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Day 30: Travel day with a side trip.
Day 30 dawned clear and warming, a blessing after 4 straight days of continuous rain and cold. I got up early and went out to photograph the town. Valentine is definitely the City of Hearts, with heart images everywhere. The town is so connected with hearts that the post office processes about 10,000 pieces of mail a year from outside Valentine so the mail has a Valentine postmark for Valentine’s day.
Heading west out of Valentine we soon found ourselves gaining significant elevation. After taking 3 weeks to get from sea level to 2600 ft in Valentine, we got to 5,100 ft in one day, with lots of ups and downs between. I remembered western Nebraska having some beautiful country from previous trips across on I-80. US 20 had even better scenery and we got to enjoy it more since we were going 15mph slower than we would on the freeway.
Before leaving Nebraska we took a 100 mile detour to Alliance, NE to see Carhenge. Sal put this on our “must see” list soon after she found it on Atlas Obscura. Carhenge is one of the few tourist attractions in this part of the state and is just different enough to draw visitors to this rather remote town. We didn’t have as much time to play at Carhenge as we hoped due to the intense rain storms passing thru the area.
Crossing into Wyoming about 2 hours later was a symbolic milestone for us. Happy to be back in the High Country and the West again. Sal and I love the Intermountain West; feels like we belong here. Arrived in Casper just before dark after driving thru mile after mile of gorgeous countryside. 441 miles today; back in the land of long drive days.
We have an event in Casper at noon today, then the opportunity to be local tourists for the rest of day. Looking forward to both.