Two States, One Blog Entry...
Since leaving Colorado, the scenery quotient has dropped way off. Not that Wyoming and Nebraska don't have anything worth looking at, but I guess I'm not in the right parts. :-)
Actually, my time in these states is quite brief. I was in Wyoming for less than 24 hours, just cutting across the southeast corner with a one night stopover in the state capitol of Cheyenne. The last three days have been spent crossing the western panhandle of Nebraska and I'll be entering South Dakota tomorrow. The riding has been mostly flat with endless views and a bit windy.
Cheyenne has a couple interesting, or odd, things worth mentioning. It's one of the smallest state capitols in the country at just over 50,000 people. I walked by the historic governor's mansion and the state capitol building. There is a beautiful late-19th century train depot near the capitol. Much to my happiness, it now houses a brewpub and tourist office. Cheyenne also seems to be a busy place for the Union Pacific railroad. There is a big switching and maintenance yard next to the depot. To accommodate car traffic, a freeway overpass has been built over the yard. And most oddly, a train-traffic control tower sticks up right between the northbound and southbound freeway lanes. When walking over the pedestrian walkway of the freeway, you can look into the control tower at just below eye-level with the tower workers!
Speaking of trains, the coal mines in Wyoming ship out an amazing amount of coal, via rail, through western Nebraska. While stopping for lunch at a roadside picnic area near a railway, I counted 135 ore cars piled high with coal in just one train. Some one in Alliance, NE told me that over 100 of those trains come through the area every day heading to electricity generating stations on the east coast. That's a lot of coal!
Today, I got to see my first piece of true Americana on the trip - Carhenge! Just north of Alliance, sitting in a field, is what the builder calls a 'Car Art Reserve'. These old cars have been arranged, stacked, upended, buried and painted to mimic Stonehenge. Having been to Stonehenge, I can say that the accuracy isn't very good, but the humor level is quite a bit higher than what the ancient Brits would have managed!