Oct 7: WY

Gilette, Wyoming

Gilette is known for open-pit coal mining, and in such a town, you might expect such a view from your motel window. I'm sure there are nicer parts of town...

There used to be some kind of divider in our room, which had been removed. It's the first time I have stayed in a hotel room with exposed nail points.

But even in such a humble environment, there are wondrous sights to see, such as airplanes riding by on trains

The Bighorn Mountains, 60 miles away. You can actually see these quite clearly as you come down from Devil's Tower (see Oct 6), when they are about 120 miles away.

This crack in the window started after we did, and it seems to be growing

A creek named after Anne

Buffalo, Wyoming

Anne suns in front of the Occidental, a great old hotel with high ceilings, lots of wood panelling, and a T-rex skull in one of the conference rooms. They were playing Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in the lobby. My kind of place!

It was only an hour from Gillette...if only we had known...

Breakfast at the terrific Main Street Diner.
Boy, that girl can really put it away!

(Just kidding, the French toast is mine)

Buffalo is a great little town, and I hope we can come
back one of these days and soak up more of its ambience

Tensleep, Wyoming

The mouth of Tensleep Canyon, after a superb drive over the Bighorn Range

Momentary delay

The Bighorns from the west. From here you can also clearly see the western peaks of Yellowstone. I am convinced that from Cloud Peak (the highest peak of the Bighorns), one could see the Black Hills to the east and the Absarokas and/or Tetons to the west, taking in most of Wyoming from a single spot. Can someone look into this and get back to me?

Greybull, Wyoming

At Greybull, there is this airstrip with about 60 vintage warplanes, firefighting planes, etc.

Unfortunately, it was closed and we couldn't get close to many of them

This sleek skyster is my personal favorite -- I especially like how they have oriented the propellers identically

Anne tries the double-glasses technique (see Oct 1).
Doesn't work so well for her.

Nutty rocks outside Cody, where we lunched at the Irma hotel, a classic Old West venue built by Buffalo Bill and named for his daughter. No photo, alas, but it's one of three quintessential Western lodgings we'll visit today.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

We arrive in Yellowstone from the east, a new entrance for us. From the north shore of Yellowstone Lake, one can easily see the Tetons (their jagged skyline is fainter in this photo than it was in real life), about 60 miles distant I believe.

We've done Yellowstone a few times, and we're just trying to make it through before dark. So in one of the most spectacular areas of the world, don't expect much from this humble journal. But this at least proves we were here.

Gratuitous wildlife shot

Jackson Lake and the Tetons by moonlight, as we head
south to the town of Jackson

next: a big surprise...