Sunday, November 22, 2020

Whistle of the wind

August 2, 1972

7:21 AM
Woke up. Had to listen to the radio to find out time. Watch stopped. Checking map. Found out I missed the Great Salt Lake. Did see large body of water (noticed reflections of lights) last night but didn’t think about what it was. The weather is cool. Mountains in distance. I need shower and clean clothes. Took picture of where I slept; ate rest of the beans then on my way. Lightning in distance.

8:00 AM
On the road again. Still lightning. Turned on heater in car to take off chill. It smelled like hell. Didn’t understand it but turned it off. Raining now. Lightning a regular “light show.” Long flashing forks. Now raining like hell. Hard to see the road, but blue sky in distance.

8:20 AM
Stopped raining. Mountains are sunlit: beautiful!

8:40 AM
Passed a Black Angus Ranch. Wheat fields now with mountains on either side. Note: Dudes in Utah still have those rifle racks in their pick-ups. Doesn’t help my paranoia any. Forgot to mention: I look like a bum.

Oh! Gene Merollis commercial (great, great guy, etc.) out here are for “Gordon Wilson.” Wow!

Fence posts around here look like home-made from bent trees. So different from, say, Wyoming. Back to huge wheat fields and grazing lands.

9:00 AM
Stopped for a picture of the land (just had to!) Had to switch roads – missed by turn, but then corrected and back on the way. On hwy 28 – few horses, range and wheat fields. Trying to think of word for countryside. Serene would be best, I think. Listening to KRUX (Salt Lake City). Now all range with small pines and sage-brush. 74 degrees.

9:40 AM
Gannison City. Another typical Western town. Back on the road – more farms. Some of the hills are just giant sand piles. It looks like very little vegetation on them. Getting so good at driving with my left foot on the gas may take it up for good. (The only way to avoid severe leg cramps is to alternate.)

9:55 AM
Salina, Utah. Mountains in distance have red tops. Mountains here are beautiful; not the majestic high mountains like the Tetons, but they vary in color from white to deep red, with steep cliffs on some and others just seemingly immense sand piles. (Note: while they are lovely, they wreck radio reception.)

10:15 AM
Made it to Richfield. Sign says, “Free swimming”, and it would be a chance to get clean again. Stopped for gas. Oh, forget swimming. I have to get moving.

10:45 AM
Completely surrounded by mountains. Running parallel to the (typist note: name illegible) River. Pretty, but not the clear blue like the rivers in Yellowstone. Ten minutes later, saw the Big Rock Candy Mountain. Pretty yellow and reds, but looks more like ice cream.

Passed entrance to Puitte State Park.

Now have seen third letter on a mountain-side. Can’t figure out what they are for, but have seen huge white letters E, M and P so far. Weird.

11:30 AM
Passed the home of Butch Cassidy. Little log cabin. KSUB out of Cedar City (not rock). Mountains still varied and interesting.

11:50 AM
Have been back into range country with herds of cattle and flocks of sheep. Now in Panguitch. Large amount of smoke to the right of town; but no sirens or commotion. May just be burning off fields. Passed Bryce Canyon National Park.

12:15 PM
83 degrees. Passed more cattle. Pines getting taller. I’m laughing about an obscene song I just made up. Mountains and hill sides are still red and pink.

12:30 PM
Stopped at rest area for lunch and rest room. Couldn’t stop to write about it, but just went thru hill. Roadway was cut out and steep sides had signs warning of falling rocks. Ate some chicken salad sandwich (1st “spreadables” that wasn’t bad) and a Pepsi.

12:55 PM
Heading out again. At rest area I met a little old man who told me his brother was responsible for this whole stretch of road. I agree that that was wonderful, and we parted as friends.

Beautiful cliffs and rocks shot through with red colors. Just rounded a circle and bam! Tall mountains with flat tops and red rock cliffs. Fantastic wind-carved cliffs. 100 miles to the Grand Canyon. Pink rocks, pink cliffs and even pink sand on the ground.

1:20 PM
Stopped for picture of sand and mountains (had to, had to!) Hope color comes out. Picked up small rock. Went by the Monqui Cave. Again, everything in the car is hotter than hell. Saw Kanab Canyon. Again, words fail. Water in Kanab Creek looks pink from sand.

