one little cafe where you can get chicken vindaloo and a falafel.

After lunch we were back on the road. Wyoming has always been a mystery to me. My knowledge of the state is pretty much contained to Dick Cheney and Matthew Shepard, so my outlook going into Wyoming wasn't particularly positive.

Wyoming is vast and desolate. We ran into a group of Belgians in a restaurant in Custer who cheerfully described it as "awful", but I don't share their sentiments. I was frightened by Wyoming--I'm a walk-to-the-supermarket, public transportation-lovin' city dweller, and in all my daydreams I've never once thought of myself as a weather-beaten loner on the high plains with just my horse and some sort of plaid shirt (in fact, I kind of believe that horses are bitey) (also cows) (I have no evidence whatsoever to support this wackadoo belief).

But despite my underlying fear of Tali breaking down and me being forced to roam the prairies in search of help only to be bitten by a horse/cow and/or run over by some oddly well-aimed tumbleweed, I could see that Wyoming is beautiful. It is breath-taking, and mind-boggling that all those people on the Oregon Trail made their way across this landscape. It's also mind-boggling that kids out here sit for hours on a bus just to get to school when there are two elementary schools within a ten-minute walk from our home in Mt. Airy. I have a noisy, silly soul and Wyoming made me feel like a goofy bug that could be easily squashed by the endless prairie and enormous sky.

I dealt with my discomfort by taking pictures of the road every three minutes.

Hey, look, a rainbow! This was the cause for much excitement until we realized that we were running the risk of turning into that guy from that Youtube video who freaks out for two minutes about a rainbow. Still, after a hundred miles of no rainbow, the rainbow was pretty fantastic.

Yeah, the South Dakota sign kind of crept up on us.

South Dakota. Not so different from Wyoming, until...

Woo hoo! The Black Hills!

And a buffalo! This buffalo totally didn't care that we were taking it's picture. It was all, "Grass. Eating now."

DEVIL DEER! DEVIL DEER!!! And I thought Wyoming was scary.

There is just no end to beauty out here. Or my ability to take a billion million pictures.

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