From Sheridan, Wyoming, to the Black Hills…

September 20, 2009

This day (9/16) dawned bright, sunny, and warm, a stark contrast from the tempestuous weather of the previous evening, but certainly welcome. Though we had morning coffee in Sheridan, we quickly got under way, heading east again on the I90, stopping for lunch at the town of Buffalo, a nice quaint little place. To us the most interesting feature seemed to be the old Occidental Hotel; you’ll find a few photos relating to that in our daily gallery (just click the link). The Occidental Hotel and Saloon hosted many notorious and famous guests over the years, including, but not limited to, Butch Cassidy, Buffalo Bill Cody, Calamity Jane, the (infamous) Tom Horn, Teddy Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, to mention a few. The Hotel has been accurately and beautifully restored to its original grandeur, 10-year project completion in 2007. The 25-foot back bar of the Saloon was brought in by wagon over 100 years ago.

We had a funny incident there in Buffalo. When we arrived in town, we parked our loaded-to-the-gills Prius along the Main Street, locked it, and strolled down to the Occidental for lunch, toured the rooms, took photos of various things, la de dah. We crossed the street, looked through a few more shops, and decided to go. Jane crossed first, jumped into the silver Prius, and I joined her quickly thereafter. When I got in, she said, “John! Our car’s been stripped of everything!” Sure enough, nothing was left of our belongings. Then, reality crept in. We were in the WRONG Prius! Somehow we’d been able to unlock and board the wrong car. We got out, gratefully trooped down the street to our own loaded machine, and heaved collective sighs of great relief. It was weird that we could unlock this other car, but supposedly the odds aren’t all that great? All’s well that ends well, right?

Which brings us to our favorite photo of that day (September 16), a Wyoming oil well doing its best to counteract the foreign oil deficit! As you’ll see in the gallery, we saw much evidence of other energy forms, i.e., a LOT of coal being produced in that area of Wyoming and railroaded along to various delivery destinations.Oil WellAnd, we visited Moorcroft, which during the late 19th Century, was a major cattle drive hub for cattle being driven from Texas to Montana. Though we saw Devil’s Tower at a distance from the freeway, we had no close encounters with it, sorry to say. You’ll have to rent the movie for that.

Other notable images in the gallery show our entry into South Dakota; after we entered the beautiful Black Hills region, we passed through Deadwood, and finally almost made it to our day’s destination of Hill City before we got rammed (said he sheepishly).

We saw MANY things animal, vegetable, and mineral while touring around the Black Hills of South Dakota; our next blog will feature some real Rock Stars who can’t even sing! Stay tuned.


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