1:45 PM
Stopped for gas. Attendant said left front tire out of line and was tearing up tire. Said I couldn’t make it home, so why not like them fix it? Thanked him politely and headed out. 92 degrees and hot!

1:50 PM
Arizona! The Grand Canyon State! Still red sand, mountains in distance. So hot in car, I can’t catch my breath.

2:15 PM
Kaibab National Forest. (More rocks than trees and trees all scrub pines and very short.) Keep going up. Hard on car. Very few clouds in sky. Just blue everywhere and hot!

2:25 PM
Trees getting taller. Most are about the size of mom’s but have more scotch-like pine needles. Smokie the bear signs are everywhere.

Now the trees are more like you would expect in a forest. No visible underbrush, so forest looks like park with short grass. Birch trees are now mixed with pines, and I’m passing thru a clearing. Sign says all campsites filled by early afternoon. Hope not before I get there. Car is backfiring on hills; I am backfiring from bean breakfast.

Now passing thru another valley; this is mostly grass, no sagebrush. Listening to KPEG radio and am 23 miles from North River.

3:10 PM
Now signs say campgrounds past this point are filled at 10 am. Will need some luck, I guess. Cattle grazing here and there throughout the forest. Now leaving the National Forest, and entering Grand Canyon National Park. Campgrounds are all filled.

4:00 PM
Stopped at Point Imperial. I must confess I was annoyed till now. Not only are all the campgrounds filled and I’ll have to drive back 50 miles, but until now, all I’ve seen were the trees. And, while trees can be lovely, I was looking for a “Grand Canyon.” Well. Now I found it… Again, words are useless. Took three pictures at Point Imperial. Wish kids could see this (along with Yellowstone). Maybe someday. (Well, it took me twenty-three years before I could.) Wind is not really strong, but you can hear it in the pines. Smells great.

Oh, forgot to mention – an artist was sitting on the ground painting the scene I just took pictures of. Painting looking pretty good. (Oil paints) Coasted to bottom from the top of Point Imperial (2.8 miles) could have gone farther, but came to a stop sign and that was that. Only sound was whistle of the wind. Peaceful.

4:40 PM
Stopped at unnamed “Scenic View” for one picture.

4:50 PM
Stopped at Indian Ruins and overlook. Took picture of the Canyon and one of the Ruins (see pamphlet) Pueblo Indians lived in these houses over 800 years ago.

5:10 PM
At Cape Royal. Whew! If you think bridges are bad you should try the last half mile of this road. Damn scared! Very informative walkside boards pointed out varieties of plants, trees and animals here. Got 2 pictures of canyon and one of “Angel’s Window”, a rock formation. Note: if they show in picture, check out the people on top the rock. I was out there look for a good shot. Now planning my way home. No “Trip-Tik” for that. Good luck! (Good grief!)

5:55 PM
Headed down the winding road. I worked out a plan to get to Phoenix.

5:40 PM
Leaving Grand Canyon National Park. Note: Lost another hour when I entered Arizona. Guess I’m on Pacific time, but I don’t really know. Backtracking now thru the Kaibab Nat. Forest.

6:10 PM
Stopped for gas and post cards. (43¢ for regular, Donna!)

6:45 PM
Had to stop for deer on the road. Grabbed camera, but she was gone. There are little birds here and there along the road & they just will not move! I’ve gone around some, and seen some dead too. Reminds me of Duke. Sign says 7 miles of mountain curves and grades.

7:10 PM
Again, beautiful scenery in mountains. Can’t help myself, got to stop for picture… Yah, you guessed it, took two. Sun going down behind mountains, but all the cliffs are still lit and are bright red and pinks. Unbelievable.

Trucking along Hwy 89 at 65 mph. Ears still haven’t popped from coming down out of the mountains, so everything seems like it’s really quiet. Wind noise is soft. Windows still down as it’s quite warm yet. Chasing two chicks in a Cortina just for grins.

Red mountains on either side were homes of the cliff dwellers, sign says.

7:45 PM
Stopped just before entering the Navajo Indian Reservation. (Another bridge, damnit!) Took picture of Colorado River, which caused the Grand Canyon. Note: Supposedly, at no point in the Grand Canyon Park can you see the river (weird). Oh, girls turned off to get gas in case you were interested.

