As we drive along and go from state to state I like to see how the states differ in terrain. Going from Colorado to Wyoming I noticed that there were a lot more rocky structures and then it just dried up.
There were not many farms as we got further into Wyoming. We were on a 3 hour drive to Guernsey State Park righ outside of Guernsey, Wyoming. Guernsey was pretty nice. We arrived on Thursday from Colorado and planned on staying until Sunday. By Saturday we had already decided we wanted to stay until Monday. Everyone leaves on Sundays and we didn’t want to be scrambling and waiting to get to use the dump station. Not that it was a huge campground, but we really just like watching everyone else leave Sunday and then we get a little quiet time before we leave again. There were three four sections to the campground and if you walked on the road through them all it was two miles. We did that twice a day, not just for exercise, but we also like checking out all the other campers and see what people are up to. Nosy aren’t we?
The park has a huge resevoir that had just been silted and refilled. Earlier in the spring and summer the water was being used for irrigation rather than just holding it in the resevoir. I would have like to have seen the filling of it, but it was nice to have it full while we were there. It is another of those desert campgrounds with a lake plopped in the middle of nowhere. I really like those places for some reason. There were so many beautiful views it was fantastic. The only bad part of this campground, which didn’t bother us too much is that we were probably 30 yards from the train tracks and coal trains went past about every 2 hours. They were super long too, the ones I counted the cars on were over 100 long. I don’t know if that is normal for freight trains, but they seemed super long to us. A lot of time either the front or rear engine would be parked right there on the tracks – engine running. That can get noisy. On Saturday night I guess the driver was bored and as he passed the campground he felt the need to play us a tune on his horn/whistle at 4:30 am! People were talking about it in the morning.
The two towns nearest the campground were Guernsey, Population 1149 and Laramie, population 349. Just outside of Guernsey were two historical sites and since it was a windy, cloudy day with a likely rainshower we went for a drive to check them out. One was the Oregon Trail Ruts. You can actually see where the path that pioneers drove their wagons when heading west. Also, we went out to Register Cliffs. This is a huge rock wall where pioneer travelers stopped to write their names so others could see that they had passed through. Fort Laramie is just down the road about 13 miles. That was a fort originally used for trading furs and getting supplies, but eventually became a military fort too where travelers could or had to stop to check in when traveling the trails out West. If they had too few men traveling with the wagons they had to wait for someone to join them before they could continue onward. It was all about keeping safe from the Indians and probably robbers too. I bet it was a pretty active place in its day, but for now it is a mix of refurbished buildings and some remaining structures.
The historic sites and outdoor activities like boating, swimming, hiking and biking were the things to do around there. We did drive around the dirt roads in the park area to different sites and picnic places whenever we left camp. Sunday morning before it got too hot I rode along the Platte river on a pretty nice trail and when I lost the trail I just kept going on the roads and eventually headed back to Register cliffs. I got in about 13 miles by the end. It turned out to be a perfect afternoon for swimming in the lake, so that is what I did. I am still wishing I had at least a big inner tube for floating. However, it got really cold in the mornings, Friday was 44, so I may stop feeling that I need water toys very soon. The stay there was just long enough.
From our drives through the sites in the park:
Monday was the first boring drive we have had since we started traveling. We left Guernsey and headed to Boysen State Park, just outside of Shoshoni, WY. Population 689. We are making our way to the Grand Tetons late this week and Yellowstone this weekend. It was so flat and full of nothing and absolutely boring, nothing like in Nebraska where we got to see corn, farms, lots of little towns and mills. Luckily we only had a 3 hour drive. Towards the end there started to be cliffs, rock formations, farms and a couple little towns. We were so desperate for something interesting to see that even the town with a population of 10 was a welcome site.
After our boring drive we were happy that we were able to get a spot pretty close to the water with a really nice view and pretty private. We didn’t have a reservation, it was first come first serve and we don’t usually do that, but that stop and the next one are both like that, so we are feeling adventurous and hoping it all goes smoothly. We were only going to be there one night, so it didn’t need to be spectacular, but it was a nice stop over. One of many Dry camping stops we will be doing in the next week. Dry camping is kinda like Boondocking because you have no hookups at all. No electricity, no water, nothing. We, and most RV’rs have batteries and backup batteries that can power 12 volt devices like lights, the fan for a fridge, and pump water from our holding tank for a shower. We also have a generator we can use if we really need to use something that needs 110 volts or we need to charge the batteries. If we keep using dry campground sites we may look into some solar power options. It seems as we go West there may be more of those.
When we finished getting setup we went to the nearest town with free wifi because we are just about out of data and we needed to hit the Walmart for a few things. We found a cool local coffee place and sat down to enjoy some wifi and coffee. Walmart was pretty much the same as every other Wamart, but we have found some of our favorite things eventually disappear from the shelves as we go from state to state. Our favorite bread for sandwiches and large dark sourdough pretzels are two things, but we did find some awesome yogurts. Noosa. It is so creamy and delicous and there are some creative flavors that are really good, blackberry and serrano chilis, habanero and rasberry are a few. If you see it try one.
After dinner the bazillion bugs and the wind didn’t keep me from sitting outside until way after the sun went down so I could finally get to see the stars in the Wyoming sky. It was like being in a planeterium, but without all the little diagrams and names showing the constellations. It was really beautiful and I did get to make one wish on a shooting star. I had to go in eventually just to keep warm and to get out of the wind, but it was a really nice day and I went to bed happy.
Grand Tetons here we come! Hope the drive is more interesting today, I have a good feeling about it.