Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wyoming, Part I

Tuesday, July 1, 2008
We got up early, had a cup of coffee and hiked the Turtle Rock Trail. We saw lots of interesting rocks, but did not one that looked like a Turtle to us. An hour into the hike I (Dorothy) decided that I had probably reached my limit. It is an easy hike with a little up and down, but the altitude got to me. Don went a little further, didn’t see the rock, and turned around and we headed back to campground – we were getting hungry. We were gone 2 hours so it was good exercise and it didn’t kill us.

After breakfast, after Dorothy yelled at Caremark about her prescription, we drove to Cheyenne and then west on Wyoming 130 into the Snowy Range, where there is still plenty of snow and closed campgrounds in the upper elevations. I had picked Brooklyn Lake solely because it is located at 10,200. Maybe another time.

The population of Cheyenne is only 27,000. For a city whose name I have long been familiar with, it seemed it should be larger.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Dorothy is still suffering from altitude sickness. So the morning activity was driving Forest Service road 700 looking at rocks, taking pictures and scouting for places to stay. We took one spur road and Don finally found his “Jeep Road”. We were rewarded with the most gorgeous vistas.

Vedauwoo is sorta like Jumbo Rocks, Alabama Hills or Chiriacahua, except with green trees and grass. However, we have been told that normally by this time of the year, this area is Wyoming is getting brown.

That afternoon we went to the camp host, Jim & Linda, to have cocktails. They insisted that we stay for dinner. We had a delicious grilled chicken dinner and more cocktails. Life is Good!

Thursday, July 03, 2008
Dorothy wanted to see the territorial prison in Laramie, so we did.

There is a sign near the CG directing traffic to the Ames Monument. We had no idea what the monument was about, but we were curious enough to drive two miles down the dirt road to find out. It’s a really swell rock pyramid commemorating the brothers Ames who the Union Pacific thought did so much to get tracks laid that they built the monument. Well, that’s what the plaque on the monument says. I found that odd and Googled it. Recall Credit Mobilier? Here’s the story:

Friday, July 04, 2008
We wanted to camp in the “outback” of the area. We had seen several places that looked real good on our 4WD trips during the week. So we drove out to find the perfect one. All taken by the hordes. We decided we would be real happy in the CG. And we were. We had Jim and Linda over to dinner.

Saturday, July 05, 2008
We did some projects in the morning, lazed in the afternoon, had cocktails with Jim and Linda and were in bed by 9.

New record for us, we made it 4 and ½ days on a tank of water, five days on the gray tank and six days on the dark tank.

Sunday, July 06, 2008
Into Laramie for groceries, gas, propane and to dump. We then drove out WY130 to Centennial for lunch at the Beartooth Tavern. Dorothy wanted another Breakfast Burrito, which is a HUGE meal. Then we drove up the mountain to North Fork CG, We got a pleasant site by the Little Laramie River, a fine babbling brook. We had cocktails by the brook. It’s a little cooler today, 68 at 5 pm.

The white noise from the brook will make for excellent sleeping. And so it did.

Monday, July 07, 2008
We drove west across Wyoming to Firehole in Flaming Gorge. It’s a nice CG on the Green River. It’s lower, 6,200 feet and so it’s warmer, 88 in mid-afternoon. If the wind will lay down, we plan to paddle the yaks. They have not been off the Jeep’s top since we left home.

The view of Western Wyoming from I80 is not much different from west Texas.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008
After we ate a breakfast of pancakes, we put the yaks in the river and had an hour or so paddle on flat water. There are more birds here than in an aviary. We saw huge catfish and large mouth bass also. Pronghorns live between the CG and the river. We saw the whole herd when we put the yaks in. Later, we saw several just behind our site browsing in the mid-day sun.

After we got back to the beach, we drove the Jeep in the river and washed it off. It was coated in dust from being towed one mile the other day.

We are laying low in the afternoon heat, with three fans on. By 5, it cools off and sleeping is good. It’s actually cool in the morning.

Our location on the Green River is due north of Canyonlands in Utah, where the Green and the Colorado merge. So it’s not surprising that the terrain resembles that which you see in Utah. When the Tetons were higher, the Green was much wider judging by the shelves on the canyon walls.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008
We drove north from Green River to Pinedale, through some most unremarkable landscape. We are in the Lake Fremont CG, a FS facility. Most sites are at some distance from another. But, only a few on the lake. We are on the lake, but have to climb up 10 feet to see it. We have partial shade, so by moving the LD in the morning into the sun, we can keep the batteries charged and still be cool in the afternoon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008
After breakfast, we put the yaks in the water for a delightful paddle on mirror like surface. There are plenty of trout in this lake, we saw them.

After lunch, we went to the Mountain Man Museum (MMM) and were surprised at how informative it was. This happens to be Mountain Man Rendezvous weekend and we happened to be here for it. There are activities Thursday through Saturday.

Friday, July 11, 2008
We went to a 9:00 presentation by Dr. Fred Gowans, a history professor, on the rendezvous of 1833, ‘34,’35, ‘37, ‘39 and ’40 at the location of the rendezvous, the confluence of the Horse Thief and Green rivers. The rendezvous were where the Mountain Men and Indians met with their beaver pelts and a caravan would arrive with supplies for the coming year. There was fun and games and lots of drinking.

We had cocktails with some characters across the way that attend rendezvous all over the country. They are long time chums. The youngest, a former Marine, works security for high-level folks for the DOD. The security clearance for these details must be as high as the officials they are escorting as they cannot leave their clients at the door. Remember at the start of this Gulf War there were reports of zoo animals being killed? Pictures were run in Time. They did not have much to eat and there was no more food for the animals, so this guy killed a few gazelles at Saddam’s zoo. Dressed them out and ate them.

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