Monday, June 28, 2010

Crazy Woman Canyon and the Big Horns

We had a big day yesterday! I managed to make it through the Crazy Woman Canyon without being sucked in, and we had the rest of the day sightseeing around the area and Cruising the Scenic Byways of the Big Horn Mountains.
We had 5 sightings of Moose today, several deer and antelope but no other wildlife, as we didn't get an early enough start.
The Crazy Woman Canyon is about 10 miles south of Buffalo and back west into the hills. It starts as a two lane gravel road and winds up as a very narrow, steep rock covered one lane road, a little tricky to manuveur a big vehicle in and around the big rocks of the canyon walls.

A few times it was white knuckle driving for me!The beauty of that peaceful setting was well worth the time.
A stream follows it and there were lots of flowers in bloom.
Quite a few people camping up towards the top, roughing it with tents and fires going. Braver than I am, as the hills and forest are filled with critters that will eat ya and they don't care if you're wrapped in a nylon tent!
At the top, you travel deep into the Big Horn National Forest and highway 14 continues on West to Ten Sleep, and West again to Worland. We then turned north and went on into Grey Bull, and stopped for lunch at the A&W. We stopped in there a couple of years ago when we were staying at Yellowstone Valley, so we knew it was good.
After a nice lunch and quite a wait for some road construction on the bridge, we picked up Highway 14A and continued up and over the Big Horns again.
Stopped several times to photograph animals and look for some Big Horn Sheep. We stopped at the Native American Medicine Wheel site and up at the top of the very steep road in the forest.
The views of Cloud Peak,Bomber and Bald Mountains were fantastic, and with the elevations above 10,000 ft. there's still quite a bit of unmelted snow at the top! We wound around and down, making a great big loop ending up back on I 90 north of Sheridan. We headed south and after a quick Wally World stop in Sheridan came the rest of the 33 miles home, having put in over 300 miles!
Just as we pulled into town off the Interstate Ramp, I noticed my brakes making a scraping noise! At least they held up in all the downhill mountain driving today. I did use my lower gears and tried to stay off of them, I guess it's just time. I was wondering what to do for the rest of this week leading up to the 4th of July and now I know! Spend more money on the Suburban's brakes! Yee never ends!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dreams N Drivin'

Any Native American that believes in their heritage and faith will tell you that truth lies within the dream. This fact was brought to me Friday....twice! Thursday night I had a dream that I was driving on an Interstate highway and a deer ran in front of my car and I had to screech the breaks to miss him...which I did. We left the park about 9:30 Friday morning and headed east on Interstate 90 towards Gillette. I don't think we had gone 20 miles and I caught a deer with my periphial vision and....yep...sure enough, across the highway she came. First across the west bound lane, through the median and without the slightest hesitation, ran right across in front of our car! Fortunately, I had enough warning, and the instinct from the dream to start slowing as to not have to screech the brakes! I did however came to almost a complete stop to miss her. The whole time, this deer was looking at me like I was nuts!!!!!
Gillette is a bustling place! A coal mining town and the area is heavy with Natural Gas wells. After completing our shopping and lunch we took State Route 14/16 north out of town, up past a huge mining operation.
I stopped along the highway to watch the HUGE dump trucks working hauling dirt from the huge pit.
The truck crossing under the highway honked at us as we watched.
The route that we took was quite a long way home, and very relaxing. As we made our way up the valley, the clear creek winds back and forth, the highway crosses it several times. It's running bank full. Everything is so green right now. There was very little traffic, but a few miles up the road, another deer came up out of the ditch and crossed the highway in front of me from right to left. What's up with that? 2:20 in the afternoon! As I sit here now, seven full grown turkeys marched in to the yard and paid us a visit, grazing along, before retreating back to their to their roosts. Just another day on the range.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Update Thursday

