Posts Tagged ‘Casper WY’

California snobs

July 19, 2016

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

We drove north out of Casper to Buffalo, where we stopped and wandered around for a few minutes, then turned east on I-90 toward South Dakota. We had talked about going to Rapid City today, but decided to make today a bit shorter and do some extra miles tomorrow. So I reserved an airBnB in Spearfish. To avoid arriving too early, we overshot Spearfish on our way into the area, went to Sturgis, the home of the world’s largest motorcycle rally, the first week in August.

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I got a Sturgis baseball cap for $5, a good price, considering that they usually sell for $20 and sometimes as much as $30. Mine always get sweaty and sun-bleached, so I always need more. And for that price, I don’t mind advertising Sturgis.

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It’s nice of them to invite me to enjoy the dog water, but I think I’ll pass, thank you very much.

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If any further evidence is needed that it’s a motorcyclist’s town ….

We drove on to Deadwood, but decided, rather than spending the afternoon wandering Deadwood’s tourist attractions, we’d go visit Spearfish Canyon, a highly recommended byway. And it was well worth the visit!

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We took a brief hike above this stream, but turned back when the trail got steep enough that returning downhill would become difficult.

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According to the description, some of these cliffs above the road are as high as a thousand feet.

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Just as we began to think we were not going to get our promised waterfall, we came to Bridal Veil fall. Yes, I know, this is a poor imitation of the one in Yosemite, but still, pretty nice.

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On into Spearfish, where it turned out that we couldn’t get into the B&B; the allegedly unlocked door was snap-locked. We perched on the porch until Chad came home, riding up on his mountain bike. Nice place.

Of course, we immediately went out again, wandered a bit until we came to the Bay Leaf Cafe, which caters to yuppie tastes. We thought it might also have good brews, and indeed it did. They had Moose Drool, which we skipped this time, because we already know it’s good. Jacky had A Pile of Dirt (locally brewed porter) and I had a pint of Buffalo Sweat (oatmeal stout). Pretty good, along with our seafood dinners and decadent desserts.

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The official pictorial emblem of Spearfish suggests a catfish (whiskers), but this model looks more like a trout. Hard to say.

We wandered off to find a drugstore after dinner, then returned on the rec trail along the creek. Nice town.

Casper, Wy

July 18, 2016

Monday, 18 July 2016

Nice breakfast with our airBnB hostess. We thought we’d go out Logan Canyon, maybe stop to see some sights or even do a bit of a hike. But at the edge of town, a sign said the road was closed. Not the kind of adventure we’re looking for today, so we went south, back to the freeways, through Ogden and onto I-80 to and through Wyoming.

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Not that our choice turned out to be the worst scenery in the world. This picture is from a rest stop. Not too bad.

Wyoming has everything from desolate desert to red lumpy rock to white strata to varicolored strata. Much of it was very pretty. We crossed the continental divide at least four times, at elevations near 7000 feet. Oh, yes, and Wyoming has wind. Real, heavy-duty industrial-grade wind.

We had thought to go to Casper, but the intended route was 380 miles, and we weren’t sure we wanted to put in that many miles. But if we can’t hike Logan Canyon, maybe it’s doable after all. As it happened, the backtracked route we took was about 450 miles, so it was a long and tiring day. At least the traffic was okay, and we didn’t get delayed noticeably by road construction.

We stopped somewhere — Rock Springs, maybe? — at a Subway for lunchies. We like this chain: fast, inexpensive, and healthier options than the burger joints.

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We stopped on highway 220 at the Independence Rock site; so called because the first pioneers came past here on July 4. (I wondered whether pioneers are nuclear physicists who specialize in pions. Jacky thinks I was being frivolous.)

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While Jacky drove, I tried airBnB for options. We could have stayed the night in a sheep wagon, or a Minibago, or a $330 private room, or maybe in Douglas, Wyoming. So we checked into a La Quinta motel instead. Poor choice; not something to do again.

Wandered into town, mostly along a rec trail that runs along the North Platte river, full of more water than I would have expected. Walked up one street, down the next, almost ready to give up on anything worthwhile, when we spotted The WonderBar Brewery. Ok, Casper is not a dead loss; it has one redeeming virtue. A pretty good homebrewed porter. We ordered potato skins and barbecued ribs to share. Big dish of ribs shows up, I take half of the considerable visible amount, then discover they are layered two deep. We did what we could.

We had seen a sign that warned of high fire danger until 8 this evening. What !? But the seriously vicious wind began to die down as the sun sank, so I guess they know whereof they speak. And actually, the vicious wind was rather pleasant, once in a while, as long as the air is warm and not full of dust and grit. The kind of thing we don’t get very often at home.

Tomorrow: South Dakota?