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 freecampsites.net 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".
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 . . .