Monday, January 02, 2006

Head West, Young Man! Part 3

We made it as far through Colorado as we could, drove through torrential rain, and stopped at a hotel just north of Denver.
Early the next morning, following the continental breakfast, we continued our journey into Wyoming. We were surprised, however, when we stopped at the visitor’s center: The attendant had “never been” to northwestern Wyoming (the direction we were headed)! So, we grabbed a few maps and pamphlets, and started on our way. On the road again, we shuffled through the papers and chose our route.

We decided that since it would take so long to get to the opposite corner of the state, we wouldn’t choose “attractions.” Rather, we would take the “scenic route” and just head towards Yellowstone. We drove west and north through the Medicine Bowl Range and across the Snowy Ridge Pass, witch cuts through the mountains at over 10,000 feet! Now don’t get me wrong, we have been in the snow before, but never in June! By the time we made it to the “top,” it was snowing so hard we couldn’t see beyond 20 or 30 feet! And, the warmest clothes we had packed were a heavy sweatshirt (me) and fleece pullover (R)! And, to top that, they were packed in the trunk and I had to get them (R is a big baby when it comes to the cold)!

We made it safely across the mountains, and found ourselves in the small town of Saratoga. According to our maps, there was a hot spring in town! Admission to the “real” pool (filtered) was only a few dollars, but they were closed anyways. So, we headed back to the “Hobo Pool” and found a smaller pool complete with raw rock and concrete walls, half-naked old man, and globs of algae. This little hot-tub-looking area is where the hot water (yes, natural spring) is pumped into the pool. Normally, I’m all for hot springs, but as if the floating algae wasn’t enough, the water was really, really HOT! (I’m talking like 120-130!) Personally, I prefer warm (not hotter than…maybe…100 degrees). Yeah, I’m not too keen on sitting in water that feels like it’s slowly cooking me! R, on the other hand, just LOVES it! We stayed nearly 2 hours while he soaked and I read my book and *took pictures*.
We had a nice lunch and continued towards Yellowstone. In our collection of pamphlets, we found out about the “Historic Gold Mining” towns of South Pass and Atlantic City. We drove through quickly, and made it in time to walk around South Pass, buy some gold panning tools, and prospect in a nearby stream. Not surprisingly, we really had no clue how to do it, but I think R had fun anyways. Further down the road, we made it to another small town, and decided to stay in a cute little cabin/hotel so we could fully enjoy the view of the Grand Tetons in the morning.
And, was it ever worth it! Even with the overcast and somewhat dreary weather, the views were amazing!
We drove, and drove a little more, and finally made it to Yellowstone. Nearly immediately after entering the park we had our first run-in with the local wildlife. Several cars were pulled off the side of the road and groups of people were standing on the roadside taking pictures and pointing. What was it? A BEAR? (That’s all we really wanted to see!) Nope. It was a momma moose and her fawn (is that right?). And, they were beautiful! Sorry, *no pictures* of them. But, please stay tuned...

.…To Be Continued.…Part 4….


At 9:06 AM, Blogger ccw 's valuable input...

I love hearing about your trip. All of the places you stopped sound like fun. I love that Richard enjoyed the hot springs, algae and all.

Can't wait to hear the rest.

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Gary 's valuable input...

That's a terrific picture of the Tetons. Souds like you had a great trip. It makes me want to go.

At 2:26 PM, Blogger Celina 's valuable input...

Keep reading ccw, there are more Hot Springs coming up! We really love those! Ah...soaking in naturally infused spring water!

Gary--ooh, ooh, a new commenter! Welcome and thanks for the complement!

At 4:19 PM, Blogger kaliblue 's valuable input...

Beautiful places and pics. Aw wish ya could have gotten the Moose :-)

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Mon 's valuable input...

More! More! lol! It's like a book, only I can't flip to the last page!


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