Classic Cars, Coal Trains, and a ………

Part 3 of our road trip in June….

Let’s see … it’s the morning of June 14, 24 hours into our trip. (David wonders if I’m going to spend more time blogging about the trip than we actually spent on the trip.)

We hit Highway 25 from Casper, WY, destination:  Rapid City, South Dakota.

We pull off into a rest area and meet up with a mini classic car show


en route to a bigger car show in Scott’s Bluff, Nebraska.


“An early 60’s Corvette.”  (David is naming the models off to me – having come of age with these ‘classic’ era cars.)


“That’s a Ford Fairlane 500. Late fifties”


’57 maybe.  Look at that continental kit on the back!” David seems mezmerized.

“Oh, that thing built around the spare tire?” I ask.  I am pretty clueless with late fifties car terminology.

“Yep. And that fender skirt! What a beauty!”

(Hmmm …Fender skirt, eh?  Every woman should have one …)

We met a lot of coal trains –


This one is empty.


… headed back to Wyoming’s Powder River Basin to load up more coal to deliver to power plants mostly up and down America’s east coast. According to the BLM link here,
over 100 coal trains enter Wyoming empty and leave loaded and bound for all points daily. The largest U.S. coal mine, Black Thunder, lies within the Wyoming portion of the Powder River Basin.

Wyoming as a whole, accounts for 40% of all coal used in domestic electricity generation.


Moving on ….  we’re driving along and are curious enough about that welcoming sign to pull into Lost Springs and check it out:


Population … 



Looks more rigorous than that.


Well, there you have it.  A Post Office/Antique Store




a bar. All you need for a town, really.

Let’s see … one person to run the Post Office/Antique Store, one person to run the bar, and 2 regular patrons to keep them going?

Don’t overlook the bicentennial plaque on the entrance of town.


Lost Springs hails as the smallest Wyoming bicentennial town.  Hey, there’s apparently a spring one mile south, the Chicago and Northwest RR came through here in 1866, they built a Grade School and High School, and in 1911 they had a jail, town hall, newspaper, and bank.  The community developed around the Rosin Coal Mine (1909 – 1923) and in 1920 the official estimated census was 120.

Well, the current estimated census has almost doubled while we’re here.

Onward now … through rolling grasslands

Past another lonely house


To the next big town,  Lusk, where we stop for lunch.

We decide to visit the local museum on the main drag – The Stagecoach Museum


I just took a photo of the Stagecoach out in front of the museum – This link to the museum includes a photo of the museum

There is a Wyoming Standard (one room) School in back of the museum


Inside the museum they have a gasoline iron on display:


David’s mother, Marie, (who lived to 99) used a gasoline iron early in her marriage. I dunno. The thought of gasoline sloshing around while I press that flaming hot iron over a wrinkled garment scares the bageebies out of me. How would you keep from setting off an explosion, setting yourself, or your house on fire? I have a hard enough time avoiding burns (myself, garments, ironing board cover) with an electric iron.

And what have we here?


Why, it’s a party line. (Which David also recognized from childhood.) You know, where the phone rings and you pick it up and listen to someone else’s conversation. And they, yours. It’s a PARTY! (in 1950)

On the road again. Oh we must be approaching a town


Haha. Very funny. Let me guess. The tourist activity was the tornado that blew through here yesterday?

A ‘build the sign and the activities will come’ – kind of vision for the future?

We’re back in nothingness


as far as the eye can see.

We finally get to another town, Hot Springs. We have a little time to kill, and David parks on this quaint little street and suggests we get out and stretch our legs a little.

“Okay, honey.”


He rounds a corner with Megan close behind. I’m fiddling around, getting my flip-flops on, I grab my purse, get my phone camera ready in case we see anything of interest…

What the

Heck! It’s a … you hear that music? See those ‘la’ ‘day’ ‘di’ ‘du’ ‘doe’ notes flashing at us in colors? Playing faster… now…


“David, stop!” “Come back!” “NO-OOOO!” “You’re too close!”
to an Encounter of the Third Kind!

June 14, 2013. Hot Springs, South Dakota. 150 miles from Devil’s Tower. Think about it.

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