Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Utah isn't just about Red Rocks!

 After days of cold, windy weather with nothing to look at but flat sagebrush, we finally left the southern area of Casper Wyoming and headed to Utah.  We no sooner crossed the state line and within a half hour began to see beautiful fall foliage color all along the hillsides.  What a wonderful site!  One of my friends had posted some pictures on Facebook of it, but she lives higher up in the mountains of Utah, so I hadn't expected to see any on our trip into the state.  I am so used to just seeing the state's wonderful red rock forms, that coming in from Wyoming, I guess I've never caught the mountains and canyons filled with trees...and at this time of year, now filled with color.

Once we settled in, we decided that since the weather was so glorious, we would look into where we could go see the trees even better.  After doing some research I found that there was an Alpine Loop Scenic Drive through the American Fork Canyon that took you up into the mountains and canyons that was supposed to be a great place for "fall color viewing" as well as various picnicking and hiking.  We decided that Sunday was the perfect day to do it, the weather was ideal at about 85 degrees, slight breeze and a clear blue sky, so off we went!  

Wow, New England doesn't have anything over Utah, and for us "westerners", it's a whole lot closer!  The road was an easy drive, not to many curves, traffic not to bad, lots of places to pull over so I could pull out my camera and snap away at leisure, as well as a number of picnic areas and even some campgrounds.  A number of hikers and climbers were out having a great time too.  You could tell that this was "early fall" and in another week or three, it will be even more spectacular, but it was mighty great for me.  I love the swath of Aspen groves in amongst the hills, that bright yellow is so eye catching against the reds, oranges and greens.  I will admit, Aspens have always been my favorites, and to see them outside of Colorado is an extra treat.  Of course I took way to many pictures, but here's a small sample (the rest are in my flickr account if you have an interest).  

Another fun "eye candy" was across the street from our campground.  We always stay at the Lakeside RV Campground in Provo (one of our favorite campgrounds) and just across the street and down about a half a block is the Lakeside Storage (once owned by the same family).  The owner is a "collector" of gas station signs, pumps, some old cars, a couple of small planes, kids rides, and a few various other things he may have found "interesting".  Hundreds of them...enough to make you go "wow!"  We first noticed it (you can't miss them) when we started coming to the campground back in 2012, and each time we came, we noticed the amount seem to get larger.  This time (it's been a few years since our last visit), it seems much larger, so we decided to venture over and see if we could actually visit inside and meet" and learn about this strange collection.  

We had a delightful chat with the on-site manager who shared with us that the owner now lives in Hawaii while she and her husband live on site.  He owns this while his daughter owned the campground down the street, but she sold the campground a while back.  He still comes into the storage company and is planning on turning the property across the street (his place is on both sides of the street - one for garages and across the street is open space for RV/Boat storage) into an special event area.  He just keeps adding pieces all the time, she said.  He certainly has the space!  What an incredible collection, we'd never seen anything like it.  It was really fun strolling all through his collection.  

For such a short visit, we sure had a lot of fun there, and actually hated to leave!  We are off to Kanab for another quick stay before heading on to Arizona.  Hopefully the sunshine will continue to follow us!

...on the road in Utah,  Marie

If you would like to see the rest of my photos, you can on my Flickr at https:/

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Once again in Wyoming...

We have made all of our final reservations to end our "summer trip" this year, ending with a meet up with friends who are camping in Tucson.  In order to match their days, we needed to stretch out a couple of ours here and there, so ended up staying in Wyoming a bit longer than usual.  

We had always planned on re-visiting Cody, so that worked out fine.  There is so much to see and do there, adding a couple of days (and being able to!) worked out well there for us.  But where else, we asked ourselves?  Well...we'd never been to Casper, so decided to add that town to our agenda...why not? So added a week there...

Last time we were in Cody was in 2016 and we loved it!  We happened to be there during one of their Indian Pow Wows and got to enjoy that as well.  There is so much to see and do not only in Cody, but within a short drive from Cody - we never got to see it all!  So, we were anxious to come back and see what we didn't see last time!  

The first thing on our agenda was to get back to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum.  It's actually five museums in one.  They have now made the ticket a two-day ticket, which is a good thing, because it really does take two days to see and enjoy it!  As we entered the lobby a bright red 1959 Corvette was being a raffle!  Well, I couldn't pass that opportunity up!  I'll let you know if I'm the lucky winner, as the drawing is next week!  Wish me luck!! 

