Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wyoming, part II

Saturday, July 12, 2008
This was history of the mountain men day for us. We started out with the parade. Parades are a big deal in small towns and we like them. After lunch, we attended Michael Bad Hand Terry’s freewheeling discussion of the Plains Indians culture from 1740 to 1860 - from their first encounter with whites to the reservation period. Or in other words, the period of fur trade. Or how the carriage trade’s infatuation with beaver hats led to the destruction of a culture that had lasted for over 10,000 years. Michael dispelled several myths. One being that Indians were purposely infected with smallpox from trade blankets. Smallpox cannot be spread that way. It requires one-to-one contact. Moreover, the traders needed the Indians to help with the trapping and to have someone to sell their goods to. The period of the fur trade was relatively free from warfare, at least until the last 20 years, which was also after the period where money could be made from furs.

Michael was so fascinating to us, so much so that we went back to his last “performance” of the day. So we got over 3 ½ hours of him. He consults on Indian culture for Hollywood movies. They ask for his opinion. he tells them and they do it their way. Remember Graham Greene’s haircut in Dances With Wolves? Well, the tribe was Shoshone and the men and women all braid their hair below the ears. Graham’s hair was in the Crow style. Which Michael said would have gotten him killed on the first dark night, as hairstyle was a primary recognition feature. Michael has killed several bison from horseback, with spear and bow and arrow. He is totally immersed in Plains Indian culture. He was a real treat for us. Google him.

Sunday, July 13, 2008
Today, we attended the Green River Rendezvous, a pageant telling the story of the Rocky Mountain rendezvous. Half the town puts on the pageant and the other half sits in the stadium with a few tourists. They made the story come alive. It was great fun, even if the sun was hot.

The population of Sublette county is 6,000, Pinedale is 2,300.

Monday, July 14, 2008
We moved camp 30 minutes north to Warren Bridge, a BLM CG. An open campground, with water and dump, $5.

After lunch and nap, we set out to find Green Lakes CG. It proved to be difficult for us and Glenda, our GPS, was useless. After an hour of touring ranches, we finally got on the right road after going through some wonderful Wyoming ranch land. After 30 miles, we got to the alleged terrible dirt road to Green Lakes. It was washboard in places, but we could do 45 in some places. Anyone who thinks it is a bad, has never ridden with us.

Green Lake CG is not so much. Green Lake is a feast for the eyes. However, the mosquitoes were the worst we have encountered, clouds of them. Maybe we could have paddled the lake, maybe they do not venture much offshore, but it takes 10 minutes to get the yaks in the water and another 15 to recover them. We took pictures and got back in the Jeep. How the campers were able to sit out, we don’t know. We thought camping along the Green would be better than at the CG, especially not in prime bug season.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008
We are dispersed camped near Alpine, WY, almost in Idaho. Last night, I decided I wanted to see the Grand Canyon of the Snake, so we drove an hour north and a half-hour west. The first hour driving US 189/191 was through some of the best landscape in the country. Mountains, lush green hillsides, wild flowers and the cascading Hoback River. It reminded me of the terrain around Jasper, Alberta.

US191 continues north to Jackson and US189 turns west and follows the Snake River. There are a few FS CG’s along the road, we checked out two and found them near full and lacking in scenic beauty. Plus they are close to the road, as you are in a canyon, plus, plus they are doing road work. So we passed on them. Why would I think that CG’s, even in a remote area, would be RV friendly when they are along a major river with commercial float the river operations abounding?

They are two FS CG’s on the Idaho shore of Palisades Res. But they contain full-time residents. i.e. people living in squalor in their RV’s on FS land. I suppose the FS in not into enforcement in this area.

Finally, we drove a short distance up the road besides Grey’s River, which dumps into the Snake and found private spot on a bluff overlooking the river. We backed KoKo up to the edge and have fine view of the swift river below. Cost? Zero!

It’s warmer here, we dropped 2,000 feet to 5,700. Mosquitoes are here, so we will view from the rear lounge.

Wednesday, July 16, 2000
We drove north along the shoreline of the Snake, dammed up and called Palisades Res. to the western side of the Grand Tetons. I thought this side would have less people than the Jackson side. It does, but the towns of Victor and Driggs are looking more like Jackson. The million dollar second homes are there – and many are for sale.

We decided to stay at Tenton Canyon CG, which is down five miles of dusty road. The CG was an instant hit with us so we signed up for four days. The neighbors are friendly, as is often the case when the surroundings are pleasing.

Just before darkness, mother moose and twin calves appeared and were not nervous about us or the cars that pulled into the CG.

Thursday, July 17, 2008
We tried the 3.7 mile hike to Devil’s Staircase. It’s not strenuous, only modestly uphill, but after two miles we turned around. The elevation is only 7,000 feet and we had only gained 300 feet in two miles, but we were huffing and puffing.

Friday, July 18, 2008
We drove north to view Mesa Falls, which is a decent waterfalls, at least as good as those in upper Michigan. Most of the land we drove through was devoted to BIG farms – horizon to horizon.

Saturday, July 19, 2008
We planned to hike to Table Rock, but did not wake up until 8:45, so we came to town to do laundry to be ready for the jump to Yellowstone in the morning.

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