Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Wyomng road-side scenes

We spent Saturday night, June 17th, in a Motel 6 in Gillette, WY. We had made the reservation as early in the day as we could because a few years ago, we had tried to find a room in Gillette and had found every roomed booked by transient workers - presumably in the coal mines or oil fields. But that was not the case this time. There has been a severe cut-back in employment in coal and oil because of the market, and the availability of natural gas and shale oil. This time, the motel was only partially occupied. We would not have needed to worry about finding a room. The motel was fairly new and the room very nice, but I forgot to take photos.

On Sunday, we drove on I-90 from Gillette to Buffalo, and then on U.S. 16 through the Big Horn mountains and down the Ten Sleep Canyon to Worland,  then U.S. 20 to Thermopolous, Shoshoni and Riverton, and then U.S. 26 over the Wind River range and through the Togwotee Pass to DuBois and the Moran Junction entrance to Teton N.P., and then down U.S. 89 to Jackson and on to Alpine. This was a beautiful drive. The scenery was varied and often spectacular. Much of it we had not seen before. Route 16, for example, is called "The Sweet 16" and is named The Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway.

Our first fantastic view, coming out of Buffalo (which is an attractive town) was a field of wild flowers in the Big Horn mountains. We had to stop and get a better look:

A sea of wildflowers

Close-up of a bunch of lupine

Then around the Powder River Pass (9666 feet),  things got interesting geologically. The ancient limestone canyon walls were varied and beautiful:

Limestone canyon walls

More of same down the highway

The town of Ten Sleep, to quote Wikipedia,  was an "American Indian rest stop, so called because it was 10 days' travel, or “10 sleeps,” from Fort Laramie (southeast), Yellowstone National Park (west-northwest), and the Indian Agency on the Stillwater River in Montana (northwest)." Ellen stopped to find post cards.

Down the road toward Thermopolous we came to a roadside picnic area on the Big Horn River where we stopped, got out the food box and had an early supper:

Picnic stop on the Big  Horn

View of the canyon from our picnic table

 Then, before coming into Dubois, we came through some very colorful formations:

Painted desert
And then, of course, coming down from the Togwotee Pass, there is that first specacular view of the Tetons, enhanced this day by the low-hanging clouds:

The Teton Range

We ate at Whole Foods in Jackson and got to Alpine after 8:30p.m. - tired but happy!

No comments:

Post a Comment