As a precursor to this trip, I wasn’t sure how far I would get or if I would even get on the road. I have been very weak. Two weeks prior to leaving I could not get off the couch without assistance from my wife. Somehow I got all the gear packed and headed down the road, not knowing if I could make 100 miles per day, 400 or 600 miles each day.
I spent most of today driving and stopping to pick up the things that I forgot. Somehow I woke up at about 6:30 a.m. and started my day. After about an hour I stop to make breakfast. It was colder and windy your than I had anticipated. Many people were very interested in the trailer.
I did eventually have to stop and take a nap at around noon. Other stops were right Cabela’s, the Red Ass Winery, grocery store and Best Buy. The Red Ass Winery is the only place I know of to get rhubarb/raspberry wine. It was a hostess gift for my daughter. I also had to get some of their rhubarb jam.
I eventually made it to the Thunder Basin national grassland in Wyoming. After a bit of searching I pulled off the way into a dirt path. There I found a nice quiet spot to spend the night. Cooked up a chicken breast and asparagus with some fresh peach. Finally got around to reading my mother and father’s book.
I was really surprised that how it much energy I had today. I was going strong from 6:30 in the morning until 10:30 at night with an extra hour for a time zone change.
Maybe Dr Wand knows what he’s talking about.
This was a really long day. By noon I was really tired. Would have liked to have caffeine on the road.
On the way out of the grasslands I passed a coal mine. The trucks are massive. This one has a payload of 170 tons. Makes my Jeep feel inadequate.
I made it to Heidi’s ranch early this evening. Met Cody and his mother. We went out searching for a restaurant still open. I parked the camper in a pasture at the ranch with access to real showers! What a treat.
A very busy day. We had planned to meet for breakfast at 9. Heidi, Cody and his mom showed up with food at about 10:30. We had a wonderful breakfast together in the pasture.
Cody and I went onto BLM land and shot his AR15, 22 rifle and my 45. Had a blast.
Then we took off for a rodeo. It was warm but had enough cloud cover to be pleasant. We had a lot of fun.
I had a hamburger with a bun. First time in about 10 months! The burger was really good and it was kind of fun, but the bread was heavy on my stomach.
We got back to Boulder. The other three stopped for lunch while I rushed back to the ranch to rescue the shade tarp from the oncoming storm. The wind was blowing really bad and the tarp was down. I got it all taken apart just before the rain hit hard.
After the storm subsided we went digging for fishing worms. We only found 4 small ones. Fishing didn’t work out so well. There was no water over the spillway and the fish had left for better feeding grounds.
At that point I was spent. I headed back to the ranch to make some dinner while Heidi and Cody went into town for music and fireworks.
Even though I woke up in a timely matter it took me a long time to get going this morning. After breakfast I got a shade tarp dried out tree packaged, got a load of laundry done, tried flying quad copter but I think I damaged it. Whenever I tried again altitude there would just drop out of the sky. I don’t know if it was a calibration problem or if one of the motors was damaged. Appears one of the motors is damaged now.
Riley was my buddy this morning. I think he wanted to go for a car ride with me.
I eventually got headed out and got to Pinedale about 1:30. Was looking for somewhere to have lunch and remembered the Mexican place that Heidi and Cody had mentioned. I stopped there and had for street tacos (Taco Tuesday) for $4. They were amazing. I gave the waiter $10 and told him the tacos were worth much more than $4.
I stopped at a sporting goods place to get a map and ask for ideas. My intent was to head up to Jackson and the Tetons. However, I got to thinking that it might be really busy up there. I asked the owner where some Jeep accessible trails were. He pointed me to where I am now.
I found an amazingly beautiful campsite. The mosquitoes are horrendous but Heidi said that would be true so I was mentally prepared.
Set up camp made some dinner with the mosquitoes and then went off exploring. I wanted to see if one trail would be possible with the trailer. When I got up to the two-track part I realized that I wasn’t even comfortable passing it with the Jeep. It was very rocky. I would be comfortable going in at with the Jeep if I had tires that were designed for the task.
