The penultimate section of our trip in USA

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June 22nd 2011
Published: June 23rd 2011
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Monday 20th June 2011

On our last night in Silverthorne we heard thunder and saw lightening during the night and were really surprised when we woke up to a white wonderland with snow lightly falling. How fantastic! In our travels we have now seen this on several occasions but we are still thrilled to see it again,

After packing and making certain the condo was as we found it, we scraped the snow from the car windscreen and set off. Rags drove very carefully whilst we could see the ice on the road, being reminded of others who skidded by the dented guard rails on the corners. Eventually the road cleared and we drove on quite comfortably.

We drove into Denver, had lunch at the Boston Markets where we had what was virtually a beef roast, then drove to the suburb near Capital Hill where our friend Bill lives. We hadn't seen him since 2002, but we were welcomed into his apartment and were soon drinking tea and swapping experiences. His daughter, Kristen dropped in and we were re-acquainted with her, she being 16 or 17 when we saw her last.

Time flew, and we had to leave, as it was we were running late to meet Charlie and Margie at their home in Cheyenne. Judy sent a short email as we were driving to say we would be late, but surprisingly, it was only about 15 minutes later than expected. We met Charlie and Margie on our Danube Christmas cruise and have stayed in touch since.

They are now both retired and a year ago moved into a new home here. We were most impressed with the layout, especially the basement which consisted of 2 bedrooms, bathroom, entertainment room, plus a large storage room. We would love a basement in our home, it almost doubles the size of the home. This was the area which became 'home' for the time we were there.

After a delicious dinner we sat around and talked for some time until tiredness took its toll and we all retired fairly early. Judy, of course sitting in bed doing her unit work before she slept.

Tuesday, 21st June 2011

Breakfast was burritos prepared by Charlie, a great way to start the day. These consisted on egg, bacon, cheese and little spice and were very filling!

We set off straight after for a tour of Cheyenne, Charlie knowing the city well as he has worked there for many years. After driving through several sections we stopped at the park and visited their botanical nursery. With the very cold winters annuals need to be planted as soon as the weather changes as they have a very short growing season.

Charlie gave us a guided tour of the Wyoming Capital Building. This was built between 1886 and 1890, and contains the chambers of the Wyoming State Legislature and well as the office of the Governor of Wyoming. Charlie was most informative here as he had spent many years helping set up legislation in the Health arena. It was a very beautiful building and we could easily have spent much longer here.

Next we visited the Information office, here know as the Depot, where we picked up some information and maps to help us with our afternoon sightseeing. From here we went to the Governor's former residence, now set up as a museum. Interesting place built in 1904 and occupied by governors until 1976 when a new residence was built. In 2004 an extensive restoration was done and now contains furniture and accessories that typify the era and give examples of how the governors lived in the various eras.

On our return to the house it was lunchtime, so before we left we gratefully enjoyed a warm chicken salad. After our farewells, we promising to look after them if they came to West Australia, we set off to Laramie. This route was recommended rather than the direct route to our hotel just north of Denver even though it would take an extra hour or so.

At first we couldn't see why we were traveling this extra distance as the terrain looked the same. However we realised why when the mountains appeared and the Medicine Bow National Forest area was reached. It looks like a wonderful place to camp and hike if one had more time.

As we approached Laramie Judy was reading out some interesting facts from one of the leaflets we picked up in Cheyenne. Apparently, Thomas Edison was inspired while fly fishing in the Laramie area to come up with the idea of the filament lighbulb and Laramie was home to the first electrical plant in the Rocky Mountains.

Laramie appeared to be a quiet town with wide streets and fairly plain looking old style shops. The city hosts the University of Wyoming and it was here we found the highlight of the area. A very chatty and personable student steered us in the direction of the Geological Museum where a collection of pre-historic animal skeletons were on display, most of these discovered in the state. We took a set of photos which we will show Jack, our grandson, who has an interest in this area.

We continued on towards Denver, passing through some interesting country with granite outcrops being a feature.

By the time we arrived at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, where we were to spend the night, the traffic becoming heavier the closer we got and we became more tired. We were pleased to finally arrived at 5.30pm and found they still had a room for us!

The freeways are great here, but Rags still finds it a little disconcerting when he is on the speed limit of 75mph(120kph) and semi-trailers and other vehicles pass him. Police patrols are far and few between it seems.

In the US coupons are available for discounts on nearly everything. They
Hothouse flower in the Botanical Hothouse.Hothouse flower in the Botanical Hothouse.Hothouse flower in the Botanical Hothouse.

Angel's Trumpet which is very toxic!
usually cater for the locals, not readily available to tourists. We somehow got hold of some, knowing from our 2002 trip they were available. Our night here at the Ramada Hotel was through the coupons, for about A$50 we have an excellent room and a cooked breakfast in the morning. We ate dinner in the attached restaurant, both because the prices weren't over the top, but also in appreciation of the reasonable rate.

The later part of the evening was spent catching up with work and the blog, before ensuring our bags were packed for our flight tomorrow to Dallas.

Additional photos below
Photos: 23, Displayed: 23


Inside the Wyoming State CapitolInside the Wyoming State Capitol
Inside the Wyoming State Capitol

The House of Representatives
Wyoming, the land of the people, pas and present by Mike Kopriva.Wyoming, the land of the people, pas and present by Mike Kopriva.
Wyoming, the land of the people, pas and present by Mike Kopriva.

This mural in the Legislative Hearing Room integrates human activities, past and present, with various wyoming landscapes, including the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park, the Overthrust Belt and Fossil Butte etc.
The Dineen BuildingThe Dineen Building
The Dineen Building

Historic building in Cheyenne that was built as an automotive sales building.
Wyoming number plate Wyoming number plate
Wyoming number plate

They all have the rearing number plate. The chap who designed this also did a number of painting in the Capitol building.
Cheyenne, the indian chief after whom this city was named.Cheyenne, the indian chief after whom this city was named.
Cheyenne, the indian chief after whom this city was named.

One of the murals in the Senate chamber.
Bison bisonBison bison
Bison bison

Mounted bison in the entrance hall.
Memorial to those who lost their lives in the Terrorist attack on NY CityMemorial to those who lost their lives in the Terrorist attack on NY City
Memorial to those who lost their lives in the Terrorist attack on NY City

This steel cross section was cut from a box column retrieved from the rubble of the World Trade Centre. It came from the 65th floor of one of the towers destroyed.
Dining roomDining room
Dining room

This Chippendale-style furniture still has the original leather upholstery and was purchased in 1937 at the Chicago Furniture Mart.
Laramie Plains MuseumLaramie Plains Museum
Laramie Plains Museum

This museum built in 1892 houses the largest collection of hand carved furniture in Wyoming.
The ApatosaurusThe Apatosaurus
The Apatosaurus

One of the few full skeletons of this dinosaur in the world.

We had these potato skins for an appetiser and think we will keep this idea in mind for one of our dinners.

13th July 2011

I remember those yummy potato skins! Love Kerry.

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