Saturday, July 21, 2018

Wyoming, Cody - Saturday, July 14, 2018 - Yellowstone Valley Inn & RV Park

At 9:30 this morning it was already 91 degrees in Buffalo, WY. But, there is still snow on the Big Horn Mountains.

I didn’t take pictures as we were going through the mountains today.  I had already documented the most scenic parts when we came through in the Jeep.

On the other side of the mountains the land looks more like desert, very dry.  Going through this area we did see several working oil wells.

Most crops and hay are irrigated.  Beets seem to be the major crop.  Corn is quite a bit behind what we have seen in Indiana and Nebraska.

On this 30 mile stretch of road we saw one tractor, one pickup truck sitting at a turnout and one more pickup just as we turned off of this road.

Coming into Cody the scenery gets better.

Coming into Buffalo Bill State Park

We had to go through three tunnels, none of them had signs indicating clearance measurements.  There was plenty of room, but we would have been more confident going into them if it had been posted.

More scenery coming through the park.  We’ll be coming back Monday to check this out a little closer.  Tomorrow we have to do some "adult" stuff like getting groceries, prescriptions, washing the Jeep and cooking.

Wyoming, Buffalo - Friday, July 13, 2018 - Hwy. 14 and 14A Scenic Drive

On Friday we decided to check out the advertised scenic drives on Hwy 14 and 14A.  This could also be another choice for getting through the mountains to Cody.  This drive was nice but not nearly up to the amazing drive we did on Thursday through Crazy Woman Canyon.

At an elevation of 9430 ft. snow and wildflowers seem to mix pretty well.

We decided to see if there was a road up Medicine Mountain, the site of the Medicine Wheel, a stone circle that lies at the top of a ridge just below the top of the mountain.  The builder(s) and the original purpose still remain unknown.  Modern Indians use the Medicine Wheel for religious ceremonies.  Flags or offerings are left around the wheel, signifying that a ceremony has taken place.  The Medicine Wheel is at least 250 years old.

There is a steep gravel road up to a parking lot where you can meet the ranger in charge to find out a little about the site.  You can then hike up the even steeper 1.5 miles to the Medicine Wheel.  A few people a day are allowed to drive the last 1.5 miles – we were one of them today, thank goodness.  The rangers keep track of your coming and going by radio.

Scenery in the area.

Small delicate wildflowers everywhere.  They caution to stay on the trails to keep from destroying the wildflowers.  We’ve noticed that the wildflowers don’t bloom at the lower elevations.

On the way up some more snow.  Most of those who were hiking couldn’t resist getting a handful.

It was 93 degrees out today, granted it was cooler here at 10,000 ft.  But, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have made the walk.  Sorry these pictures aren’t clearer, the road is pretty bumpy.

I think in order to get a really good picture of the full stone wheel you have to take it from above.  Obviously, at 5’2” this isn’t happening for me so I just did the best I could.  In the upper right corner is the center of the circle (wheel).  You can see antlers in the small circle in the foreground, one of the many small offerings left after ceremonies.  It’s hard to distinguish the stones from the many white wildflowers that are blooming around them.

Another picture of the Medicine Wheel, our Jeep is in the background.

Purple flowers on the mountain side as we leave the site.

Scenery on Hwy. 14A

Greg doesn’t share my enthusiasm for finding “figures in the clouds” so I usually keep my findings to myself.  But this unicorn was just too good to not share with him!  He just shook his head and looked like he was thinking he needed to take me back to Crazy Woman Canyon and leave me.

Scenery on Hwy. 14

We had decided even before this that Hwy. 16 is our best choice to go over the mountains, but this just clinched it.

Our wildlife photo of the day.  An RV and two cars in front of us came to a sudden stop on a downgrade to view this little critter so I desperately tried to get a good shot also.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Wyoming, Buffalo - Thursday, July 12, 2018 - Crazy Woman Canyon and Ten Sleeps

This post is going to be mainly pictures.  I took over 200 today so it was a little hard to cut it down to the ones I decided to post.  We saw some absolutely amazing scenery today.  We stopped in Buffalo and had breakfast at the Busy Bee CafĂ© before we headed out.  Our first destination was Crazy Woman Canyon, Greg was nice and didn’t make the obvious comment that it was named after me.

Some nice sights on our way to the canyon.

Crazy Woman Canyon made us glad we had a Jeep.  I guess the average family sedan might make it but it would take a beating.  Some of the gravel road was narrower and rougher than when we went off roading in the Arizona desert.  People are always asking us what our favorite place has been in all of our travels.  That’s hard to answer since we have seen so many wonderful places.  This one today is definitely going to be at the top of my list for a long time.

After coming out of Crazy Woman Canyon we took Hwy 16 into a town called Ten Sleeps.  We wanted to check out this road because this is the way we will be taking the motor coach to our next stop, Cody, WY.  I have to admit I am going to be nervous, lots of long high inclines and contrasting steep inclines.  Greg seems to think it will be fine and we did see a lot of other RVs coming and going on the road today, mountains just get to me although I love seeing the scenery.

This is Powder River Pass 9666 feet above sea level, it is the highest point on Hwy. 16 in the Bighorn National Forest.

We stopped at the Ten Sleeps museum and took advantage of one of their picnic tables for lunch.  The museum was closed for lunch while we were there and we didn’t stick around to see inside.

Hollyhocks seem to be the flower of choice in Ten Sleeps.

We went for ice cream instead.  I got brave and had huckleberry which seems to be a western thing.  It was really good, maybe a cross between blueberry and black berry.

Heading back home we decided to go where the pavement ended.

The sheep liked the road too.

At least the cattle kept to the side of the road

Looks like it is good we are getting near home.

Still some snow on the mountain tops as we get closer to Buffalo.