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Jackson Hole

by Richie

Jackson, Wyoming
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Our Mantis Mascot

After 1500 miles of heading due west, we finally turned north toward the Grand Tetons. Another long high desert valley was traversed, and we stopped at Landers Cut-Off where remnants of the Oregon Trail are still visible. On a warm and windy rise, the soft sand of the old trail sifted into my shoes. Nearby were the bleached bones of a former antelope.

Oregon Trail
As we pressed further north, the terrain changed dramatically. We plunged into heaving foothills and followed the verdant path of the Hobart River.


Mid-afternoon we set up camp at Jackson Hole Campground on the Teton Village road and celebrated with some frosty local beer.

This campground caters to large motor coaches, and hoo boy there’s some big-uns here this week. We are the peewee of the group.
Giant Fifth Wheel with Porch
Prevost Bus with Custom Trailer

There’s also ultra modern cabins for rent here, and our friends Paul, Jane and Frank have joined us for the long Labor Day weekend.

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High Desert

by Richie

Rock Springs, Wyoming
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Elevation 8835
Up and up we climbed, to the highest point on I-80 West, which is commemorated with a statue of Lincoln and a swell visitor center.
Each butte we crested served up another immense view. The valleys we crossed today are nearly incomprehensible in size. Hundreds of miles wide, and simply jaw dropping in scope. The vistas are so vast that Tim said he could almost see the curvature of the Earth. Haha.
The High Desert is quite empty. It’s an enormous void of sagebrush and sand, with an occasional prong horn antelope at play, and the mountains in the far, far distance. Pictures don’t do it justice.
We are still following the line of the old Oregon Trail, and can’t help but imagine the hardships the pioneer families must have endured. Walking, riding in a wagon, or, as in the case of those crazy Mormons, pushing a handcart for months across this unforgiving landscape.
“August 28, 1857  
Dear Diary,
Provisions almost gone.
Down to 2 cups of flour and a pound of salt.
Pregnant again. Two children dead from fever.
Kill husband soon.”
Tonight, with our modern version of a Conestoga Wagon, we are safely tucked into a campground in Rock Springs. And our biggest concern is that we might run out of cocktail sauce.
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Wyoming Or Bust

by Richie

Cheyenne, Wyoming
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Up at dawn again today. Traveling west through Nebraska, the corn fields give way to grassy prairie, dotted sparsely with cattle.
We missed the big Cabela’s flagship store in Kearney, so we stopped at the one in Sydney. The temperature was in the high 90’s, and we were concerned about leaving the dog in a hot camper. Fortunately, this Cabela’s has a splendid RV park right at the edge of the parking lot. The office was closed, so I slipped a $5 bill with note under the door and we hooked up to their power for an hour. The dog had air conditioning, and we had a good shopping spree.
Gas is getting cheaper the farther west we go. In Wyoming, it’s about 50 cents less than back home. As a rule, we fill up at half a tank.
This evening we’re camped at Terry Bison Ranch. It’s a working buffalo ranch with all kinds of touristy fun on the property. The ranch is laid out like a old-timey western town. There’s a menagerie of animals in a huge corral-like petting zoo. The bison are in fields surrounding the property, and you can take a miniature train ride to see them up close. The RV park is just gravel sites, kind of close together, but that’s okay for the one night we’ll be here.  We had a fine supper at the restaurant – buffalo short ribs for me, and rib eye for Tim.



Shadow eyes the Buffalo
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