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Wild West road trip Day3 Wyoming, Grand Teton, Idaho Falls
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
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We woke up the next day and took a quick drive around
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Rawlins, WY.
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The main tourist site in town was an old penitentiary (1901-1981)
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that provided tours
Wyoming State Penitentiary
and a free museum.
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the most famous inmate was Bill Carlisle, the great train robber, but the jail also housed a one-arm artist that made lots of nice paintings that were on display.

Ilaria and I wanted to take the tour, but changed our minds after learning the tour was 1hr long.
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And we hit Highway 287
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for what I thought were some of the most beautiful landscapes of the trip.
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There really aren't too many folks in Wyoming.
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Cows and wild horses roam the land.

I just don't understand how ranchers ever find the cows, they have some much room to roam.
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We stopped at Split Rock
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for a couple photos of Ilaria and
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Ilaria's little pancetta.
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In my first attempt at a group shot, I set the timer on 2 seconds, but I wasn't 2 seconds fast.
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10 seconds was enough.
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Wyoming is the least populous US state with only around 500,000 residents (it has the second lowest population density, just behind Alaska).
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Driving through the state,
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I wondered why more folks wouldn't want to live in such a peaceful and beautiful place, but based on the wind blocking and the automatic road closing devices along our trip, I'd guess they have one heck of a nasty winter. The US government also owns almost half of the state's land.
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Split Rock was used as a landmark by the folks on the Oregon trail heading west, because you could see it for an entire day's travel from the east and you could see it behind you for two more days to the west.

Ilaria and I might have been some pretty bad pioneers, because couldn't figure out which of the many rocks around us was the real Split Rock. At first we thought this was it,
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but then I saw this in the rear view mirror, and decided maybe we'd have been ok pioneers, that looks like a pretty good Split Rock.
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Up ahead we could see we were going to drive through a little rain.
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Then we started seeing snow-capped mountains for the first time in Wyoming.
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And a few minutes later we were driving through a red desert (Wyoming is amazing).
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We stopped in a little frontier-style town to by some frontier gasoline.

$4 a gallon
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even though they're pumping the stuff only a few feet away.
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A new experience for Ilaria and I was driving through Indian Reservations. We'd do so a lot on this trip, and everytime it was like entering a foreign country where there are few hotels and the houses are mostly rundown. Pretty sad.
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After some more desert,
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and muddy stream,
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and another frontier-style town (we were beginning to realize that all towns in Wyoming are frontier-style),
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we were suddenly at the beginning of an Alpine forest (Wyoming is amazing).
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After a few minutes of driving
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into the forest
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it was almost hard to imagine that we'd been in a desert only a little while ago.
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Beyond the under-construction road that we could see our destination -- the Grand Tetons.
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What a nice place to drive
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or to take a panoramic photo.
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This is Mount Moran, with a small glacier and a black strip on top of it.
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A crack between the rocks was filled with lava, which cooled fast and made this characteristic stripe of dark rock, which is visible today.
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I really wanted to head to Jenny Lake,
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which I'd heard was the nicest place to view
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the mountains.
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After a little problems with a tour bus that was jammin the parking lot, we got there
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took a quick shot of the pancetta
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and ourselves.
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Pretty nice spot on the planet.
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We'd planned to spend the nite
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in Jackson, WY.
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But it was really expensive and felt like tourists+capitalism had turned it into a piece of crap.
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So we drove along
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the snake river
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into Idaho.
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We stopped
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by a dam
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that was making
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lake Pana At Idaho
from this
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that flowed into this lovely valley.
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I was expecting lots of potatoes. So I couldn't quite figure out what was going on when we passed miles and miles
wheat Pana
of this yellow stuff.
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I figured it was some kinda grain.
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Turns out they must be growing most of the world's breakfast cereal in Idaho.
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I don't know why Idaho potatoes are so famous. Based on this trip, I'll forever associate Idaho with wheat.
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I even took a wheat that I keep in my car for good luck.
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We stopped for the day in Idaho falls,
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which was nicer
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than I expected.
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We watched this fisherman
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catch a rubber ducky.
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We found a (cleaner) twin to our Scion XD while looking for a hotel.
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We ended up sleeping at a hotel next to where General Mills was processing all of that cereal.
wild west map day 2  1
From the deserts of Wyoming, to the snow of the Grand Tetons, to the wheat of Idaho, we'd certainly had a diverse range of scenery in only a single day.