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Entries about wyoming

Crushin' on Colorado


View 2018 on mrb430's travel map.

The last three weeks have FLOWN by! Its unbelievable our month long respite in Fort Collins, Colorado is over next Wednesday. We are in love with this area and have been having such a good time. Why, you ask?

THE WEATHER!

Days are between 85-95 and the evenings are in the 60's. Perfect! It's almost always sunny and when it rains it's only for a brief time, usually in the afternoon. Since we understand that the East Coast is having nothing but rain, it's even more sweet to be out West. Of course, when you venture up into the mountains, the day time temps are more in the high 60's or low 70's so packing a jacket for our touring and off-roading is a must. Needless to say, we are VERY happy we made the decision to come south. Look at these blue skies!
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FAMILY AND FRIENDS

It's been such a pleasure to have this extended time with my mom and dad. I am fortunate to have them both still with us and there's nothing like moving in with them to make us appreciate them even more! As they tell it, they couldn't refuse taking in their "homeless children"! As serendipity would have it, my mom had foot surgery during our stay, so Scott and I are able to help out in ways she likely wouldn't let us otherwise - grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning up, etc. It's nice for us 'cuz we don't feel like total freeloaders! At 81 and 88, they are still an inspiration. Here's a couple photos of them from their recent trip to Scotland and Norway.

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We also had the pleasure to have my cousin Carol and her husband Jim come down from Laramie to visit. It was really nice to catch up with them again. And as I write this, we have our friend Steve Lowe out from Maryland for a week's visit. It's nice for Scott to have someone to play with other than me! Ha!
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THE AMAZING DRIVES

We wouldn't feel right if we didn't spend five hours driving Ruby through the open country once in awhile. To that end, we've climbed Mount Evans...
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Yes, that's the road! Better suited to mountain goats than cars!
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This is the highest paved road in North America and the only place you can get to the top of a "14'er" without hiking.
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Of course there were wildflowers and alpine lakes!
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But there are also Ponderosa Pines that are hundreds of years old!
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Rambled through Rocky Mountain National Park from the valleys of the Falls River Road to the heights of the Alpine Lodge...
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And driven part of the Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway.

The amazing part of these drives, other than the mountain scenery, are the canyons that you navigate to get up from the plains into the mountains. We have a debate about our favorite but they all have their own beauty. The Cache de la Poudre, the Big Thompson, and the Saint Vrain - you need to see them all! Here's some footage of the Cache La Poudre to wet your appetite.

ROCKY OFF-ROAD TRAILS

For the first time since taking Ruby to Pennsylvania just after we got her, we've had to air down to drive off-road. They don't call them the Rocky Mountains for nothing. We've had some "take your breath away" moments, for sure and nothing but fun getting onto the Colorado trails. We're looking forward to more of it next week as we head to Durango. We never tire of the country around here. Scrub pine, sagebrush, grass lands, wild flowers, and ROCK! This was out favorite trail so far

RODEOS AND CONCERTS

This is the West after all and what better way to celebrate it than with cowboys and country music. After missing the Stampede in Calgary, we were pleased that we finally timed an event right and made it up to Cheyenne Frontier Days for the rodeo and two concerts. We borrowed my parents motor home and parked up in Cheyenne, Wyoming for the weekend. It was a blast!

The Rodeo was great fun.
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We saw Toby Keith Friday night... large_IMG_1382.JPGlarge_IMG_1388.JPG

...along with, strange enough, Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots...
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What a weird show that was!

Kip Moore and Dierks Bentley were on Saturday.
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Drunk on a Plane!
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We had "Fun Zone" tickets both nights, a.k.a. "the Pit" and boy was it on Friday night. The pit was on the rodeo track and the mud was ankle deep on Friday!
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It's been such a great three weeks. One more then we're off to:
Durango, Colorado
Bonneville, Utah
Las Vegas, Nevada
Nashville, Tennessee
San Diego, California

and then MEXICO!

You may notice we updated the map and the trip ends in Mexico now. We have five months to figure out what's next - and that's the fun part.

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Posted by mrb430 09:45 Archived in USA Tagged mountains colorado wyoming off-roading Comments (0)

The Grand Tetons and Teton Valley

Still my favorite after all these years...


View 2018 on mrb430's travel map.

I remember childhood trips to Yellowstone and the Tetons. Yellowstone always felt like an obligation and the Tetons always felt like the destination. Time hasn't changed my outlook. It didn't help that when we entered Yellowstone it was cold, drizzly, and foggy. As we rose in elevation, the moisture turned to snow! Winter in Spring/Summer is not what I had in mind when I said I didn't want to ever have to experience another winter. Don't I look happy (totally fake smile!)
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Even on a crappy day in May, the roads were too full of people driving too slow. We stopped at the West Thumb Geyser Basin on Yellowstone Lake before turning south and I'm glad we did because that may be all of Yellowstone's attractions Scott gets to see! We crossed the Continental Divide...
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And made a beeline down to the Tetons and our house just outside Jackson and the sun came out as we drove to the house. Now that's more like it! And how about this view?!
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Jackson Wyoming

Jackson is a cute town, though as it turns out not one of our favorites. Totally NOT dog friendly; they aren't even allowed in the town square (read that park). See Cadeau looking in longingly!
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There are TONS of shops but we don't shop really anymore since we live out of Ruby and our space is precious and there are not many places to just hang out and waste time, which as you may have gathered reading our blog is a big past time for us. But the house we stayed in was located in a pretty valley and we were close enough to everything we wanted to do so not all bad.
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Bondurant Wyoming and the Hobach River Valley

Just for fun we took a drive down the Hobach River Canyon to Bondurant, Wyoming.large_IMG_0518.JPG

The canyon was really beautiful. I feel a little like a broken record because we have seen SO MANY beautiful canyons but each one is special. Especially right now when the rivers are overflowing with snow melt. I'll spare you a video but here are a few photos.
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And the moment we've all been waiting for...

