Day 18: July 6, 2013
Trains, Plains, & Painting the Town
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Wagonmaster Paul Gilger had a couple of new photo stops for us this morning. Paul led the west tour from San Francisco to Kearney and is leading our small band from Kearney to San Francisco. He spotted the Lincoln Highway Diner, with its oversized marker, and Lincoln Boxing Highway while out and about in North Platte, last evening. The blue 1947 Packard, which belongs to Milton and Carolee Wheeler was with us yesterday. QT Freytag joined today with the green '49.

Paul continued finding photo-ops like Buffalo Bill's Scout's Rest Ranch.

This nicely restored 1922 Standard Oil station is in Ogallala, Nebraska. That's Hugh standing between the pumps. We bordered the station with some patriotic white, red, & blue before heading up to Boot Hill.

This is the dark side of NEB-WYO for those who never get off of US-30.

This is a Big Boy. At 1.25 million pounds in weight and 132 feet in length, including tender, that name seems appropriate. Of the total of twenty-five Big Boys built in the 1940, eight remain in various locations from California to Pennsylvania. This is number 4004 in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

This interesting building was just across the street from where I parked in downtown Cheyenne. The word "brewing" caught my eye and I was tempted to head directly there but decided to do a little walking first. I stepped into the Plains Hotel and even had a beer at the bar. Then I crossed to the train station, which was occupied by a wedding reception, and walked back to the Freedom's Edge Brewing Company's tap room. At some point the actual brewing operation outgrew the building and was moved several miles away. Blair was standing just inside the door when I entered and we had a short conversation about beer. Then, after I obtained a glass of vanilla porter, she invited me to join her and Robert at their table. During the time it took me to sip a pint, we discussed beer, the Lincoln Highway, Cheyenne, and Ohio. Both will be in Ohio, Blair in Columbus, Robert somewhere farther north, later this year. I'd scanned the menu at the Plains and decided I'd have dinner there. That's where I headed when I left Blair and Robert.

Here's a little story that parallels the previous panel. On my walk from garage to the Plains, I stopped to chat with a fellow painting a sign. He's on a ladder at the far left of the first picture, taken after I'd moved on. Cheyenne's big party, Frontier Days, is fast approaching and the city needs to be spruced up, he told me. The sign he was working on belongs to a store, Wyoming Home, that used to occupy the nearby vacant lot. That building burned and the spot has been empty for about twelve years while the city can't decide what should go there. When I walked to the tap room on the other side of the street, the ladder was empty. When I walked from tap room to the Plains, the painter was back on the job and chatting with a young cowboy and his companions. Then, as I headed back to the car, I grabbed a picture of the painter admiring his work or so I thought. Not so, it turned out. It didn't look quite right to him but the light was going and he'd make it better tomorrow. He's going to make his piece of Cheyenne look good even if the powers that be can't put something better than a chain link fence in that empty lot.

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