Monday, September 30, 2013

Rawlins and Cheyenne, Wyoming; The Lincoln Monument on the Lincoln Highway, Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming's State Capital and Depot Plaza

As I write the title for this post, I am totally amazed at all the things we saw today and we drove for 380 miles!  You know that's a lot for us. We are on the way home, and we're anxious to get there, I think, although ending this extended roaming adventure will be hard to do.

We woke in Rawlins, Wyoming, and drove back across the city to see the Federal Prison where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were held back in the day.

 The funny thing is that we realized, once we got there, that we'd already been there together.  We remember having a picnic lunch in front of the prison that time.  It was closed today, so we looked it over and shot a picture. I include the prison information sign, also.

(I am mildly concerned that we'd both forgotten the first visit until we got there today....)  But think of the potential for future travel, if you will...........we could see the entire country a second time, and it would all be "new" to us!

 We drove the rest of the route through southern Wyoming through the Medicine Bow National Forest.  We could see Medicine Bow Mountain in the distance for a very long while.  The town itself is some distance south of Interstate 80.
There is only one monument dedicated to Abraham Lincoln on the entire Lincoln Highway.  It was actually built in 1959. That is pretty sad, considering you could technically drive from Times Square to the Golden Gate Bridge, which is 3,389 miles, on this highway! 
 The monument is near Laramie, and can be seen from the highway itself, but we got off to visit it up closely.  The bust of Lincoln is 13.5 ft. tall and it sits atop a pedestal that is 35 ft. tall, for a total of 48.5 ft high.  Abe is looking at all the traffic going by!  The small museum and the rest area there are both lovely facilities.  Visitors can view movies about all the Wyoming State Parks right there.  We went through the free museum, then had lunch in their picnic area.


 I don't seem to be able to upload my statue photo, so look at the image of it on the sign, above. One below was taken from inside the museum.  You can tell we had a good time in the museum.....

We drove on to Cheyenne, the capital city of the state of Wyoming, and you know that means we had to visit the Wyoming Capitol Building!  It has a great golden dome.  The capitol was closed today since it's Sunday.

We are not standing together, because I couldn't run that far in ten seconds.........
Cheyenne has recently renovated the old depot in the downtown area.  It is just lovely, so clean and fresh.  A museum  and a gift shop are inside.  A large area which would have been the actual station and waiting room holds events.  There is now a very large plaza area that covers the block in front of the depot, and it has picnic tables.
Apparently there are festivals and concerts on the plaza.  Large, artistic boots decorate the front door of the depot and the plaza.
There is also a statue of a traveling woman at the front door of the depot. (If you remember the statue of the man with his baggage in front of the old depot in Tacoma, you may see a continuing theme............)  This woman has arrived, dressed in her traveling clothes, with her suitcase.  Why a woman before a Wyoming depot?  Wyoming was the first state to allow women to vote, so that's a natural!
We left Cheyenne, and finished the drive across southern Wyoming. I add this map from a sign at the Lincoln Museum, to help give you a mental picture of our whereabouts.
We crossed over the Nebraska State Line at about 3:30 this afternoon.  You know the routine!
Now, I'd really love to get excited about Nebraska, and I just might yet.  There has been some interesting scenery so's an idea of that:

The clouds have been beautiful in Nebraska.  There is much farmland here, as you can see.  It may take us a few days to get used to leaving the mountains behind.  Thinking positively, however...........
We arrived in North Platte, Nebraska as dusk was coming on.  We have also lost another hour due  the time zone line we crossed over near here.  We are in the Comfort Inn in North Platte, and had a fantastic steak dinner at a place called Whiskey Creek.  This is beef country.
Right next to our motel is a very lovely Veteran's Memorial, which we investigated before we checked in.  All of the United States Military Services are honored at this memorial.  It was lit up when we saw it, and it is truly a work of love in this community.
Tomorrow we need to make some miles and find some specialness in Nebraska!
Copyright:  KP Gillenwater 2013