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Day 27, Thursday June 15, 2017:
Scottsbluff, Nebraska -> LaGrange, Wyoming -> Burns -> Cheyenne, Wyoming

We left Scotts Bluff, Nebraska on state routes 71 followed by 88. This was to be morning of quiet rural places. We passed more of the substantial snow fences we have been seeing here in the northern states. Free standing wood structures with food slats to break the drifting snow. As best I could tell they were 16-foot-long segments and had a skid like base that rested on the field. They were laid out end for end along stretches of road. They were a far cry from the seasonal fences we see in the east.

Shortly after crossing into Wyoming we arrived in the small town of LaGrange, population about 448. How small is LaGrange? Well it's area is .41 square miles, all of it land, no water. While small it has served as a gathering place for surrounding communities. The town has an agricultural base with old and new grain silos. The village consisted of quite a few decent looking buildings but many seemed to be inactive. The Longhorn Grocery 7 café and Frontier School of the Bible seemed to have most of the activity. 4 Wheelers were cruising the highway through town and eventually began spraying the shoulders. These machines see a lot of street use out here.

Leaving LaGrange, the land was largely flat and wide open, few trees, plenty of grasslands and very gently rolling terrain. 70 MPH on a 2-lane road still seems wrong but in open spaces with light traffic it works. The road laid out lightly upgrade and straight for as far as the eye could see. In the distance, we spotted something low in the sky and realized it was a biplane crop duster. On the open road, we saw it do 3 or 4 passes as we rolled at 70 MPH. Latter we came up on a road striping caravan and got to follow at 14 MPH for a stretch. Lots of bugs in the windshield today. Even with cleaning stops the go-pro images are going to be messy.

We pulled off to visit the town of Burns. Home to about 301 and 3.05 square miles in size. Gravel streets, church, school, bank and volunteer fire department, public works, schools, library, town hall and community center. There seemed to be all the essential elements except businesses. The biggest signs of life were several kids out on bicycles. Houses were single story and overall it looked like a nice quiet place. The town sports 2 spiffy water towers with the town name and sporting a bucking bronco for the school sport teams dubbed the broncs.

As we headed to Cheyenne we began to see the Rockies in the distance. They glowed above the horizon in the mid-day skyline and hardly looked real. It was a sobering sight, the road that leads to the Rockies would also lead us to Denver and the end of the adventure was tangibly in sight.

We landed on I80 to head into Cheyenne but were soon drawn to the service road that runs alongside because that is where the cool stuff is. Here we found Mel Gould's "Buryville". We pulled over and took pictures of the plethora of iron folk art, giant whirligigs and other novelties adoring the rambling property. It wasn't until later in the trip that I had missed out on the most amazing feature, Buryville is Mel's underground workshop, made of a school bus, camper, grain silo, and 55,000-gallon gas tank that Mel had buried on the property.

Farther along we came to Sapp Bros., a travel-stop where the water tower, sign and haven knows what else are made to look like giant coffee pots. There is a motel, steak house and more. A classic roadside attraction.

Lorna looked up a local bakery lunch spot "Bread Basket" in Cheyenne. Fresh made sandwiches and cookies in a quaint neighborhood spot made for a nice mid-day arrival in the destination du jour.

After lunch we drove over to Warren Air Force Base to see the Minuteman Missiles. Well, sort of. There were some props standing outside of the security gate. It didn't seem like the place you stopped in to go wandering about and the missiles didn't seem to be a tourist attraction. Nevertheless, we got that close to the installation.

Being near I25 we wend down the highway to see the "The Greeting and The Gift". Sculpted for the US Bicentennial and belatedly dedicated on January 30, 1977, by Wyoming's governor. Two 14-foot-tall bronze sculptures, one of an Indian holding up a gift horn, the other of a waving mountain man, face each other on separate pedestals. They were on separate sides of the highway and integrated into a visitor's center exit. We parked and walk the site, took some pictures and toured the visitors center.

We got into town, parked and went wandering. Near the Depot Museum we visited The Wrangler, a genuine Ranch Wear store. I never knew there could be so much variety in boots and cowboy hats! The smell of leather as intense.

While at railroad square we notice there was a tour trolley. We decided to sign up for the next run. We hung out at Cheyenne Depot Plaza, home of the giant western boot while waiting. It was nice to sit back and learn about the town. We saw and heard about many of the people, places and things we grew up with on television Westerns. We also wandered the museum in the train station which is an elegant old building that is also used for community functions. It was along tour after which we were really hungry. We ate at the Wyoming Steak and Chop House.

We found our hotel room for the night at the local Best Western Plus Frontier Inn, we had finally scored a free night! After taking care of the usual downloads and back-up we headed out for some adventure at a genuine western honky-tonk, the Outlaw Saloon. It was after 9:00 but the crowd was light on this Thursday evening. We hung out listening to the Donnie Evets Band, they were pretty good in a western honky-tonk sort of way. After a drink and feeding a slot machine it was time to call it a day.

Driving back on I80 we passed the Frontier Refinery. Bbetween the intense lighting and flaming gas stacks it was actually an unusually nice fairy land looking place!

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Created June 15, 2017