Monday, July 20, 2009

2009-07-16 Wyoming

Dateline Carmen, ID
Lat 45.2411
Long -113.8918

When we last looked, I was still in the Deadwood area, contemplating my route choice for getting across and through Wyoming.

It took three Californians (two active, one former) to convince me to avoid Yellowstone.

My buddy Frosty (the former Californian) said you see three things in Jellystone:

  1. Geysers
  2. Bears
  3. 10,000 Japanese tourists

I figured if I wanted to see blow holes, I could watch Fox News.

As to bears, Shelby voted no.

And I have already seen 10,000 Japanese tourists in captivity, thank you.

The other two active Californians were Brian, a cameraman on The Ellen Show, now on Summer hiatus, and his friend Debbie, an NT Administrator. He invited me over to their cabin where we sat around the picnic table chatting for a little while. They had just come through Yellowstone on their way to Deadwood in a pickup truck with a big fat Harley on the back. Since they were headed into South Dakota from there, I gave him all my stuff I had found useful when traversing the state.

Brian said the drive through Yellowstone was painful. Loads of tourists who not only drove slowly and erratically, but were prone to stopping right in the middle of the road to get out and take pictures. [Insert stereotypical joke here]

If you look at a map, you see that not only is Yellowstone simply huge, it's also not particularly close to any major highways.

Weighing all this fresh input from these always-helpful Californians, we decided to skip Jellystone and beeline to Frosty and Mambo's place in Idaho.

As it turns out, we continued to follow the Lewis and Clark Trail as we set out across Wyoming.

Just inside the Wyoming state line was a tourist information spot and rest area, so Shelby and I checked it out.

Caving in to my curiosity, I decided to take the jog around Devil's Tower, adding only about 30 miles to the journey. The cheerful Information Lady told me that I would have to unhitch as I entered the Tower area as the parking lot at the Tower itself was small. She added they didn't allow dogs.

Undeterred, we went up far enough that we could take this and these other pictures, then scooted back over to I-90.

In a short while we started catching glimpses of the 1200-foot tall tower from a great distance. We continued on until we came to the location where the above picture was taken.

I took a bunch of photos, now posted in the Wyoming Photo Album.

Let me say this about Wyoming and Montana to get it out of the way:

If you don't have a wide angle lense, you can't really take pictures here.

The terrain and skies are endless, and made this driver get tired after only a few hundred miles, where we spotted a little campground near Buffalo.

While I run the risk of blathering on and on about the wide open spaces, the campground we chose didn't seem to read the blog.

They cleverly took a plot of land and calculated the absolute maximum number of spaces they could carve out of it. To say the rigs were close is kind of obvious from the picture, which also as it happens shows Larry, a guy who seemed to talk even if no one was around. I would like to call this local color but Larry told me he was from Pennsylvania.

Anyhow, we didn't unhook. I grabbed a shower, caught up on my Internet stuff, fed Shelby and racked out for a good night's sleep.

Next morning, we were up early and headed for the border...

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