Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Driving Through the Big Horn Mountains


This is a view of Meadowlark Lake, elevation 8,465 feet, which is 8 miles from Powder River
Pass which is at an elevation of 9,666 feet along the Cloud Peak Skyway in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.  But before we entered the Big Horn Mountains, we had a 120 mile drive first to get there...and did we have wonderful surprise.  So we will start with the first 120 miles first.

We came upon what we found out a little later the south end of Boysen Reservoir in Boysen State Park, a public recreation area surrounding the Boysen Reservoir, made from the Wind River.  We just did not realize the reservoir is the fourth largest Wyoming reservoir.  

We drive another 15 miles and we come to the north end of the reservoir, and then the dam, and then enter a canyon where the Wind River flows north along our route.

Marcia took a BUNCH of pictures in this canyon.  Thank goodness there was a pullout, which gave me a chance to walk the little wiggle handful of fur (she was ALL OVER the motorhome today!), and get this shot looking back at the Wind River.

Marcia got some nice shots of the canyon walls, but getting more pictures of the river required another stop, which just was not happening.  When suddenly...

I make a U-Turn into a picnic area that runs along the river in between the canyon walls.  Marcia says, "What are you doing?" and my response is, "It looks good facing the other way too!"

Still could not get a good picture of the river, but it is down there.

And then the canyon opens up, and our surprise canyon ride was over.

We then drive through the town of Thermopolis, Wyoming (from the Greek for "Hot City"), population just over 3,000, and on the east side of the town find Hot Springs State Park, a public recreation area known for its hot springs, which flow at a constant temperature of 135°. The state park offers free bathing at the State Bath House, where temperatures are moderated to a therapeutic 104°.

Just outside of town we saw Wind River again, and they obviously are using some of the water for irrigation purposes.

Oh, here is that ball of fur demonstrating one of her hundred attempts to get into my lap.  Yes, I let her up there three times, once while we were waiting for a road construction red light where they were using one lane for both ways, and twice when no other cars were around, and put her down as soon as one appeared.  Now with Marcia she us up and down and up and down all day long.

Just before we got to Meadowlark Lake (first picture in the posting today) we pulled over for a little breather.  Then, out my window on the other side of the road, a herd of cows start walking by, verifying the sign I saw earlier which said that Free Range Cattle roam the area.  But we took advantage of it to introduce little Indy to Cows.  That sure got her engine running.  GRRRRrrrrrGRRrr over and over.  After they passed, she finally let out a bark. 

Then as they got further, she got on Marcia's lap where she could look out the front window, and that engine just started GRRRRing again.

Just shy of the summit, we see a little bit of snow along the tree line just off the highway.  Temps were around 50 in this area right around 1:30 pm.

Officially the summit is 9,666, but our GPS put it at 9,675. 

It was all downhill from here, still 35 miles from Buffalo.

And all the way down Marcia concentrated on finding Aspen Trees and getting pictures of them.

Back in 2012 we were on the other side of the Big Horn Mountains when suddenly, after putting a fresh piece of gum in my mouth, and I had the most painful tooth ache, it affected my entire right side of my mouth.  We headed to Buffalo the next day, going over the same Cloud Peak Skyway (there are three Scenic Byways traverse the Big Horn Mountains in north central Wyoming: the Big Horn, the Medicine Wheel Passage, and the Cloud Peak Skyway.)  We ended up in buffalo for eight days, I had to have antibiotics twice a day, and had one Wisdom Tooth pulled.  We stayed at Indian Campground and RV Park then, and we are staying here again this time, but only for two nights this time.


  1. Indy the watch pup. How can you not let her up, she's so cute! Gorgeous country!!! The leaves are turning everywhere.

    1. Two GREAT drives in two days...SCORE. As for Indy on my lap, the problem is she then wants to climb up on my chest blocking my view, putting her butt in my face, you know the routine.

    2. We've stayed at the Fountain of Youth Campground west of Thermopolis twice. The last time it was starting to look run down. They have their own Hot Spring and the Pool could easily accommodate a Hundred people. It is also divided into 95 Degree, 104 Degree and Danger do not Enter.
      Looks like you will need to get Indy her own seat so she doesn't cause you a distraction while driving.
      Looks like they are starting to get Fall Colours.
      Be Safe and Enjoy your trek.

      It's about time.

    3. Yes, I saw that park. I think it looks like an interesting town.

  2. What a beautiful area. You might have to change the name of your blog to Traveling With Indy!

    1. Ya, I think I had a few people say that about Skruffy until she died last year. I only wish Bubba would not run off, but he has escaped enough that I don't want to chance it, although at nearly 17 years of age he doesn't run as fast as he once did.

  3. Thanks for the photos. Now I've been to some country I haven't seen in 50 years! Still lovely. Emjoy the ride!


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