DINING AL FRESCO IN DUBOIS WITH CHIPMUNKS -and- JACKSON HOLE STROLL

My Dad liked DuBois, Wyoming immediately.  Surrounded by red rock bluffs, the gateway to the Shoshone National Forest and the Grand Tetons, DuBois has a classic “Old West” business district.  After checking in at the Branding Iron Inn, we were given cabin 48…no air-conditioning, rather “rustic” with a 1950’s style bathroom and shower, a 1989 Magnavox TV (but connected to DISH Network).  But hey, we were not here to sleep in a comfy bed with perfect climate control and watch TV.  My Dad and I then made the three block walk into the DuBois business district looking for a place to eat.  Some of the buildings near Horse Creek easily dated back to the late 1800’s.  The Cowboy Cafe had outdoor seating, and because I am a very good boy, My Dad decided to have dinner here.  He tethered me to the rough wood post and started talking to two sisters who had flown in to participate in a “pack-trip” into the “wilds” of the Shoshone National Forest.  As I was minding my own business, my attention was drawn to a small chipmunk head looking out from some red snapdragons…looking at me.

“Hey Sheepdog, yes you, any other sheepdogs sitting out here?  Think you can climb into the flowerbed and catch me?”

I gave it a shot, but My Dad quickly asked me what I was up to.

Just after My Dad took this photo, a chipmunk started taunting me from the red flowers.

Just after My Dad took this photo, a chipmunk started taunting me from the red flowers.

My Dad and I were up at 5:30 the next morning.  The cowboy chef who ran the barbecue place next to our cabin was already hard at work, starting fires and unloading his provisions.  He came over and talked to me while I was waiting (off-leash) for My Dad to load the Scion xB.  We headed west on US 26 toward the Tetons and Jackson Hole.

The Jackson Hole town square with the Millionaire Cowboy Bar in the background.

The Jackson Hole town square with the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in the background.

"Hey, some of my distant relatives...let me sit proudly between them."

“Hey, some of my distant relatives…let me sit proudly between them.”

The next morning, it was on to Twin Falls, Idaho.

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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.