Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Travel Log Catch-Up: Part 1

Westward HO!  I have been putting lots of miles behind me and seeing beautiful parts of the country.  Unfortunately, many of my campsites have been without internet access so I haven't been able to post along the way.  Once again, I have had to dodge nasty wintry weather, thus changing my plans of where to explore.  I had hoped to spend some time in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, but the forecast for that whole area of Wyoming (and a good part of the state) had snow and ice hitting for most of the time I would have been there.  NOT dealing with that.  I guess I'm still a bit early in the season for exploring the mountainous states.  I'll hit them another summer, when I have the time to really explore and enjoy their beauty.  

After a visit to my tearbaby's builder in eastern Nebraska, I continued my way west.  My goal was to drive shorter days (no more 8 - 10 hours), and get to campsites well before dark so I could relax and actually enjoy them.  Of course, the trick with that is to find free campsites within a 5 - 6 hour max drive that met my needs.  I use as my main resource for finding free or very inexpensive campsites.  This is a user submission type resource that is wonderful and I highly recommend it.  It has been invaluable to me.  Thanks to it, I have only paid for 2 nights camping in 9 nights for a total of $15.  Not too bad. 

Here is a catch-up of where I've been.  

After a late start from Egon's Wednesday afternoon, I headed to North Platte, NE and stayed at Cody Municipal Park, a huge city park that has a small campground, playgrounds, zoo, kiddie rides, food stand, athletic fields and more.  At $5.00 a night camping, it was a good deal.  The weather was lovely and lots of people were enjoying the park on that spring evening.  

View from my campsite of the South Platte River.
                                                                 Some of my neighbors

As I drove through western Nebraska, the landscape looked the same as the buffalo hunt scene in "Dancing with Wolves".  I could just picture what it must have been like 150 years ago when the buffalo roamed in vast numbers across the plains.  It made me sad to think we will never see such a site again.  It must have been amazing.
Where the buffalo roamed

The weather was warm, in the upper 70's, which made me VERY  happy!  Though I hated being stuck in the car instead of outside enjoying it.  As I got a little further into Wyoming, I started to notice these strange white blobs on the hillsides.  At first I was confused because my car's thermometer said it was in the mid 70's, but as I started to climb in elevation, I noticed more and more of them and they were getting larger!  SNOW!!!  NO!!  Yep, they were great patches of snow left over from the recent snow storms, which must have been pretty good storms because these patches were very deep.  Eventually I came to a Rest Area just north of Medicine Bow National Forest and stopped.  Snow patches were everywhere, and the temp was still in the high 60's - low 70's.  I was in a short sleeved shirt and was pleasantly comfortable.  Now THAT is how I like snow! 
Warm snow! The Best kind!

From snowy mountains to dry desert in just a couple of hours, I found my way to my next campsite in Sinclair, WY.  You might recognize that name - Sinclair gas stations - the one with the dinosaur on their sign.  Never put it together before now - refinery in Wyoming, dinosaur country.  

Zelda and Grania back in the desert.
View from my campsite of the North Platte River

Before leaving Wyoming, I came to the town of Kemmerer.  Now, I'm not sure what kemmer is or why Kemmerer thought it needed to be more "kemmer" then Kemmer, but obviously they did.  That is one of my favorite things about traveling across the coutry, seeing the names given to places and things.  Keeps me very entertained.

Along the way somewhere around the Wyoming / Idaho border, I saw a sheep shearing "factory" on a ridge along the road.  It was just a couple of pick-up trucks and a small hut type thing.  Sheep were walking up to the hut in a line and then out the other side.  I didn't realize what it was at first until I saw the sheep coming out the other side all sheared.  It was like something out of a cartoon.  Hours later in Idaho, I saw a sign on the road saying "Sheep on roadway".  I of course slowed down, but no sheep.  Many miles later I finally came upon the sheep being driven along by cowboys (or would that be sheepboys?) on horseback and herding dogs.  Again, it was such a novel sight to me, and very "western".
Sheep Drive

So that brings me to Friday.  I camped along the Snake River that night in southern Idaho where a mini squadron of White Pelicans flew in for a swim.  That was a treat!

Snake River, southern Idaho
After 5 days of going from one place to the next, I was getting weary from all the driving and was ready to find a nice, quiet place to stop and stay for a couple of days.  I headed to Oregon.  

To be continued . . .   


  1. Thanks for the update. Love the pictures. Oregon is beautiful. I have an Aunt and Uncle that live in Beavercreek, just outside of Portland. safe travels my friend.

    1. I love Oregon, it is so diverse in it's ecosystems. Wish I had more time to explore. Another time. Thanks for tagging along! I wish I could have gotten down to visit you again before I headed out. As Arnold would say, "I'll be back".

      Hope you have a great time with summer camp - the countdown has begun!

      Miss you,

  2. Hi,

    Good to have an update from you, can't believe all the cold weather in some places. Was up in Flagstaff last week and it was snowing.

    Travel safe and look forward to hearing about your summer job. :)

    Northern CA

    1. Hi Tina,

      The weather has been so out of wack everywhere this year. I feel like I've been dodging it constantly. Glad you got up to Flagstaff, even if it was snowing. Such a nice area.

      Safe travels to you too! I'll be posting about the job as soon as I know more about it.


  3. My Dear Friend, I am SO proud of you and ypur courage to take the leap and live your dream. Keep up the terrific blogs; I'm learning so much. Plus I get to live vicariously thru your pics! Welcome to the west from your eastern living, AZ friend. Claudie and Mr Man wave a hearty hello!

  4. Well everyone should know about roadside sheep-shearing factories! (Sis-boom-bah!). ;O)
    It makes me so happy to have you along on this journey with me. I wish you could experience it all with me, what fun that would be. I think of you often when I see amazing sights or something I know you would be rolling in laughter with me. But you have your own amazing adventures to live & I am so proud of you for living them to the fullest.

    Sending you all my love from the road.