Well, from there, Jack and I split up...he, to the Cody Firearms Museum, and I to the Draper Natural History Museum.  

Two years after our visit in 2016, the Cody Firearms Museum totally redid their displays.  Jack had read all about it, and was anxious to see it "in person".  He was not disappointed.  I had visited it back in 2016 as well, and took a "quick peek" this time and could really see what a huge difference they had made.  The biggest, I felt (amateur that I am) was how they displayed the arms in clear  cases from all sides.  Cool.  But that is only one observation, and this museum is HUGE.  

Now, my visits...the Draper Natural History was beautiful...truly beautiful.  They focused only on the west and did it in little scenes.  The taxidermy was done so well, the animals looked almost alive.  This museum wasn't as large as the others, but done just as well.  

The namesake...The Buffalo Bill Museum.  You are greeted at the entrance by Bill himself (via a full-size motion activated screen) welcoming you, then on you enter, to learn about him and his show.  It was extensive, with maps showing you where and how many shows they put on in the years they traveled, a miniature display of their entire show requirements from housings to arena; films, photos, old billboards, costumes, etc.  Very well done, of course.  

On day two, we finished with the Whitney Western Art Museum, which was quite extensive, and like the others, beautifully well done.  It was a pleasure to have the time and really enjoy two full days in these wonderful museums.  

Once we "finished" with all that, we were ready for a little music!  Of course there are several options to choose from, but after doing some sleuthing, we went with the Cody Cattle Company Dinner Show...and we were so happy that we did!  What a great time we had (and a good dinner too!)  As I've shared before, we have been to several "western" shows, but this one was nicely different in that it not only had the required  western songs and humor, it threw in some really, really old ones (the ones my Dad used to sing to me when I was a kid), but also (surprise) some non-western, new songs (from out of nowhere)  that made you go "what the heck?" and laugh!  Wonderful mix and some of the best guitar and fiddle playing we've heard in a long time!  The lead, Ryan Martin, also lives and plays in Apache Junction AZ at Barleens (also a fun place!) in the winter.   Very fun night!  

We also decided to take the short trip out to the Historic Buffalo Bill Dam.  Now, I've seen a number of dams, and I'm not usually impressed with's just not my "thing" really....but it is Jack's, so I go along...Well, I have to say, after watching the video on how this dam was built, what these men went through to build it, etc.  I'm impressed.  Out here in Wyoming, it's pretty much dry dust, at least in this area, and Bill Cody saw that.  He instigated and helped finance the dam idea so that people could get water to their land and farm.  It was that simple.  It wasn't for power or money, it was for survival.  It took five long, hard years to build.  When it was finally completed it was the tallest dam in the world (at that time).  It has no rebar, only cement and boulders in the construction.  

One of the things that it left me with was the reminder of what the generations of men before us have gone through to build - our dams, our bridges, our roads, the very buildings we live/work in, and drive on every day.  We take all this for granted as we go about our day, but many people gave their lives for these "conveniences".   Next time each one of us crosses a bridge, or enters a tunnel or sees a dam, let us remember that and send up a "thank you". 

After we left the Dam, we decided to continue on with a short drive and do a little scenic loop.  We choose the East Yellowstone Loop, one we hadn't done before.  It didn't turn out to be much, but a couple of little things...some interesting rock formations - called "The Holy City", a pretty creek here and there, a very unusual home up on a hill that I found out later was built by a man called Frances Lee Smith, who worked on it for 12 years, never getting it quite right.  He obsessed over the project so much that his wife left him.  In 1992, while working on the balcony, he fell to his death. The house remained empty for 30 years until it sold in 2019.  And old Bob's Big Boy statue, placed on a pedestal out in the middle of a field!  No fanfare, no sign, nothing, just him in all his glory!  I checked on that one too...It seemed it just appeared one day.  No one knows how, or why.  That one made my day!  ;-) 

never getting it quite right. He obsessed over the project so much that his wife left him. In 1992 while working on a balcony, he fell to his death.

Read More: Weird Things You Can Spot From Wyoming Highways |
never getting it quite right. He obsessed over the project so much that his wife left him. In 1992 while working on a balcony, he fell to his death.

Read More: Weird Things You Can Spot From Wyoming Highways |

We finally left Cody and drove on to Casper...a long, long drive.  We booked a week here at a CG called River's Edge, hoping that as the website said, it would be a nice respite along the river. is along a river, but not exactly what I was picturing....

