Neek, Sar and I woke up early in our hotel room in Midvale, Utah. It was 5:30am and I felt groggy after the long journey the day before, and strangely hungry. Fortunately the hotel breakfast room opened at 6am and they had waffles, which all three of us loved. We packed the car, checked out, and hit the open road again!
Driving on the Interstate 80 heading east, we drove through Park City, Utah. As we passed through, we were surprised to see hot air balloons flying over the former site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. It was a beautiful sight to see as the morning sun rose above. Not sure if this was being done for a special occasion, or if this is something that is done regularly there!
As we drive from Utah to Wyoming, the landscape began to change from rocky mountains to more rolling hills. There was an impressive number of windmills lining those hills, many of them spinning rapidly.
We had plenty of snacks to enjoy on the journey; potato chips, cookies, and Sar had a bag full of hard candies like butterscotch to suck on! That kept us fueled until we got to Rawlins, Wyoming. We got gas for the car and pulled over to eat lunch – delicious chicken and rice that Neek made from home!
After lunch, we left the interstate and headed up Highway 287 North into Wyoming. We knew that we were driving near the Teapot Dome oilfields that were the focus of the Teapot Dome scandal that involved bribery of Harding administration officials in the 1920s. The visual proof of that came when we saw Teapot Rock on Highway 259 North. It’s an unusual looking geological formation – there were no signs on the road indicating its arrival, so we might have missed it if we hadn’t seen a picture online of it before.
We continued driving northeasterly, past the outskirts of the Thunder Basin National Grassland, making sure to avoid wandering deer! Finally, after eight hours on the road, we reached our destination in Gillette, Wyoming. We checked in to the National 9 Inn for a first floor room; relieved we didn’t have to drag our luggage upstairs like we did in Midvale. After unpacking, we drove to the Village Inn and enjoyed a slow roasted turkey dinner complete with mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and a great salad in a relaxing booth. It was a tiring day, but we were all excited with the prospect of our upcoming adventures the next day!