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Sunday, June 11, 2000

We celebrated David's birthday by driving all the way across Wyoming, stopping to see all the sights along the way. Surprisingly, there aren't all that many sights to see along I-80 as you power your way across southern Wyoming. Rock formations and antelope were the most interesting attractions.

The occasional billboard attracted frenzied interest. It wasn't that we thought we were going to learn anything useful about what was ahead. But at least it was a conversation starter. We managed to extract some meaningless, inane banter out of the road signs, and somehow that kept us entertained.

Our most successful stop was at the Wyoming Territorial Prison in Laramie. It's a historic site with a frontier town and the U.S. Marshals' Museum, which we found interesting. We took the guided tour of the old prison, which once housed Butch Cassidy. The tour guide told stories about the prisoners, and she locked some volunteers in one of the tiny cells. Most of them were amused, but one wild-eyed woman was semi-panicked by the experience.

Wyoming Territorial Prison, LaramieEric

We're staying in Cheyenne tonight, our second night in Wyoming. David wanted to find a steakhouse for his birthday dinner. Poor Richard's must have seen us coming, because they set the six of us up in their back room, which we had all to ourselves for the whole time we were there. As I recall, the Ol' Heifer in Rawlins pretty much cleared out when we walked in for lunch as well. Here's David's birthday picture:

David's birthday lunch in Rawlins, Wyoming

Afterward, to celebrate David's big day, we gathered in one of the three motel rooms and partied in a low-key kind of way. It was fitting, so far away from home, but we made the best of the circumstances we were handed. Eric had brought a bottle of scotch and we all toasted David. Then the old folks trundled off to bed while Eric and David went downstairs to shoot some pool.

So far the vacation has been all driving, but tonight finds us just an hour away from our destination. Tomorrow we get reacquainted with family members we haven't seen for three years (at least - some longer).

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