Wyoming and into Utah

The first thing to remember this morning was to send birthday wishes to my aunt who is 85 today. We then left Laramie on the relatively short portion of the Lincoln Highway which is on US30. It heads into the prairie where cattle and elk were grazing. We had the Laramie Mountains to the right and the railway and Medicine Bow Mountains to the left. Signs informed us that we were on the Sand Creek Massacre Trail. I had to look this up and discovered that it was a massacre in the American Indian Wars on November 29, 1864, when 70 Colorado militia attacked and destroyed a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho, killing and mutilating around 70–163 Native Americans, about two-thirds of whom were women and children. 
R30 in prairie Wyoming 10 Jul 2016-1
One bizarre sight was seagulls so far inland. This does happen in the UK but we are never too far away from the coast, I did not expect to see some in Wyoming. I also spotted a heron perched on a rock beside a pool and a prairie falcon sitting on a fence post. Leaving Elk Mountain behind, the road all too soon joins the interstate and the Lincoln Highway route is I80 for the rest of the state aside from a few short stretches in towns along the route. It also reduces photographic opportunities. West of Rawlins we crossed the Continental Divide at 7000ft and the road runs just south of the Great Divide Basin. The names of towns reflect the passing landscape: Red Desert, Table Rock and Point of Rocks. We crossed the Continental Divide for the last time (6390ft) and descended past large quarries and rocky outcrops down to Green River where we had a good coffee. The river takes second place to the rocks surrounding the town. The only place in Wyoming I have seen a Lincoln Highway marker was at the museum but of course it was closed on Sunday.
Green River 1 Wyoming 10 Jul 2016-1
Back on the interstate the Wasatch Mountains appeared on the horizon. Near Granger, R30 leaves the Lincoln Highway having been with it since Philadelphia. It heads towards Grand Teton and Yellowstone which I would love to visit but we don’t have time for that on this trip. A small oasis just off I80 at Evanston is Bear River State Park. We had our picnic lunch here and had a short wander by the river but could not explore it fully as we had many more miles to do. I did learn that Wyoming has 31 varieties of willow which chimed with my experience in Australia when I tried to differentiate between the different gum trees before discovering that there are hundreds of eucalyptus varieties and giving up. The strong wind meant flower and plant photography was not possible.
Grass Bear River 2 Wyoming 10 Jul 2016-1
The Utah state line is understated with none of the ‘Welcome to……’ notices seen elsewhere. As we are in the mountains all the first exits have ‘no services’ but gradually we head further into the state. Red rock appears and Weber Canyon is shared with the railway and Sunday kayakers on the river. Signs reminded us that we are again sharing our route with the Oregon & California Trails and the Pony Express. We eventually found our hotel. Most of the surrounding restaurants were closed but an Irish Pub was open and provided dinner. The wind has brought cloud and rain to the mountains but we hope it clears for tomorrows exploration of the Salt Lake.

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