Friday, March 11, 2016

Almost Home

After the tremendous wind yesterday, this morning was dead calm. We pulled out just before 6:30 this a.m.

Rolling westward through Montana we stopped for gas, and to check a couple emails. Here is yet another well stocked Travel Plaza near Missoula.

At another gas stop I made note of a motel that was adjacent. Now, I know most of us look for certain amenities in accommodation. Those that rate fairly highly on our list include King sized beds, fast stable wifi, free breakfast and the like.

This particular establishment is a bit of a "throwback". Firstly, we could start with the name. This is not the Big Sky Motel or the Blue Sky Motel. It is simply the Sky Motel. I am not sure if one is supposed to arrive in their personal aircraft, but I do see that they offer TV ( although the descriptors flat screen or cable are noticeably absent.)

Immediately across the street was some sort of livestock facility. It had a price list for parking $3.00 per cow $5.00 per horse. I am bereft of explanation for this one!

As we roll west the mountains are close to the highway. The colors of the earth are quite noticeable, the green of copper and the red of iron ore. In one instance the iron was so rich, I could smell it inside the car as we passed.

At a  stop for gas in St. Regis I noticed the Trail West Bank. This facility was securely housed in a single wide trailer. This also included drive through banking. If you happen to be moseying down the trail, It's good to know that you can direct your cayuse up to the teller's window, before cantering away.

The gas stop included souvenirs, restaurant, gambling, convenience store and of course gas and diesel.

The Post Office has a large overhang due to the potential for heavy snows in the area. The snow was nonexistent today thankfully.

Where might one expect to find antiques nearby? Why at Place of Antiques of course. We did not visit to find out about the unusual name.

There was a steam powered Case tractor in some sort of jail. I do not know what sort of infraction it committed. I wouldn't be surprised if you oiled it and built a head of steam and it would still plow all day long.

I am including a couple of gratuitous pictures now that we are nearing the end of our journey. Where else but in the Great Northwet would you find directional signs in case of geologic disaster.

There have been a number of people concerned about the economy of late, ad the stability of the banking system. In times of fiscal uncertainty some people feel there is no better place to make sound financial decisions that in a Red Canoe.

The jury is out with me on this one. Perhaps you have an opinion.

Remember to visit us on our vlog , or website and by all means, comment and subscribe to get updates. Thanks for coming along.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Wind Also Blows (Where A River Runs Through It)

Has anyone ever wondered what it looks like toward the north in Casper WY. at ten minutes past six in the a.m.? Wonder no longer dear reader.

The view towards the west as the sky lightens is also as they say, enlightening.

Looking more to the southwest we can see similar coloration. I love taking pictures of sunrises and sunsets since they are so ephemeral in nature. One can marvel, as I often do, at the delicacy of the color palette and the brief joy of creation, since every day and in fact every sunset and sunrise is totally unique.

Without further ado, here is a picture of your intrepid traveling correspondents, ready to roll on and report back.

As the dawn begins to creep over the landscape in earnest, the interplay of light and shadow across the landscape of Wyoming is very appealing (from inside a vehicle at 35 F). Sadly one can never really capture the delicacy that the eye perceives, through the lens of a camera. Perhaps the drama would be more evident with the use of a longer lens?

You will remember from my last missive the Rock Castles a little farther south. It is not too hard to imagine an enemy force storming the battlements.

It was time to top off the tank and we stopped in Kaycee WY. The gas station had a number of mounts lining the walls. All were provided by local sportsmen, although all were not necessarily taken in the immediate area.

This Elk is a magnificent specimen with an imposing rack. The lady at the till opined "we sort of think of ourselves as a Mini-Cabela's". Cabela's is a well known sporting goods store that has trophies similarly displayed, although they usually feature the entire animal.

This cougar looks down upon people planning to use the washroom. It's not everyday you find a guard like this, in a place like that.

Your friend and mine the Trippin' Sista is looking a little nervous in this picture. If I had a Puma above me, I would be nervous too.

This is a Red Stag that was taken in New Zealand. He likewise sports a trophy sized rack. I hope he was good eating.

This is a particularly nasty looking kitty. Bobcat to be exact. The main difference between him and a Lynx is no tufted ears, and I believe Bobcat can grow larger, although the Eurasian Lynx can outweigh him by 20-30 lbs. 

There is another animal outside that was also not taken in this area. They call him Dino, and he looks like he is ready for St. Patrick's Day. You can probably guess which station we stopped at. That's right kids, it was Sinclair! We made sure we were full of top quality Dino-Juice and headed north.

Along the way we saw a lot of Pronghorn Antelope, but it is difficult to get a photograph of them since they move off rapidly when you stop.

This was really about the best we could do, with our equipment. They blend in so well with the prairie due to their coloration, that it is hard to get a good picture.

A blog post from last July introduced you to Lake DeSmet. Here is a picture of that reservoir as we passed this morning. I didn't feel it was advisable to revisit it's shores as the ice was still on the lake. Brrrrr!

We stopped at the Sheridan Rest Area. It is complete with a Visitor Center, Children's Playground and Picnic Shelters.

This signboard tells of the topography, situation and shelter around Sheridan. We had been downtown on a previous trip here so didn't go through this time.

