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LEAVING BRECKENRIDGE FOR CHEYENNE

Nice day to travel

sunny 73 °F

Good morning;

As intended, I was up early and left the campground about 0715. From Breckenridge its all uphill to crest at the Eisenhower Tunnel seventeen miles to the east on I-70. The MH labored up the 1,550' elevation difference from Breckenridge to the tunnel. Interesting facts about the tunnel: It is the highest vehicular tunnel in the world at 11,158' above sea level. It is 1.7 miles long, an engineering marvel, and in today's dollars would cost $1.0-1.5 Billion to construct. Located about 60 miles west of Denver on Interstate Highway 1-70 the freeway descends 5,878' to Denver's 5,280' (the Mile-High City). I might add that in driving down these steep grades one has to be vigilant about speed control and brake fade (overheating) in the descent. Losing your brakes can be fatal in a runaway RV or semi-truck. Caution signs are posted every mile or so.

Once getting to Denver the mountain ranges are behind to the west and turning northward on I-25 the landscape changed to the Great Plains with vast cropland stretching as far as the eye can see. These open expanses allow the wind to blow, creating crosswinds which affect driving the broad-sided MH. WY is the windiest state in the Union. Cheyenne, Wyoming's Capitol city is located just north of the Colorado-Wyoming state line. Tucked in the southeast corner not far from Nebraska, it has bordering states of SD on the east and UT, ID, and MT to the west and north. I never knew much about the State of Wyoming except that Yellowstone National Park lies in the northwest corner. Politically, former Vice-Pres. Dick Chaney comes from WY.

Common practice for me is when I enter a new state I always stop at the Welcome Center to get information about where to go and what to see. Today was no exception. The kind lady there gave me brochures on Cheyenne, Laramie, Casper, and Gillette, destinations on my state visit. Cheyenne is really an overgrown small town of 60K pop. In the course of conversation she mentioned that tonight there was a 'Stars & Stripes' concert in the park performed by the 60 member Cheyenne Civic Concert Band. A free concert, the public just brings a chair to sit on. Great! That interested me so I drove into town, found the band shell in the beautiful city park, and had an evening of enjoyment listening to patriotic music. The people I met were 'small town' friendly.

Wyoming's history is fact and folklore. Located in the wild, wild west where outlaws roamed free terrorizing small prairie towns, robbing banks, and rustling cattle it provided rich material for Hollywood movie writers. Wyoming built the Territorial Prison in Laramie to hold these desperatos. Today it is a state historic site, one I hope to visit. As with many other locations, the discovery of gold here in 1867, and the subsequent rush of people to 'get rich quick' brought many gold seekers and homesteaders to the region. Wyoming is rich in natural resources besides gold. For example, silver, copper, and iron are also mined, as is uranium, helium, trona (refined into soda ash), tungsten, zinc, lead, platinum among others. The nation's largest coal mine, a strip mine, is located in the central part of the state. WY has been the largest producer of coal in the US since 1988. The Union Pacific Railroad opened the first coal mine in 1868 to provide fuel for its steam engines. Today, 28 states depend on WY coal to produce energy to utilities and industry. Black Thunder Coal Mine, a surface mine, contains one of the largest deposits of coal in the world. While in Gillette the MH group has arranged for a tour of this mine. I look forward to seeing it.

The MH rally begins on the 17th of the month so I have planned a leisurely visit to the cities mentioned above to 'kill time' and to visit the sites more thoroughly. My blog-followers will get bored reading my daily missals. Forgive me ahead of time!

Posted by dixter 06:44 Archived in USA Tagged to introduction wy

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