Turned out that Casper, at least while we are here, is dry, very windy and dusty - almost all of the time.  Sitting outside is pretty much out of the question.  We did manage to take a walk down to the river, and I'm guessing that maybe? in the late spring, it's a pretty place, but right now...not so much.  No shade, lots of white rock (to bring out more of the sun's glare) and stir up that dust along with a few small trees.  Oh well....

The city, and that's what it is, does have one thing going for it...a great museum, called the National Historic Trails Center.  It is all about the migration of the people coming west in the 1800s - The Oregon Trail, the Mormons, the Pony Express and finally the Train.  It has some of the signatures of the folks that celebrated arriving at Independence Rock, an actual Pony Express Saddle showing the wear and signatures of the riders, some fun "rides" in moving stagecoaches and wagons crossing the North Platte River, movies to watch, walking wagons to pull, backpacks to lift, several dioramas, stories to listen to and read.  It was very well done.  They also have an auto tour guide you can do on your own if you want to continue on and see the various areas that these folks traveled through.  Once again, another reminder of how the people "before us" paved the way for us, and were hardy, brave people!  God bless them!

...on the road in Wyoming,  Marie

If you would like to see the rest of my photos, you can on my Flickr at https:/

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Heading Home....

 As we turn the calendar pages into September, it's time to start thinking about turning our sweet rig in the direction of "home".  "Which way?" is always the question we ask ourselves...This year has especially been the challenge with all the awful northern fires still blazing away.  So sad to hear about, causing so much damage and smoke - not only in the areas they are burning, but miles beyond.  Routes and states that we were planning on driving to and through, we have changed, several times because the smoke is still so thick.  My heart goes out to all the people and companies that this has affected.  

Having traveled and camped now for so many years, there is not to many areas that we haven't been to, so for the last few weeks we have just been "taking it easy" and tootling through South Dakota and into Wyoming, not doing much of anything, really. 

While in Sioux Falls, we celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary at a very nice restaurant called Morrie's Steakhouse.  It was wonderful!  The following day, we were able to catch up with a couple of long time friends I had worked with years ago that just happened to be in the area on a job for the week!  (thank you Facebook)!  What a treat that was!  One just never knows "who" you are going to run into while traveling!

We also made a quick trip over to Wall, to the "famous" Drug Store...always worth a visit...just for fun!  Other than those highlights, we've just been relaxing and sitting back enjoy reading!  That was one of our goals on this just take some time and  s l o w   d o w n!  We've tried to pick campgrounds that help with that, green grass, trees that bring shade, a little breeze, and peace and quiet.  Nice.  Once the Labor Day Weekend was over, campgrounds seem to empty out, big time.  Prices haven't gone down (darn) but space availability sure has, so that's good.  


We are trying our best to travel roads, and back roads, that we haven't traveled before (or in a very long time) as much as possible.  While here in Buffalo WY, we decided to go check out a small town called Kaycee, about 45 min. from here.  The article that we read said it had a lot of interesting history, so, why not go see??

Well, "small" was an  Maybe 2 blocks, if that?  And that included homes, the tiny Post Office, their museum and park.  The two things worth visiting.  

The park was a beautiful little Memorial Corner Park dedicated to Chris LeDoux, the World Bareback Champion rider and Country Western singer.  He wasn't born in Kaycee, but he and his family came there to live after he gave up riding, and he died (and is buried there) in 2005.  His wife and 5 children still have a farm there.   

Across the street was the Hoofprints of the Past Museum, that we decided to check out...and was glad we did!  What a great museum!  The detail and cataloging of the "old west" in their area was fantastic.  Everything from arrowheads to wagons.  They had the complete insides of stores, a blacksmith shop, a home, the first Homestead home, the oldest school in Wyoming, along with chuck wagons, sheepherder wagons and farm equipment.  They had the complete detailed rundown on the Johnson County War and the Wyoming Range War (c1889-1893) - basically the "homesteaders vs the cattle barons.  Wow, tough times.  Anyway, great museum and a great stop...just shows you that you never know what you can find  hiddin in a small town!  

Not much scenery in these parts but rolling hills of yellow "grass" (?) and fields of sorghum and sunflowers...

Well, we are off to Cody tomorrow, one of Jack's most favorite stops!  We will be spending more time in Wyoming this time as Idaho is off our itinerary due to the fires.  So, we shall see what new adventures we find!

...on the road in Wyoming,  Marie

If you would like to see the rest of my photos, you can on my Flickr at