Jenny Anne Mannan

American Songstress

Hell's Half Acre

After spending the night at Eagle RV in Thermopolis, Wyoming, we awoke on Day 4 rested, inspired, and determined to cover some serious ground.  

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Caleb sporting his clotheshorse-turned-designer brother Jacob's jacket. (The label is Mannan-Renz. Kickstarter & collection coming soon.)

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Caleb doing dad jobs.  

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The kids look ready to take on Wyoming and Nebraska, which is good cause that's what they did!  

About 20 miles in, we hit a traffic stop because a crew of mountain-crawling Cats and billeted jackhammerers was busily blasting away at some of the precariously dangling cliff-edges along the road. It looked hard. And dangerous. 

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It was impossible to complain about this view though. The road follows the Bighorn River all the way through the canyon to Boysen State Park, a happy little oasis on the bank of the Boysen Reservoire right in the heart of Wyoming. Next time we'll stay there. 

60 or so miles later, we came upon a place I had thought only existed in hyperbole. 

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You read that right. Hell's Half Acre is a real place, and this is what it looks like: 

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A 300 acre geological bathtub ring. Amazing. In the future, I will be more careful not to use the name of this natural wonder in vain. 

From here, we met up with I-25 and drove through Casper and Douglas (home of the Wyoming State Fair, at which the Bullas made many appearances) then we hopped off the freeway and took Hwy 26 toward the Nebraska state line. We tried to pinpoint the exact spot where the West ends and the Midwest begins, and Caleb and I both agreed it's right at the Nebraska border. The ranges and sage brush give way to freshly plowed fields, and silos take the place of stockyards.

Totally honest, I've always thought of Nebraska as an infinite stretch of flat, straight road flanked by cornfields as far as the eye see. And, along I-80, it is pretty much exactly that. But the view we saw on Hwy 26 something altogether else -- tall, sweeping clouds, a skyline so vast you can see the curve of the earth in every direction, T-storms on the southern horizon, the road criss-crossing the North Platte River, huge bluffs rising up out of nowhere, high plateaus and beautifully charming and tidy old farmhouses. I am so glad we took this route, and so sad I didn't take more pictures! 

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At the end of day 4, we'd driven 615 miles, which is as much as we'd driven in the first 3 days of our trip combined! We pulled off the freeway at Doniphan and to the Mormon Island State Park (not pictured cause I was busy making Waylon clean up the trash hovel his seat had become.) 

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Fed and showered, we crashed and braced for another day of serious mileage. 

Copyright 2016, Jenny Anne Mannan. All rights reserved.