Just an update for the week...I think I'm gonna live from my latest bout with sickness. We have had really pleasant weather and haven't done much. Today was mail day and I have all that gone through. We are headed over to Gillette in the morning to see some different territory and do some banking and other errands. Yesterday we took a ride out to Lake DeSmet and looked around. The species of fish in this lake are Brown and Rainbow Trout, Crappie, Perch and Walleye. The out of state licenses are expensive enough that we won't be exercising that sport this time! Visited with some folks that have a two seater kayak and a lone gentleman that set his sailboat to the water for an afternoon voyage.
He invited us to go but we had KayCee in the car so decided it wouldn't be a very good idea.
That would have been another first for me, as I've never been on a sail boat. I'm still fascinated with Kayaking, but can't see us owning one. We will have to rent one one of these days and try it out.
This one yesterday had pedals and that was the way you propelled it forward in the water. The lady said it was good exercise, and I like that idea, but it looked like a whole lotta stuff to haul around!
The snow is still hanging right in there up on the peaks of the Big Horns. We're getting closer to taking that drive one of these days real soon. This campground is filling up just about every night and emptying out in the day time. Primarily a stop over spot, except back here where we are in the quiet section for long term stays. We are really enjoying it here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Hope all you Father's have a wonderful day. We're having a slow day. DH is going to go across the highway and shoot blue rocks this afternoon. Two out of four kids have called. I feel bad today.
Probably shouldn't have spent the day in the sun yesterday and stayed all day in Kaycee but I would have had to been dead to not have gone! Hope I feel better soon, we've got some trips to take this week. They had wagons and horses to provide rides from distant parking.
It was such a good time and a great thing for the LeDouxs and the town of Kaycee, a very small town.
I'm kinda partial to drummers, but it was great that Garth Brooks showed up, stayed in the shadows and never spoke a word. Just wanted to honor his friend and take a look at the finished Bronze and the Memorial Park. As did we! We were there two years ago when they first started the park.
The difference is amazing and they've really done a lot of work. We're not doing anything special today and I think there's a nap in my future, but first will share more pics from yesterday.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chris LeDoux Day!

It was proclaimed today as Chris LeDoux Day by the Governor of the state of Wyoming. Oh yes, we got to rub elbows with lots of famous and then some not so famous but all in all warm, genuine and very friendly bunch in Kaycee Wyoming.
We got down there about 10 a.m. and it turned into a really long day. I will estimate there were possibly 1500 - 2000 people there at the end. The band, Chris LeDoux's band Western Underground set up all their equipment and warmed up before the unveiling and Dedication of the "Good Ride Cowboy" statue that took it's permanant home in the small park in the center of town at 3 o'clock.
It was a whole day based on Chris's life and accomplishments and how proud but embarassed he would be that everybody was making such a big deal over him. Two years ago, we stopped in there and all that was in the square was a cement form of a part of a guitar, the sidewalks were poured and the rest was dirt. I was amazed today at the finished park, and it actually still has more to go in the landscaping. We listened to their recollections of how Chris traveled his "highway" of life "beneath the Western Sky," being first and foremost a family man, father, cowboy and Country Singer. Garth Brooks opened for him once. Garth Brooks wrote the song "Good Ride Cowboy" in his honor after his passing. This afternoon, Garth Brooks stood silently in the shadows, behind the fence in the alley, and never uttered a word. It was all about Chris. We thought he would get up on the stage and sing "Good Ride" later, but he didn't, still not detracting from this day.
We stayed to listen to Western Underground play. Chris's youngest son Ned is one of the drummers in the band.
The lead singer is Dustin Evans. He is famous on his own with the little song "If I Should Die Before You Wake." He performed that today. He had sent me a copy of that little song when my son was in Iraq, and as he did that song, it still brought a tear to my eye!
It was a simple dedication, nothing fancy, The Mayor of Kaycee talked, the Governor of Wyoming, The man that owned Stormy Weather, the horse that Chris rode for his National Championship in 1076 and is the Sculpture. The Artist that created this masterpiece was a dear friend of the family. He spoke and explained some of his motivation...there is much celebrating in that town tonight. Rest in peace Chris LeDoux. You most definitely earned the title that they have given you.....Mr. Wyoming!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Scenic Shots

