Into Wyoming -and- The Global Warming Express

Monday morning, we left Scottsbluff in the rear view mirror and headed northwest on US 26.  The roads in Nebraska and Iowa were very smooth and well maintained (compared to Illinois) and the speed limits allowed the boring parts of the landscape to move quickly behind us.  75 miles per hour (mph) in Iowa and a very speedy 80 mph was allowed on the rural four lane roads of Wyoming.

A Burlington Northern-Santa Fe diesel-electric unit with a remnant of the past, a sleeper car car from the 1950's. These tracks parallel US 26.

A Burlington Northern-Santa Fe diesel-electric unit with a remnant of the past, a sleeper car car from the 1950’s. These tracks parallel US 26.

My Dad made a brief stop in Lingle, Wyoming to document a 1950's Nash Metropolitan, FOR SALE. Derelict automobiles are a common sight in the rural areas of the American West.

My Dad made a brief stop in Lingle, Wyoming to document a 1950’s Nash Metropolitan, FOR SALE. Derelict automobiles are a common sight in the rural areas of the American West.

Coal trains that are MILES long are a common sight on the mainline freight corridors. Each lengthy train is powered by two units up front and a third at the rear of these trains.

One of the romantic towns of the American West.

Miles long coal trains ffilled with the ubiquitous fossil fuel from the vast Feather River basin coal fields. Each train is powered by two units at the front a a third unit at the rear.

Miles-long coal trains filled with the ubiquitous fossil fuel from the vast Feather River basin coal fields. Each train is powered by two units at the front a a third unit at the rear.

The transition from agricultural plains and barren bluffs happens quickly as we approached the Tetons.  One of my loyal followers made a comment about the French translation of the word, TETONS.  Let me talk with My Dad before releasing that information.

The transition from agricultural plains and barren bluffs happens quickly as we approached the Tetons. One of my loyal followers made a comment about the French translation of the word, TETONS. Let me talk with My Dad before releasing that information.

Just when you think you've been in some significant mountains, the VERY significant mountains come into view - THE GRAND TETONS.  My loyal follower in France, a Border collie named BLOG, has provided information that TETONS translates into "nipples."  I am not making this up!

Just when you think you’ve been in some significant mountains, the VERY significant mountains come into view – THE GRAND TETONS. My loyal follower in France, a Border collie named BLOG, has provided information that TETONS translates into “nipples.” I am not making this up!

The GRAND TETONS as viewed from one of the many wayside parking areas along US 26.

The GRAND TETONS as viewed from one of the many wayside parking areas along US 26.

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WE’RE STARTING OUR TRIP AT THE VET? -and- IOWA AND NEBRASKA

“Wait, wait…why are we at the vet?”

“No big deal…relax.  We just have to re-fill your HeartGuard meds.”

“WE means YOU.  I’ll just stay in the car.”

“Aw, c’mon…everyone here likes to see you, they all know your name, I like showing you off…”

“Mmm…no needles, shots, exams, right?”

“Just the re-fill, and we’re on the road…”

“……………mmmmph, ok……………”

“Hi, Mr. Magic, Magic needs a heartworm test today, it’ll just take a minute…”

“You tricked me, I’ll remember this.”

Hi to my loyal and faithful fans.  I was a bit pouty when we hit the road…they drew blood from my right forepaw and I kept holding it up just to make My Dad feel guilty.  The roads in Illinois, on I-88 and I-80 were either bumpy or under construction.  Our first stop was Wilton, IA where they have the longest continually operating confectioner shop in the United States, pretty exciting, right?  I think I saw three people during the 35 minutes we walked the town.  Who was eating the candy at this store?  What?  Oh, the Rock Island Railroad used to stop here.  My Dad thinks he went through this town in the early 1960’s on the ROCKY MOUNTAIN ROCKET, a train to Denver, Colorado.

Yawn, the longest continuously operating candy store in the United States...Wilton, IA.

Yawn, the longest continuously operating candy store in the United States…Wilton, IA.

A remnant of the Rock Island Railroad empire.  Notice what a good boy I am?

A remnant of the Rock Island Railroad empire. Notice what a good boy I am?

Cozad, Nebraska is home to the 100th meridian, you geography buffs.

Cozad, Nebraska is home to the 100th meridian, you geography buffs.

The  Union Pacific Railroad is still going strong...they have three tracks going through Cozad.  Their cabooses, though, are a relic of the past.

The Union Pacific Railroad is still going strong…they have three tracks going through Cozad. Their cabooses, though, are a relic of the past.

Chimney Rock National Monument, outside of Scottsbluff, Nebraska.  Starting to look like the West!

Chimney Rock National Monument, outside of Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Starting to look like the West!

Site of the Ficklin Springs Pony Express Station.

Site of the Ficklin Springs Pony Express Station.

Monday morning, 31 August, we departed Scottsbluff and drove west on U.S. Highway 26.  On to the Grand Tetons!

CANNON BEACH, HERE WE COME! and FEEDING THE DEMONIC SCHIZOID

Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon...doesn't look that far on the map...

Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon…doesn’t look that far on the map…”Where’s Nebraska?”

“Where’s Nebraska?”

“You’re looking at the map…you have it open to Nebraska…”

“Why are we stopping in Scottsbluff…why don’t we just drive right to the beach…we ARE going to a beach, aren’t we?”

“We have three nights in Scottsbluff because I am teaching at soccer referee clinics for an AYSO region. Don’t worry, you’ll have your own bed…”

“When do we get to the beach…you said the Pacific Ocean, mountains, rain forests, sea gulls to chase, cool temperatures, bye-bye in the car, when do we get there?”

“We are meeting Mary at PDX on Friday morning, we’ll be at the beach Friday afternoon.”

“This is an OFF-LEASH beach…right?  You keep telling me I will be OFF-LEASH…”

“Yes, yes, yes…an adventure of a lifetime for a young Border collie.  And from Scottsbluff to Portland, we are taking US Route 26, through the Rocky Mountains, small towns, National Forests.  You will see Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon.  Believe me, you will LOVE this trip!”

“I’m going to miss my dog friends…Brandy, Ellie, Sophie, Olive…”

“Sorta funny that all your friends are female…just sayin’ and you let them eat your food while you just watch…you certainly are the Romeo…don’t forget to tell your followers they can follow our trip on your blog…”

“Hey, all my faithful and loyal followers…follow my trip to Oregon on my blog!”

Brandy was over the other day, she asked if she could eat my food.

Brandy was over the other day, she asked if she could eat my food…she didn’t wait for an answer…

...and then she eats the rest of my food...it better to just watch it happen...I always want to stay on her good side, right Demonic Schizoid?

…and then she eats the rest of my food…it is better to just watch it happen…I always want to stay on her good side, right Demonic Schizoid?