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Published: August 1st 2013
I decided on a lazy morning this morning. It is no fun driving due east early in the morning, the sun makes it very bright straight on. So, I waited until the sun is over the yardarm (windshield) and took off from Saratoga WY at 9:00 am. High anxiety day for me, climbing up the Snowy Range Pass, and then coming down the other side – altogether about 30 miles. As soon as I turned onto the road, though, I knew it was going to be ok. SR 130 was a nice freshly paved one lane each way with guard rails where needed. The first few miles were flat, nothing to it. Then we climbed. Along the road until I entered the National Forrest I saw beautiful ranches. They must have had a contest as to who could design the best ‘gate’ and I wish I could have gotten some pictures, but 2 hands were needed on the wheel. The gates were elaborate; I saw carved poles, sculptured bushes, copper (looking) medallions and letters and elaborate wrought iron. The ranch houses behind these beautiful things were as elaborate as their gates. The grass was lush and green, many babbling brooks, lots
of cattle. I climbed. See pictures for altitude from my GPS app – no Verizon wireless signal, but the GPS app worked. I stopped at every turnout I passed and took pictures. The most notable was at Silver Lake with the pictures of the beautiful rocks and shimmering lake. As usual, many were interested in Winston, and asked his name and breed, and he performed beautifully. The wildflowers at this stop looked just like spring bloom. There were woody streams with bridges over them. The highest elevation I saw was 10,800, but those rocks went higher, just no road up there. I was above the tree line, see PICTURE. I didn’t walk at all and actually felt pretty good for being that high.
Again, repeating from yesterday: The Snowy Range Road, Hwy 130 from Laramie to the Upper Platte River Valley, was designated the Second National Forest Scenic Byway in the United States. Begun in 1920, it took 6 years to complete and was called the "Great Skyroad". This route is a popular recreation attraction with many picnic, camping, observation and interpretive facilities. The mountain ranges of Colorado can be seen from the Libby Flats Observation Point. The Krummholz
vegetation associated with the alpine zone is located in this area, and a beautiful array of wildflowers can be seen from early June through July. A self-guided tour is available at the Ryan Park Campground which was the site of a WWII Prisoner of War camp. Medicine Bow Peak, at 12, 013 feet, the highest point on the Medicine Bow Forest, is immediately adjacent to the Byway. There are several hiking trails accessible from the Byway, including a trail up to Medicine Bow Peak. A trip along the Snowy Range Scenic Byway is a must when you visit southeastern Wyoming!
I was happy I did this adventure, even if I white knuckled it the whole way. The trip down was quick. I kept Moya in 3rd
gear most of the way and let the engine do the braking rather than the actual brakes. At the bottom of the hills was a quaint 10 horse town, Centennial, see PICTURE. Once thru these mountains and this pass, the terrain flattened out. Elevation was still around 6,000 feet, but now I was driving thru rolling green hills with more ranches. I began to notice snow fences again, and even more notable, some
of the snow fences were reinforced with small bushes/trees that looked like they had been planted only a few years. I like this idea, much better to see miles of trees than wooden slat structures. The end of Snowy Pass Road landed me in Laramie, WY and I took a stroll around town seeing more cowboy gear stores and fly fishing stores than any one town should have. I also saw a group of 8 horses standing in a circle around a horse laying on the ground; reason unknown. Missed camera opportunity.
I easily met up with I80 again for about 80 miles to Cheyenne where I got off the interstate and followed Business 80/US30/Lincoln Highway. This is set up much the same way as Historic Route 66 is, and many of the old buildings are being restored; it’s fun to see. Lots of PICTURES of Cheyenne.
Yesterday I realized I left my crochet bag at Lou and Kristine’s. She will mail it to me, of course, but I need to keep my hands busy. I veered into Cheyenne’s Hobby Lobby and bought 2 skeins of dusty blue to make an adult shawl.
It started to rain
just as I left Hobby Lobby. 200 miles to my evening’s destination. I put the pedal to the metal (63 mph for me) and kept just ahead of this massive storm. Every time I pulled over for a rest stop the storm clouds caught up with me; I eventually outran them. See PICTURE
Total miles for the day, just about 300, just like yesterday. With the fist 50 being over the pass, I was very tired by the time I pushed my way into Sleepy Sunflower RV Park. What a delight, a newly renovated park with lovely new owners who really care. This is probably the newest campground I have ever been in. Easy hook up of water and electric, a few catch up phone calls, and dinner of skillet grilled chicken sandwich with onions and tomatoes and a few oreos and a glass of wine. I am wiped. Time to put my feet up and plan for tomorrow. Think I am going to find a state park or national forest or Army Corp of Engineers park about 200 miles east, or maybe go south to I70 and look for the same type of thing. I think I might
want to go to Abilene, KS and visit the Eisenhower library, another notch on the score sheet of Presidential things to see.
Total miles for the trip to date, 3300+. Gas mileage 7.9mpg now, I sure do want it to hit 8. Maybe now that it’s flattened out and no need for the a/c most of the day I will make it.
Tot: 1.413s; Tpl: 0.059s; cc: 11; qc: 54; dbt: 0.0347s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb