Westbound Day 16 – 221 miles – Spearfish to Buffalo

Sunday, 3 July 1994

breakfast in Spearfish dinerWhat a great day. It starts right with a bargain breakfast at the busy Valley Cafe in Spearfish. Actually it starts right even before breakfast. After last night’s miserable motel hunt we decide to avoid that problem at Yellowstone and a phone call to the park reservations number not only turns up rooms for two nights (a pleasant surprise) but turns them up without even a single second of listening to ‘while you’re on hold’ music and messages (an even more pleasant surprise).

Devil's MountainFrom breakfast we drive to a drive in bank to shore up our cash reserves; travel in America is so easy, even the cash comes easily. Then it’s west into Wyoming and a stop at the superb Devils Mountain. I pray nobody gets it into their head to suggest carving this into something, it would end up very phallic looking! Watching rock climbers perform on the near vertical rockfaces makes the walk around the spire a long but interesting process.

Soon after departing the mountain the forested country we’ve been in since before Rapid City abruptly ends and the rest of day is spent crossing often bleak rolling plains until we reach the edge of the Bighorn Mountains at Buffalo. We’ve hardly got a mile out of Buffalo when the Caddy begins to feel distinctly lethargic, as if it’s driven quite far enough for one day.

We feel like we’ve driven far enough as well so we turn back to Buffalo, leaving the mountains for the next day. This turns out to be a good decision, we find a pleasantly rural motel (the Z-Bar), go to the movies (at Kieran’s request) to see the new Disney movie The Lion King and end the day at the Clear Creek Cafe where we have easily the best meal we’ve eaten in a week.