Up and down, left and right

(Tuesday’s recap)

We slept in this morning and then had a quick breakfast before heading to our next stop. Our GPS took us north up Hwy 191 again…the same winding, hilly highway that took us to Ashley National Forest yesterday.

Nick could see the bridge below from a quite a distance and said he hoped we were going over it. A few miles and many right and left curves later we were down the mountain and ready to cross the bridge.

As it turns out, the bridge ultimately lead us to a dam with great views!

Continuing on, we eventually crossed into Wyoming! Exactly four years ago we were in Wyoming to see the Frontier Days in Cheyenne. In this part of Wyoming, the landscape was much different than I remembered and included mountains and plateaus with no cities for miles and miles and miles.

Although the horizon has looked similar for days, it never gets old. And as much as it has stayed the same, it has been very different as well! Every up and down and switchback along the way presented us with more of nature’s beauty.

The majority of our morning was sunny and clear skies…until out of nowhere we could see rain ahead. When you are driving down such open stretches of road, the line where the rain starts and stops is a sight to see. In no time, we were driving in the rain and, unfortunately, hail. Thankfully, the hail was small and didn’t cause any damage. And as quickly as we drove into the rain we drove out of it to sunny skies again.

During our drive, we continued to see what appeared to be fence rows. We knew it couldn’t be livestock fencing because they were sporadic and the sections were not connected to one another. Google to the rescue. We determined these were snow fences and meant to slow the snow drifts in open areas. These fences were studied and designed mostly by one man. We learned he would chase snow storms just like storm chasers and was very interested in saving lives and helping reduce costs by keeping snow off the roadways.

Another interesting history tidbit we learned on the drive is the location and significance of Independence Rock. This rock is a large formation that served as a marker on the Oregon Trail and other trips westward from Missouri. Travelers would carve their names into the rock. The reason for the name Independence Rock is that travelers had a goal of reaching this rock by 4th of July to ensure they made it to their final destinations before snow fall. Although we didn’t stop, we were able to use this as an opportunity for a history lesson for all of us.

When we began planning this trip we initially had long drives (500-650 miles) between stops. We ultimately decided to break those long trips up a bit more to enjoy the road and not be as worn out when we arrived at our locations. Tonight’s stop is just south of Casper, WY at Alcova Reservoir Black Beach Campground. We are boondocking since there are no amenities. There might not be water or electric hookup, but there are incredible views from our camper!

We even saw a little wildlife.

The weather was perfect yet again. The only downfall was the constant breeze did make it difficult to cook on the Blackstone. We weren’t going to give up though so Nick created wind-barriers.

I also forgot we were boondocking and didn’t thaw the deer meat for our burgers. Without electricity we couldn’t use the microwave, so creativity kicked in again and we waited while the meat thawed in warm water. Finally, we were ready to cook – deer burgers and fried green tomatoes.

After dinner, the boys rode bikes while we enjoyed the cool evening breeze.

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