Anyway, Amy, going into Indian Territory.

Night. Still miles and miles of towering red cliffs. Can almost imagine Indians living up there. Still hotter than hell. I think I’m in part of the Painted Desert.

Listening to KOMA, Oklahoma! Only thing I could find. They say it’s ten o’clock. Here it’s eight.

9:05 PM
Stopped at state inspection center. (What for? I’ll found out.) Inspected for fruits, citrus fruits or live plants. Passed. Moving on.

11:30 PM
Here at Flagstaff, Arizona. Stopped at one motel: full. Stopped at Burger Chef to eat late supper. Again, have missed all the scenery in the dark. Saw just 1st part of Indian Reservation, for example.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Tales from the Blog: There was a lot I didn't write down

The opening shot on this one with the Vega and lake is my favorite. I am unsure if it was purposeful or a happy accident but it feels very Vanishing Point.

The boulder in Tower Falls eventually fell in June of 1986. I was unable to locate a specific date and it does not appear that the event was witnessed. This information was in the linked article but I am unsure if anyone would click through and it felt worth mentioning since the question was asked.

KID radio in Idaho Falls is now a talk/news station.

When looking at the mountains/peaks near Pocatello, I was able to find Wild Horse but not "Kemp Fort" or the unnamed one. Wild Horse is about a mile south of Kinport which looks/sounds close enough such that it is probably what he noted as "Kemp Fort." Two miles north of Kinport is an unnamed peak. Both Wild Horse and the unnamed peak's line and proximate parents are Kinport. Outlier possibilities are Howard Mountain (four miles north of Kinport and same lineage) and Gibson Mountain (three miles south of Kinport but different lineage).

This week's main mystery was the location of the rest area in Utah. Of the rest areas that exist in the region that were around in 1972, both are east of Salt Lake City on I-84. Time and distance of entries should have placed it south of SLC on I-15 near Draper. I spent a good bit of time on Utah's DOT site, as well as searching old atlases, newspapers and travel guides. I eventually found an article on Utah's Deseret News site from 1995 regarding the closure of a rest area near exit 279 on I-15. It was approximately 10 miles south of the Draper exits and fits within the timeline. I located an aerial photograph from 1984 which appears to show a south and northbound rest area off exit 278. I reached out to some very helpful folks at UDOT who confirmed there was a location south of exit 279 and, "he did believe it was a photo of that rest area." (Thanks!)

Lastly, we were forced to use Bing Maps this week, as Google refused to route along the Grand Loop outside of Yellowstone Lake. When I went back to update the map's destination, even Bing refused to use the Grand Loop. My understanding is usage of this road is seasonal, so perhaps it is closed or nearing so.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

There was a lot I didn’t write down

August 1, 1972

8:40 AM
Woke up cold on face and shoulders. Rest of me was cozy. Windows all wet from me breathing last night (so I shouldn’t have?) Still can see your breath. Running the car with the heater on. Had cigarette for breakfast. Too cold to cook out there. Washed very little in a john (again cold water only). Wished I brought the jacket Fran gave me. Checking maps for places to see.

9:00 AM
Heading out for the “Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.” Again, wish you could see this. Motoring thru tall pines with the calm Yellowstone Lake on the right. The mountains on its far shore are snow covered, and touch the clouds. (Ok, I’m a poet, eh? So I’ll take a picture and show you! Took two.) (The hell with you!) Don’t mind no radio, just digging all this. Just ran into more road construction; they are doing a lot of it. Just fantastic scenery! People fishing in big red waders in still, mirror-like water.

9:25 AM
Stopped to see mud volcanoes (2 pictures) Note: here and there throughout the park you see smoke that looks like a large or sometime small fire. It’s just from these thermal pool areas.

Took one picture of “Dragon’s Mouth.” Black steaming mud and water bubble out of a pool covered with stinking steam. I hope the picture comes out. The other was just a small mud hole with no stream to show what it looks like. Sulfur makes water black, so place smells like hell both figuratively and literally. One pool I didn’t take picture of was green water, bubbling like someone dumped in a truck-load of Alka-Seltzer. Oh! The average degree of the water is 191 in Dragon’s Mouth. This was created by a fissure in the earth in just 1947-48. (Note: had to hike to top of hill to see best ones – 9 in all – and was puffing like a locomotive. Was really ashamed. Cigarettes for breakfast not such a good idea. 