Yesterday we set out towards Sheridan with the main intention to get DH glasses. Stopped a couple times before we got there at some scenic overlooks.
I couldn't resist some landscapes as the lighting and clouds were great.
We struck out in the glasses department, did some shopping at some western stores and didn't find what I was looking for. Had lunch at a cafe there in downtown Sheridan and came back to Buffalo.
I have been having Gym withdrawals, with the rain and short stops I haven't been walking outside either so I stopped in at the local YMCA and signed up. I got up really early and went this morning. I found an Optometry place and called them and made an appt. for DH, so it's back to Sheridan in the morning.
Today was just a miscellaneous day, was doing some laundry this afternoon and happened to glance out my window to be looking directly in to the eyes of a big Tom Turkey!
Took that photo op too, and thought I was gonna have to sit on DH! He was tryin to call him in! This place is very relaxing and peaceful. It has been sunny today and much warmer. We will go for a walk pretty soon and see what else we can see.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sightseeing in Buffalo

There was a break in the rain yesterday, so we got out and did a 10 cent tour of the town, had lunch at the local truck stop and just as we got home it started raining again!
I spent the rest of the afternoon playing with photos. I am proud of the fact that I learned something new yesterday! The process never since I have gotten my new Nikon camera, I haven't been able to figure out how to burn the pictures onto a CD. My old Kodak Easy Share had a button built right in to the software and it was really easy, but the new one isn't as user friendly. I finally figured out that I could use my XP and burn the pictures off, and it's super easy! Big sigh of relief. So I take the older pics, burn them to a disc and delete them from my computer. We drove on the outskirts and looked at the hills, took a turn through the park and let KayCee chase a ball and get some exercise.
They have a huge swimming pool in the park and it's free to the public. A fork of the Powder Horn River runs through town and the park.
Got familiar with the main streets and where the stores were located. The sun is peeking through this morning, but I'm not holding my breath. It rained most of the night. We are headed north this morning to Sheridan and if it dries out some, I will exploring some walking paths this afternoon.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Buffalo Wyoming

We arrived at our destination today about noon. I was plenty ready to leave the Fort Caspar Campground this morning when we got up. It rained steadily all night and even though the surface of the whole campground was rocks....there was ponding all around and it was making me a little nervous. That is a nice little park for an overnight stay, but not any more than that. It rained on us all the way up here, minus about the last 5 miles, and then as soon as we were guided to our site, it started raining again. DH has spent most of the day in his rain suit. Glad he has it! We have a huge, grass site complete with a cement patio and picnic table
Right when we pulled in, there was a deer grazing in our site....something that isn't uncommon and I hear there's turkeys too. I'm glad we don't have to worry about storms and tornadoes, just rain and I hope it quits one of these days.
At least we aren't in a flood plain now. There's lots of things to see and learn about in this area of the Bighorn Mtns. I think we'll enjoy this stop!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cowboys and the Old West