The Grand Tetons National Park

On the way into the park, we saw our first moose.
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Then we worked out way up the scenic loop, stopping at EVERY viewpoint to take pictures. I could do a whole album just on these mountains but here are our favorites.
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This is a long view up the range from the south.

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Stopped to take a walk at Jenny Lake, along with about a hundred Asian tourists. It's amazing how many Asian tourists there are in the parks. Apparently, most are from China. There are tour companies in China that are promoting a western loop that includes Yellowstone and the Tetons.
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We also stopped off at the side of Jackson Lake for the view across to the range.
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Spaulding Bay

We took a dirt road up to the viewpoint at Spaulding Bay.
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The road was super fun and I got to drive it! Coming back out from the lake the mountain views were so awesome.

Then we took an every more fun dirt road drive down to the Snake River. It was mud puddle after mud puddle! None too deep and all with hard bottoms so I had a BLAST! Here's a little clip to show you.

Gros Ventre

We finished the day out going up to see the Gros Ventre slide area where a landslide in the 20's created a new lake. It was a really interesting drive and a beautiful area.
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This is the slide area - the trees literally just moved down the slope.
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And Lower Slide Lake, really muddy from all the snow melt.

Posted by mrb430 09:24 Archived in USA Tagged mountains wyoming tetons Comments (0)

Exploring the Bighorn Basin


View 2018 on mrb430's travel map.

On our last day in Greybull, Wyoming, we set out to explore a 24 mile trail that connects Greybull and Hyattville. large_IMG_0539.JPG
Everyone we talked to said it was a great tip but NOT to do it if it was wet. They are really serious about this because the soil here turns to mud that sticks to your tires until they are so caked they won't turn in the wheel well anymore and you're stuck!
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Lucky for us, it was bone dry except up on a detour we did up towards the National forest where there was still snow. We turned around here as it just got worse and worse up the road.
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Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite

The first stop on the drive was at the Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite where there are tracks preserved in the rock.
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Just past here, we met two retired Forest Service archaeologists having lunch on their tailgate next to the road. They would be one of three cars we saw during this entire day. For a look at how small and alone we were in the vastness, check this out.

The Big Beautiful Basin

But out across the open basin we went. The land rose and fell, buttes and cliffs came and went in every shade of earth from white to red, and the spring moisture laid a carpet of green anywhere it could.
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Cadeau is awesome on these trips. She just sleeps through most of it. Our only worry is keeping her close when she does get out so as to avoid snakes and scorpions!
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And cairns did in fact guide the way in many places.
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Wildflowers

What would a post of mine be without an acknowledgement that there were wildflowers; the treat were these dark blue Larkspur.
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The world out there is like one giant rock garden. Each time we got out of the car, we realized we were surrounded by blooming plants, some so small you could barely see them until you really stooped to look.

Saving the Best for Last
The highlight of the trip though was when we looked off into the distance and saw these caves - and that there was a road up to them!
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Check out this video to share what we experienced. Forgive the herky-jerky, the GoPro died so I filmed with the iPhone.

Posted by mrb430 08:30 Archived in USA Tagged wyoming off-roading Comments (0)

Sometimes You're the One in the Way


View 2018 on mrb430's travel map.

Off-roading today we came upon a group of bovine who clearly thought we had no business being on their cowpath. They were "udderly" unimpressed with us. We had no where to go but we weren't going to cower or be bullied; so we just stayed put like Moses parting the Red Sea.

Posted by mrb430 17:20 Archived in USA Tagged wyoming cows off-roading Comments (0)

Wyoming Wildflowers and Aspen Groves


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It's definitely Spring here, early Spring. Most trees are just in bud but the wildflowers are in full force. There are two flowers that we've been seeing throughout South Dakota but are really abundant in Wyoming that coat the hills in yellow. In the lower elevations in moist areas are the Sweet Peas. They make blankets of yellow.
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And at higher, rockier elevations there is the Arrowleaf Balsamroot. It's such a lovely daisy.
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And it's fun to go chase them down off the main roads.
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There are miniatures of other flowers I know like Bluebells, Phlox, and Columbine.
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And then here are all the rest I am yet to identify.
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I need a rock garden guide I think. as they mainly grow on rocky outcroppings where the soil is shallow. One place we stopped to see them there was a historical marker for two men that had died as a part of Custer's Western Campaign. One was from Massachusetts - he died a long way from home.
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And on our drive yesterday, we happened upon this Aspen Grove and it was just magical. More of this in my next video.
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Posted by mrb430 07:38 Archived in USA Tagged wildflowers wyoming south_dakota Comments (0)

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