Larry & Lee Ann's Journey travel blog

Nice bronze to my right as we pulled out of Fort Caspar...

We traveled I-25 for a short distance...

Not many rock formations on today's leg of our drive...

A sample of the road, plenty of patch work after the winter's...

A bit of rolling in this area...

Wyoming is certainly wide, open spaces!

Mine is off to our right...

Aerial view from the internet...Wow!

Large buckets used in mining...

Plenty of empty & loaded trains coming & going...

Two lane, lightly traveled...

This guy was on our side of the fence & as you...

Welcome to South Dakota!

Larry is glad to be here!

As you can see it is getting much prettier than out in...

This area near Jewel Cave burned a few years back...

It's a climb before dropping into town...

Coal train from our drive last year...Much prettier terrain!

And I missed the Rest Area in Lusk this year!

Unfortunately the bridge washed out earlier this month. So sorry for the...

But we're looking forward to sights like this!

Pretty isn't it? We came this way last year. Won't travel the...

One final shot for today! Come back soon :)


Today's post covers the final 200 mile leg of our journey, traveling from Casper, WY to Custer, SD. There are two primary ways to travel there, but the bridge was washed out in the small town of Lusk on June 2nd, so that was not an option for us this year. Instead we took our least favorite trek, traveling I-25 for a bit before taking WY-259 N, to WY-387 E, to WY-59 S, to WY-450 E to US-16 E in Newcastle near the state line. Whew, what a ride.

Much of these Wyoming roads have road patching & I'm talking poor, bumpy patching. We bounced all over the place. In fact, our bookcase came unscrewed from the wall, tipping over & landing on my recliner, scattering books everywhere. Only the molly's remained in the wall. We were able to right it & reposition everything after arriving so no big deal & we've been thinking of putting a small loveseat in so it would come out anyway. We'll see :)

Today's drive took us along Thunder Basin National Grassland, comprised of 560,166 acres, located in northeastern Wyoming in the Powder River Basin between Big Horn Mountains and the Black Hills. It was very green this year indicating a very wet season. It's a boring ride with nothing interesting to see. Plenty of pronghorn, oil wells, trains & mining in the area. We do love trains so that was interesting to watch, but you really don't get to see much flying by at 60 mph. There were an equal amount of empty cars & coal filled ones today. Of course the coal mine sits right along the road so it's hard to miss it as you whiz by!

The Black Thunder thermal coal mine opened in 1977 and for many years was the largest single coal operation in the world. It was also the first coal mine in the world to transport one billion tons of coal. Since its opening, the mine has produced and delivered around 2.2 billion tons of coal. I read that Black Thunder’s dragline excavator is the biggest in the world and produces enough coal to load up to 20-25 trains per day! Amazing...

We arrived in Custer about 2:30pm & stopped at the local car wash to do a bit of bug removal before setting up for the summer. Oh my, were we ever covered. I should have had a clue because every time I tried to put my arm out the window for photos today bugs were 'hitting' my hand & arm! It was easier for me to climb into the bed of the truck & stand on our tool box with the foaming wash brush, so I did! By the time I finished my arms were pretty worn out. Those darn bugs were stuck on like glue, lol. We did a quick job but it looked lots better when we were done. A big storm was predicted for late afternoon and we wanted to be sure to get set up before it arrived. It never materialized but you just never know. Dick arrived a couple of weeks ago & he has the grass looking great! He mowed our 'lawn' for us this morning making sure we would be in good shape for awhile. Thanks buddy, we appreciate it!

Well, that's it for now. We're glad we arrived safely & got settled into our site before dark. It's beautiful here with temps in the mid to high 70's, just perfect as far as I am concerned. Can't wait to see the area & get our boat on the lake. But I think we're going to take it easy over the weekend & catch our breath a bit. We've traveled over 1,000 miles since leaving Vegas & we both want to just kick back. I'll post pics of our 'place' after we get it all set up. And of the beautiful Black Hills in the coming days too of course! Have a great day :)



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