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Casper WY and the trail west…..

Summer 2021

After we traded in the delightful Rockwood Mini for a larger luxurious 30 foot Arctic Fox trailer, now with the aim of going full time, the first trip was to Jim's relatives in Illinois. Jim and Chloe went alone as I had work commitments and Jim planned to set up his rock tools in his brothers workshop. As planned I met him on his way back (in Hastings as mentioned in the Nebraska post). Then we traveled to Casper Wyoming to meet our sons baseball host family. There’s nothing like local knowledge-we enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Eggingtons downtown. We were staying at Fort Casper RV park right down by the Platte river which is becoming a favorite river of mine.

The estimable BringFido app led us to a riverside dog park where the views just past dawn were lovely. The dogs splashed and Jim explored the river bank for rocks.

Jim went into what he termed an excellent mineral museum at one of the colleges and I checked out the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, a fantastic museum on a bluff that braids together the Native American trails, the Oregon and Mormon and Gold rush trails and the Pony Express, all of which went through Casper. There were plenty of fun hands on activities for kids, artifacts and stories. They also had a Mormon handcart. Instead of oxen and wagons the Mormons went on foot with handcarts. I had always wanted to see one. They have it set up so you can pull it on a treadmill and see how fast you would have had to go to beat the snows. When I was there there was a line of kids waiting their turn. As we drove out of Casper we saw the kind of sign Jim can’t resist- something about BLM land and mines and I think Uranium was on there. So we took a detour to an area in the middle of nowhere. Strangely hikers with full backpacks keep walking by in ones and twos. This seemed quite strange until one of them informed us the Continental Divide Trail passes right through there!

The dogs really enjoyed the wide open space there and thankfully didn’t arouse any rattlesnakes. Jim went scrounging for interesting rocks and I enjoyed photographing the cool patterns of lichens and rusts on the rocks.

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