Saturday, June 13, 2015

Chapter 10 - Cheyenne to Casper, Wyoming

Saturday, June 13th:
Today be woke up to blue skies and warmer weather, at least warmer by Wyoming standards as it was in the high 60s by 7 AM with mid-to high 70s expected by mid-day. This was ideal weather for our 3-1/2 hour drive north out of Cheyenne up I-25 to Casper, Wyoming a distance of around 180 miles. Besides the beautiful weather, the traffic on the interstate 25 was very light as the photograph to the left clearly shows. The scenery was interesting consisting again of rolling green hills but as the photograph also clearly shows there were almost no trees and the few trees that we did see were around the farm buildings and along the few creeks that passed alongside or under the interstate.  Kathy did see on several different occasions in the distance, small herds of what she thought were antelope.  These animals were in addition to the frequent herds of cattle that dotted the landscape during most the morning.

Here and there alongside the highway were lovely rock outcroppings or bluffs but the only mountains that we could see and then only faintly were in the distance off to the west. We learned later that these mountains were the Laramie Mountains. At the very north end of this Laramie Mountain range located just south of the City of Casper and fairly close to our highway, was a mountain appropriately named Casper Mountain. We were pleasantly surprised that we could see Casper Mountain from our RV park which incidentally was located alongside the North Platte River. Not surprising the park was named River's Edge RV and Cabins Resort. Shortly after we got our trailer all hooked up, we decided to drive to this Casper Mountain and check out the view from the top.

The above photograph of Kathy and Cabo looking down from the top of the Casper Mountain does not and cannot due justice to the view. It was just incredible. The photograph to the left shows the rock outcroppings of the mountainside and it gives a clear picture of just how steep a climb we made as the two lane road wound up the side of the mountain. The mountain looks down at what might be called the North Platte River Valley and it was through this valley and along side the North Platte River that the Oregon Trail passed. When we arrived at our RV park we were handed as we registered, a map of the City of Casper which contained a dotted line across the map that showed the actual path of the Oregon Trail.  The path quite to our surprise and perhaps skepticism, passed right through the location of our RV park. Wow! Maybe our travel trailer is actually sitting on a long ago wiped out rut from a wagon wheel. And to think that we like the settlers of old are headed for Oregon.

The photograph to the right was taken at the edge of the North Platte River looking west down the river. I took the photograph after only a two or three minute walk from our trailer.  There were no actual trailer sites down on the river's edge probably due to the possibility of flooding. While they cannot be seen in the photograph, just north of the river was a whole line of massive wind powered turbines. The view of the turbines reminded us immediately of the strong winds that we encountered while driving up the interstate this morning. It was definitely a bit unnerving driving the car pulling the trailer while it swayed back and forth in the wind. At least the wind and the turbines are generating electricity and not destroying my nervous system.

We are staying in Casper only this one night since the RV park did not have a space for us for an additional day and night. Perhaps this will work out OK since we drove through metro Casper and the city did not impress us much. Perhaps our short pass through the city may have been a bit unfair by not giving us an opportunity to see its best features like its museums, parks, etc. but then we may never know. Tomorrow however, is a longer drive on our first non-interstate road so perhaps it is just best that we rest up this afternoon and evening and prepare for our drive up to DuBois, Wyoming, our last stop before visiting the Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.        


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