Monday, June 8, 2009

Road Trip, Part 14

(The Virginian hotel in Medicine Bow, Wyoming)

Leaving Rawlins, we saw a sign for Medicine Bow, about 40 miles distant on Route 30. We jumped at the chance to detour from I-80.

Medicine Bow, at the time, had a population of 389. A visit to its Web site shows that fewer than 300 still live there. The novel “The Virginian” is set there, and that is the name of the hotel that is the town’s main building. We stopped there for coffee and tea, then walked upstairs and looked into rooms. From the looks of things, my guess is the guests were college kids working as ranch hands.
From that oasis, we headed southeast through the high desert, eventually rejoining the interstate at Laramie. From there, all the way home, through Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, it was Super-8s and high-speed highway with no time for dawdling, fancy meals or cute B&Bs.

We arrived at home on the evening of April 5, having traveled 4,168 miles in nine days. That works out to 463 miles a day, so if you’re planning to duplicate our experience, take a little longer or don’t count on getting much rest.
As I mentioned at the start of this tale, all the B&Bs are still in operation by the same people, as is the Aspen House restaurant. Stop by and see them, and meet some genuinely nice people while experiencing the emptiness that is much of this country.


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