The next morning I stepped out of my hotel room with Aria, the sun was shining on the door but the air was crisp and cool with a hint of breath in front of me. For the first time in days, I had to put on the heat in the middle of the night. Temperatures dropped another 20 degrees as day turned to night and were slow to climb the next morning. As we began our walk we were cooled further by the wet grass between our feet. As we started back in a breeze blew by us and through our hair making it feel like Fall instead of early Spring. As I looked into the wind I couldn't help but think that less than 24 hours ago, I was in shorts, tank top, running the a/c, sweating and in 75 degree weather. Today I was wearing a sweater, jeans, coat and ran the heat for most of the night. Hello, Wyoming. The car was packed and I continued East towards South Dakota.
It wasn't long after our departure that we encountered our first area of road construction and I couldn't help but wonder if they were the same workers who had stayed at my hotel. Our route today took me from Interstate to Highway, back to Interstate and ended the rest of the route on Highway. Speeds ranged from 55 mph to 80 mph and the Highways were marked just as high as the interstate. The route began cutting through the mountains near Rock Springs, Wyoming and took us towards Casper. They twisted and turned until the scenery around us became high, rolling hills and finally opened up into fields. It wasn't too long later that I began to see the open fields have more hills which become higher and eventually welcomed back the mountains.
The beginning had a lot of turns offs, pullovers and parks to stop at if I had more time I would have pulled over to enjoy them. Some of the views were amazing and there were also historic markers as well. But just like any other place I had been on during this trip, there was road construction and a lot of it. If I wasn't being stopped by construction, I would be slowing down for the rough road ahead. I reached Casper and there was not much to talk about when it came to this town. It was a bunch of small buildings next to snow-covered peaks, however, nestled next to it was a town called Evansville which had a lot more life and spark to it.
This route must see a lot of road closures as there were signs every few miles that had flashers to indicate when the road ahead had been closed and directions on where to go when it was. Thankfully, I didn't have to deal with any side routes or closures. After all, I was no longer in California, Wyoming was hardier and more accommodating. It wasn't long after Casper that the mountains moved back and allowed the open fields and rolling hills to take over the view. This would make the drive seem even longer but thanks to the occasional abandoned, run-downed home, a moving train, running streams it wasn't too terribly bad.
Just before I crossed over into South Dakota I was greeted by large hills that welcomed you to the Black Hills area. It was hard to believe that the National Forest lied just behind it. What I did see of the hills on this route were worth noting and eventually saw the signs that lead to Mount Rushmore.
Driving across country can bring about some interesting situations. Broken down on a day by day basis enjoy my adventures and set backs along the way to some beautiful destinations.