Dinner consisted of some chipotle artisan sausage over the open fire along with a sweet potato, pepper, spinach hash. Yum.
Upon arriving back at Camp I chatted with the fisherman for a while. About 10 minutes after he left a mother moose and her baby we’re crossing the river. I believe the mother was trying to teach the baby how to cross the river. I often wonder if we had a more comfortable trailer if I would miss those kind of things. (The picture are quite grainy because it was very dark at the time. For you photographers, I think I was at ISO 3200.)
I tried doing a little fly fishing tonight after dusk but my fly rod snapped in two. And thinking the of traveling back to Pinedale do pick up some fly fishing supplies and a license and take a shot catching the fish that are prevalent that my campsite.
Also want to try kayaking in the mountain lake just down the road.
Quite the interesting day. I sit here by the fire listening to the sounds of the night. Most of them I don’t recognize. I think the quivering cries might be Sandhill Cranes but am not sure.
I just heard a bugling from across the river that sounded like elk. However, there was too much of it and too frequent.
This is a typical breakfast in the mountains. No one said that you can’t eat good just because you are camping.
This morning I took the kayak for a spin on the lake. I figured I could paddle a mile or two. Ended up paddling for 5. And, the wind changed directions mid trip so I got to paddle into the wind both directions.
I circumnavigated the lake as well as trying to paddle upstream into the next lake. The current was way too stiff. There was a family of about 8 people on a week long canoe trip. They were walking along the shore using lines to tow their canoes upstream.
On the far shore I got within about 50 yards from a baby moose. I didn’t want to go any closer because 1) I didn’t want to disturb the baby, and 2) I didn’t want the cow to get upset and cause a fuss.
The trip was rewarding. It felt good to know I could accomplish that and that I didn’t capsize. The water was very cold and very deep.
In the afternoon I headed back to town to get a fishing license and supplies. As I returned to camp a bull moose crossed the river a couple hundred yards downstream from camp and then circled camp, close enough to photograph.
I also had a nice treat when I arrived at camp. My neighbors brought me a huge stack of firewood. Otherwise I would be sitting here writing this in the cold.
Fishing didn’t work so well. I did prove that I can handle a fly rod. But the fish would not bite. They were not as active as last night. Maybe tomorrow.
This is my pondering chair where I ponder the important things of life.
This sounds almost too good to be true. I was sitting by the fire listening to the fish rise and watching the bull moose come out to feed a couple hundred yards upstream. Just then I noticed red glow out of the corner of my eye. Looking up it was the Aspen glow. It lit up the mountains for about 5 minutes and then was gone.
I just now (10:15pm) heard a loud crashing sound in the water about a hundred yards away. I presume it is the moose coming back to fed. Or it could be Bigfoot. I must admit that it is a bit spooky. I have a new appreciation for what Heidi does. Time to douse the fire and head for bed.
I woke up and gave fishing another try. I actually caught four fishing including two 10″ rainbow! I actually got a couple dozen strikes but only connected on four of them.
This is the first fish that I caught on the river. Little did I know (until later) that it is not a trout. The Rainbow Trout are so much prettier. Ah well.
Decided I should head home as I was starting to tire and wasn’t sure how much time would be needed for the trip home.
I did figure out how to conquer (or at least live with the mosquitoes.
They were so thick that they sacrificed themselves on my cook stove. Almost enough for a meal.
Drove through the Tetons and Yellowstone. Don’t think it was worth it. There were a lot of people there since it is summer. Fall is much better.
Stayed overnight in Cody, WY. I don’t think this is like camping next to a mountain stream.
Headed east from Cody. The Bighorns were beautiful. Thought about staying for awhile.
This is the ranch that I am going to buy some day. When I was here last year there were several hundred elk on that hill.
The skies out west can be pretty amazing.
Once I got to Rapid City, the humidity hit me. I don’t do well with humidity.
Stayed overnight in a rest area in central South Dakota.
Just driving. Got home about 6:00 pm. Very happy to see my wife.