Monday, September 19, 2011

Across Wyoming

Upon leaving Grand Teton NP we had some easting to do. We are essentially on our way back home now, with just a few target destinations left on our hit list. It feels a bit weird, a bit sad, but we also look forward to the many things we've missed about being at home. But in the meantime, the adventure continues...

Our lunch spot along the road:

We had a short drive from GTNP to the town of Dubois. I've stayed there now, and I still don't know how to pronounce it! Anyway, we pulled in to the Longhorn Ranch, which has a nice RV park along the Wind River. The small town had a touristy feel, all ranch architecture and kitchy shops. We went in for the modest grocery store, but that's it.

An old truck settles into the earth at Longhorn Ranch:

Dubois is backed up against Wyoming's badlands, and with the Wind River snaking through, there were plenty of places to walk dogs or go for a mountain bike ride:

A complex network of unmarked singletrack trails criss-crossed the badlands, and I worked on these for a couple of hours, pleasantly surprised as I always am when I find good trails in unexpected places. Came across this tiny horned lizard on the trail:

Along the short road ride from camp to trail I passed a house where there lived three dogs - two large and one small, all happily guarding their abode. As I pedaled over the imaginary line that extended from their property line out into the street they all burst from the garage, barking.
One, however, was faster and took his job more seriously: a Jack Russell terrier, a yapping white streak, he was on me in seconds, threatening to tear into my leg or tires! Thankfully I crossed the opposite imaginary boundary before his teeth were applied, and he stopped short and proudly returned to his post. That was on the way out. On the way back I anticipated his valiant attack. I built up speed, thankful for the slight downgrade, hugged the opposite shoulder, and laughed as I watched his futile attempt to reach me while I was still on his turf! I'm not sure if he felt pride or indignation as he skulked back to resume his watch - probably the former - that's the way these little dogs are wired!

From Dubois we drove across the barren plains to camp in Casper, Wyoming, an industrial town with a lot going on with oil and rail. It had a rough, bluecollar feel, and the campground was not great - parking lot camping. The neighboring camp hosted a group of good ol' boys from Texas, contract welders for the oil industry. They were nice but spent the weekend drinking beer, grilling meat, and trading war stories. The camp did provide access to a decent trail along the river, and just a few miles south was Casper Mountain, abruptly rising 3000' above the plains, and with many trails. I headed up there for a mountain bike ride, spent way too long on wide ski trails searching for the singletrack I'd heard about, finally finding it as I was on my way back to the truck. Could have been a great ride if there had been a good trail map available. Good view of the city of Casper and the endless plains:

Not much else to report from Casper, except that we went out for sushi. Yes, sushi in the middle of Wyoming. It wasn't terrific, but it was a refreshing change from our in-house rotation, and tasted good despite being a far cry from Kitiyama quality. Next stop: The Black Hills of western South Dakota.

No comments:

Post a Comment