Moving on…

Entering Hayden Valley. Grizzly country. More road construction. Passed a couple more sulfur pits (can’t stop for everything, but wish I could.) Did I mention that I refilled my collapsible water jug? Water here tastes great! Passed Elk Horn Creek and Trout Creek. Fishing here is supposed to be great, so I bet Terry would like it.

10:10 AM
Stopped at Artist’s Point. Took three pictures. 2 of falls, one of canyon. Getting warmer.

10:30 AM
Stopped at Upper Falls. You will note have stopped all descriptive phrases. Have overworked words like beautiful, fantastic, etc. till they seem trite. If pictures turn out they can speak for themselves. Oh, took 2 pictures, one just before Upper Falls, and one of falls. Another hike, another bursting lungs. This body is a wreck!

10:50 AM
Got picture of a bear. Looked like a hobo, just sitting on the side of the road.

11:15 AM
Stopped to take picture of Mt. Washburn, ele. 10,243 ft. (two pines in pic.) and one general view of mountains.

11:25 AM
Stopped to take picture at Tower Falls. There’s a boulder right in the middle at the top. The question is: how soon will it fall? Forgot to mention: re: waterfalls: you can hear them long before you can see them. A pleasant sound.

11:35 AM
Stopped at Calcite Springs Area & took picture of it. Pic may not show it, but area was once thermal and puffs of steam still come out of banks. Getting real lesson in walking. Clouding over.

11:40 AM
Starting to rain. Stopped for gas. Gas here (as all along the way a real rip-off) 40¢ for regular!

12:00 PM
Rain stopped, sun out.

12:25 PM
Stopped at Mammouth Hot Springs. Walked 15 minutes up a Nature trail only to find a parking lot on top! Springs are everchanging lime deposits made by hot water. Nine (I think) pictures. They say that deposits in the 30s are now ruins. I put my hand in the water at base. About like a hot bath.

1:40 PM
Raining again. Stopped in town to mail post-cards.

2:10 PM
Heading out. Rain stopped; sunny again. Passing thru Willow Park. Supposed to have moose. Didn’t see any. Wait! Now I did. Small herd in distance. Too far for good picture.

2:50 PM
Saw first accident in park. (Not serious.) Have been passing up small steamholes and geysers and a small waterfall because it’s getting late. Looks like rain again.

3:02 PM
Stopped at Gibbon Falls. 1 picture of falls, 1 picture of bird and squirrel eating on a rock. Saw mule deer feeding, couldn’t stop.

3:45 PM
Old Faithful. Picked up two girls who work as maids at hotel in Old Faithful complex. Picked them up about 15 miles back. Had to rearrange half the car to put both of them in, but it was worth it to talk to someone. Said you could get jobs here easily. Both were from Washington (state). When I mentioned cold they said that’s nothing, that it had snowed in July this year and in the winter they can’t even dig out most of the roads here.

Went over to the geyser, it had stopped. Next act 60 to 90 minutes away. Thundering and lightning, then rain just started as I took the most uninspiring picture of Old Faithful ever. Got back in my car as rain hit. Making another brief supper; 1 tuna sandwich and some cold beans. Back on the road, didn’t stop at Geyser Basins because of the rain.

4:45 PM
Rain stopped, but skies still overcast.

5:05 PM
Left Yellowstone. In a word: awed. Determined to go back when I have more time. Now back to reality. Heading south on Hwy 20 in Montana.

5:15 PM
Entered Gallatin National Forest. Trees everywhere. (What else?) Terrible headache for last couple of hours. Didn’t take any aspirins with me.

Montana’s famous “Big Sky” is covered with big clouds. Lots of saddle ranches around. Still surrounded by mountains. No illusions about next 115+ mikes. I have to get to the freeway and find a rest area by tonight. Oh, yes. I crossed the Continental Divide again (stupid thing). Stuck behind 2 camper pickups for the last umpteen miles. Can’t get a chance to pass.

