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Day 5 - Symphony of Speed

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This Hypertour occurred in 1993; some info may be outdated. Links to current info have been added.

Torrington, Wyoming to Huntsville, Utah

In Torrington, WY, our breakfast restaurant sells "Tur-rattlers," which they hope will catch on like that other Wyoming invention, the jackalope. Tur-rattlers are tiny ceramic turtles with rattlesnake rattles glued to their butts. [June 2005: Tur-rattlers are reported as no longer available in Torrington]

South of Lusk is America's only memorial to a prostitute, The Mother Featherlegs Monument (#38). Nestled in the Rawhide Buttes (not named after Mother Featherlegs, but after a settler who was skinned alive here by Native Americans while other frontiersmen were forced to watch), the monument is a genteel pink granite slab four feet high. Our ten-mile drive to the memorial down the unpaved, deeply rutted Old Cheyenne Trail is a muddy adventure. It is often better to drive in the fields alongside it. Now we fully appreciate the first concrete street celebrated back in Ohio.

39) Birthplace of The Jackalope, Douglas, WY.

Hypertourism's tenants stand in relief as Wyoming's great, flat distances yawn. Normal speed in Wyoming is faster, and only seems abnormal when observed from a smaller, slower-moving state. You've got to keep moving. Don't bother reading that plaque now. Snap a photo and move on.

Big Nose George shoes Rawlins is a town that celebrates those who lived fast and died young. At The Carbon County Museum are the Shoes Made From The Skin of Executed Killer, Big Nose George. Big Nose George was a notorious outlaw, and when he was lynched, attending physicians took skin from his chest and made a pair of saddle shoes, then sawed off the top of his skull for a pipe holder (The skull cap is displayed at the Union Pacific Museum in Omaha, NE).

Just down the street is The Rawlins Territorial Prison(#41). Advertised as "There's a place behind bars for you," prison tours are staffed by enthusiastic youngsters who happily allow all to sit inside the gas chamber where five lawbreakers were executed. They'll strap you in, and even shut the door if you so desire. Three times a week, night tours are offered in pitch darkness.

Dog HeadWhen one guide tells of prison suicides, another tosses a dummy off the second floor into the middle of the shocked group. Senior tours get to have lunch in the mess hall. Get your mug shot taken as a souvenir.

Veteran talk radio friends appear in the ether -- the even-keeled madness of the calm, but possibly late, Bible scholar, Dr. J. Vernon McGee, and the pyrotechnics of anti-rock haranguer, Bob Larson. "Stacy" is exorcised on the air as part of a greatest moments flashback; we hear the voice of Satan himself! [ Update: Confirmed, McGee has been dead since 1988. His radio program, "Thru the Bible," lives on through recycled tapes].

42) Mounted Head of the World's Largest Dead Dog, Huntsville, UT.

Also see: Tour Day 6 | Symphony of Speed

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