I primarily use a program called Hugin hugin.sourceforge.net to stitch these panoramas before I do minor cropping and touch-ups in Photoshop. Hugin makes use of several excellent free tools to produce very high-quality panoramas.
I enjoy shooting panoramas because they represent a view of something that is often closer to a real experience than a typical short rectangular photo. These represent the most "darkroom" work per piece for my photography, as a typical panorama takes about 2-3 hours of processing and tweaking. They take a bit of effort, but I like the results and hope you get some enjoyment out of them too.
Independence Day at Ryor Summit thzinc 2 0