Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Absorbed in the West

Routes 14 and 16 (read about all U.S. routes here) in northern Wyoming and South Dakota offer casual travelers an intense, up-close experience of western life. Mile after mile (70 miles with no services), antelope mingle with freshly baled hay and brilliant reds, yellows and greens explode into plains, prairie and plateaus.

PHOTO: Seney's Rexall drugstore in Buffalo, WY, hawks holiday fare. Inside, you'll find an old-fashioned soda fountain and candy store, greeting cards and medications.

PHOTO: Patriotism is more than a July 4 thing at this Buffalo, WY, home.

Along the way, medium and small towns welcome visitors with rodeo signs, horse murals, gas stations and cowboy clothing shops. The towns have names like Buffalo, Spotted Horse and Recluse.

PHOTO: Fireworks dance over Mount Rushmore. This photo is courtesy of the South Dakota Department of Tourism.

We spilled back into a more congested America when we picked up I-90 toward Rapid City, SD, where we spent the evening doing laundry. A TV at the laundromat carried the entire fireworks spectacular at Mount Rushmore, where about 30,000 people had congregated.

We boondocked at a Wal-Mart.

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