There appears to be someone capturing video across the parking lot. Yeah, it's the Trippin' Sista. It is still not overly warm, you can tell by the way she's bundled up. The wind was blowing and it still hadn't topped 50 F.

Another sign tells of the wildlife which is native to this area. One of Wyoming's singular distinctions is that is has the lowest population of any state at just over 500,000 and the density is slightly less than six people per square mile.

There is a lovely visitor center. It includes a small museum and a information counter with a helpful young lady who passes out brochures.

One of Wyoming's largest exports is coal. The state has vast reserves of coal which is used for power generation. The state is the largest coal-producer in the nation, and has vast reserves as yet untapped. There is a bronze statue memorializing the Coal Miner.

From the deck of the Visitor Center one can look west toward the Bighorn Mountains and the town of Sheridan proper (hidden in the valley).

About 25 miles further on we cross into Montana. The scenery hasn't really changed, but we are heading towards more boreal and mountainous territory. There is also more ground water in evidence as we start to cross watercourses that are not dry. Many of the creeks and rivers we passed so far have been dry.

After fueling up in Billings we stopped at Graycliff  Rest Area on the way west. It is a new Rest Area, in the new style. Each bathroom is discrete, so there are three each men's and women's. The interior walls which are cinder block are also covered in a rubber-like anti graffiti coating. This is the first time I have seen this and I applaud the innovation.

Looking towards the west we can see the Crazy Mountains. We will pass them before the day is out. It is a constant amazement to me that a journey which would have taken three to four days in the Old West takes us about 1/2 an hour at today's speeds.

The timber is starting to get a little taller, and a little more robust as we head west. This lone specimen stands guard over the picnic area.

We reach our destination of Livingston Montana and do a slow cruise through town before checking into our hotel. We pass through Sacajawea Park on the bank of the Yellowstone River.

The wind in Livingston is quite fierce. It has abated a little from earlier this afternoon and currently measures 33 mph./gusting 45 mph. When I went to cover the scooters for the night, the wind did it's best to rip the cover from my hands. I managed to get it tied down sufficiently although it was still billowing.

One of the attendants told me he was actually blown off his porch, although he was a fairly slight young individual.

If you are enjoying my posts, please subscribe, and share on your FaceBook page or by email with others. Also visit us at The Adventures of Trippin' Sista

We also share our lives with others at GIMC and Pat's Blog

There appears to be nothing more for me to say at this point so I will wish you a pleasant good evening.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Across the Wide Prairie

The first golden rays of dawn brightened the sky in Lamar CO. this morning as I loaded the van in preparation for our departure.

The cover was removed from our scooters and stowed and the defroster was working full speed to dispel the thin layer of frost of the windows.

The golden hue changed to tinges of pink as we prepared. All was in readiness as I moved the van up to the front of the hotel.

The entire horizon was awash with color as we headed out into the dawn. It was just above freezing as we rolled north.

I had noticed an unusual establishment in Eads CO. on the way south and took advantage of our return trip to grab a quick picture. This place, Jay's Tavern looks like it has been here since 2 Beaver Pelts could be traded for a bottle of hooch.

 By the time we reached Limon CO. it was about 10 and we encountered this sign. It was a good idea we knew where we were headed, and had the Rand McNally Road Atlas as a backup. Looking at this could get a fellow confused.

When we topped off the tank in Limon, I saw this interesting poster. The most interesting thing about it is that I actually owned one of these in this color scheme. What a beautiful car it was. It rode like a dream and had so much style that it left little puddles of style as it eased down the highway.

North of Limon we come to a town where no one wants to stay. If it looks deserted that is because it is. There were one or two houses that were occupied, and the rest? It looks like their chances had run out.

The highway north was deserted, and I noticed that there was a skiff of snow on the heights. Yesterday it was about 74F. Today it seemed to barely top 40F. EEK!

As the highway wound down we crossed over a bridge spanning the marshaling yards in Cheyenne WY. The control tower sits in between the north and south bound bridges.

I took a picture of a building called The Wrangler. Apparently it is the largest Western Wear store in Wyoming. If you need boots, jeans or cowboy get up, this here is your mercantile.

A mural graces the wall of a nearby building. I imagine this little cherub is a subtle pro-life message. Each baby is precious.

A Victorian Revival Mansion has been turned into a B&B. This is one block from the main street into town.

Immediately across the street was another well preserved Mansion. This looks to be the offices of a firm of architects. It is nice to see these old places preserved.

Nearby on a street corner, a coyote chases a hare around a pillar of brick. The coyote does not appear to be gaining, and the hare seems bemused.

A hour or so north we came to a Rest Area. Here is my beloved, the Trippin' Sista. We made a quick stop and headed back to the highway.

 The name of this Rest Area is Chugwater. Unusual, granted. The small town of Chugwater is adjacent.

The area we passed through was geologically interesting. I call these formations Rock Castles. They look very quaint.

There is a large reservoir named Glendo adjacent to the Freeway. It has a State Park on it's shores. It is supposedly one of the most popular lakes for recreation in all of Wyoming.

We stopped for the night in Casper WY. we  checked into the same motel we used when we were on were our way down.

We will continue our adventure in the a.m. One last note for my faithful readers, please subscribe to this blog, and you will receive instant notification of any future posts. For now, Bon soir mes amis.