We moved today from Bar Nunn KOA down to Ft. Caspar Campground in the town of Casper WY. We got here just before the rain started. The rain is coming down again, and it's forcast right on through the weekend. These clouds are the indication that it will pour over the Casper Mountain again. Not good photo ops here today.We are having a good visit with some friends from our winter park in Arizona that are from here.
The men played golf yesterday and wanted a chance to play again tomorrow, but I don't think the weather is going to cooperate. We were at their place last night and it rained and stormed the whole time. We did a bit of shopping this afternoon on a break in the rain, and had a bite to eat at the Johnny J's diner. Excellent food. A new restaurant close to WalMart. I will cook and have our friends over for supper tomorrow night, providing I'm not looking for oars while we're floating down the North Platte River! We are pretty close to the river and it surrounds us on three sides. A little nervous, but will keep an eye out. Once again I am reminded that this is why we have wheels on our house! Now if we get flooded, shame on us! Forboding clouds, thunder and lightening. There's no tornados to worry about though! We really haven't done anything to speak of or toured anything historical. We gave KayCee a bath at a Car/Dog Wash last night.
She is a nice smelling house frau now!!!! Will have to have the furnace again tonight. It is almost cold here! 58 degrees tonight. Snow is still on the top of Casper Mountain. Saturday we are moving to our next destination and I'm kinda excited about it. We will set down in Buffalo Wyoming for a while. Two summers ago, we spent a week in KayCee Wyoming, the home of Chris LeDoux,(rodeo star/country singer) and his family's ranch. They all still live there, and they were just starting a memorial in the middle of the town honoring him. Well, they are having a celebration next weekend and dedicating that memorial. We will attend that. We met some of his family when we were there before, so I think we've picked a great time to be in the area. Garth Brooks may even attend, and also his good friends Sawyer Brown maybe? We'll see. I'm in the mood for some good rodeo, and they're having a Bronc Riding Event in his honor also. Later in the month in Buffalo there's a music festival too and we will probably be there for the 4th of July. There's a lot to see and do in the Buffalo/Sheridan area. We'll take some time and explore some in the Big Horn Mountains, taking in the old west history before we move on north. Finally we will stay long enough to get DH some glasses and kick back and relax. We've kinda been on the move for quite a while, more than we're used to. This campground is almost full. The end of the week is the beginning of the National College Rodeo Finals held here every year. I think we'll be ready to get on the road on Saturday and get out of their way!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Whirlwind Weekend Over...

A good time was had by all. Everybody left for home this afternoon and as the sun sets over Cheyenne, I'm ready for bed!
I'm glad the storm clouds and rain that cropped up this afternoon waited for today, as it would have really ruined our day yesterday more than the wind did! The wind blew really hard all day, but it didn't deter our group from taking in all the sights sounds and smells of the Terry Bison Ranch. Two of our Grandbabies have enough energy for 6 people, and they really had fun running from playground to playground, up and down over all of the slides and ladders. A real workout to supervise a two year old with absolutely no fear! This is a family owned, working bison ranch that has 27,500 acres of pasture land and bison feed yard.
The family and staff here were wonderful to us, the cabins very adequate for our guests and the rv site convenient. We had several great meals at the Senator's Restaurant, our granddaughter provided us with entertainment as she decided to make a meal of ranch and sour cream. Our group browsed for souvenirs in the General Store and it was nice to have the clubhouse to gather in and get a break from the wind. The only questionable thing, was when they spotted a baby rattler and kicked it off the deck of one of the cabins! I probably would have fainted. We are aware this is snake country, and with the dog we are ever watchful of where we walk and take KayCee, knowing that they are around, I was very concerned that they pay close attention with the small kids. With the wind blowing yesterday, after breakfast we had a fun time dressing up and getting our old fashioned family photos taken. At 4:30 we took the train ride out to the Bison herd, through the livestock corrals and camel pens. One of the owners built the trains that make the tour, regular gauge railroad track that replaces buses and the trains make the trip easier, several times a day.Keep in mind with these pictures, that the livestock looks a little shaggy due to the fact that they are shedding their winter coats finally!
They even have a dinner train that runs on Sunday. Lots of livestock to get close to! I enjoyed this part, they have a Yak and a Beefalo,
calving season is still ongoing with several new babies, and while on one loop of the tour, you pass through Colorado and back into Wyoming! We didn't take any of the trail rides, as we're familiar with horses and didn't see the need for that.
Tomorrow we are headed north and will stop at the town of Glenrock, about 23 miles from Caspar. We will spend some time there as Casper doesn't have much open due to the College Rodeo Finals Competion coming up the 12th-20th. Will float around and play it by ear.
I know 155 miles tomorrow is enough for me! We have had about two dozen coaches arrive here today for a Camp Club Rally. We are not lonely tonight!