5:30 PM
In Idaho. Sky clearing. Misjudged the Cont. Divide. I crossed it at the state line. Am in the Targhee National Forest. Still pines, still mountainous, only the name has changed. One thing different. This has telephone poles. Got used to Yellowstone not having any. These look junky. Radio back. KID out of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Passed the trucks.

5:40 PM
Now on plains. Mountains & pines in far distance.

5:47 PM
Spoke too soon; back into pines. Heard Rick Nelson’s song again. Had the name wrong before, but really dig it. Using a Wash & Dri to get the gunk off my face.

Saw a little old man with long flowing grey hair and an Indian hat walking down the road. Not hitchhiking, just walking. No houses around for miles.

6:10 PM
Left the Targhee Forest. Going down long grade. Now into plains again. 6 min. later passed Ashton, Idaho.

6:30 PM
Finally can’t see the majestic three Tetons anymore. Crossed Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. Going thru St. Anthony & following a state cop. He finally turned off. 37 miles to Idaho Falls.

6:40 PM
Sign says “Entering Idaho Potato Country”

6:55 PM
Radio says 78 degrees. Oh, oh. Bridge ahead… It was the Snake River again.

7:05 PM
Stopped and took picture of Idaho. To my shame, father, I can’t pick out a field of potatoes. Only two rolls of film left.

7:25 PM
Idaho Falls. Got on Interstate 15. Hope they have rest areas. Shaking all the small towns. Speed limit 70 and trucking! Now see field after field of potatoes with huge sprinklers (I figured out what a potato field looks like.) Took picture.

7:40 PM
Headache still killing me. Found rest area – bad again. Nothing like near home. Two outhouses and some picnic tables. (Outhouse terrible) Only interesting thing is that area here is all hardened lava. Right back on road.

Lots of bugs here. Windshield looks like it was raining and I washed it at last rest area. Really “bugs” me! (urrgghh!)

8:00 PM
Reached Blackfoot, Idaho and Fort Hall Indian Reservation. Running into strong winds and dust. Coming up to more mountains.

8:20 PM
Stopped at Pocatello, Idaho for gas; found a McDonalds. Hurray! Hope it’s better than that A&W.

8:35 PM
Leaving. Still need gas. Big Mac great. Filet of fish lousy. (win some, lose some) Can’t believe it! Stopped at gas station and it was 30¢ for regular. Wow! Asked about mountains. Said no range name, but there are three: Wild Horse Mt., Kemp Fort Mt. and he didn’t know the other. Then, back to x-way. 

P.S. Have officially caught a cold.

Back in mountains again. 158 miles to Salt Lake City. Again fantastic scenery. Mountains on either side; sun has set, but pink clouds still to be seen. Rest of sky is medium to deep blue. No cars but mine on my side of hwy.

9:30 PM
Dark now. Tired as hell. Head is killing me. Body aches. Windshield covered with bugs. Can’t see the page to write on lines.

10:30 PM
66 miles to Salt Lake. Car running hot again. Brake handle hot to touch. Tired as hell. Got to keep going, no place to sleep. Can’t tell what countryside looks like: can’t see it. Stars out. Am on another x-way. Wow, I’m tired. I could swear I passed the same truck twice.

11:40 PM
Salt Lake City, Utah. Found a Texaco Station; got gas. I know that the previous pages will be hard to read, but not only was I tried and sore, but it’s hard to write when car is moving 70 mph and it’s too dark to see pages.

12:00 AM
Found rest area. Before I say goodnight, I would like to say there was a lot I didn’t write down, plus I couldn’t see a lot. Sorry about that.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Tales from the Blog: Marlboro Country

Part of the delay between posts is matching up the photographs with the entries. Some of these are easier (“did get a picture of the West 80 sign”) than others (“took picture of more of those fields”). Google Map’s Street View has been a big help in matching up terrain. My favorite example thus far is the rest area from the beginning of this post. I was concerned about finding the location because we had a lot of rest areas close in Michigan in mid-late 1990s, as the metro area pushed north along I-94. Not only does the Pine Bluff’s rest area still exist, but so do the pictured pavilions and the bronc rider silhouettes (though now faded).

Unsure if the date changed in the last 50 years but if you are traveling to Dubois, the rodeos are on Friday nights.

Radio station updates:

  • Not much KRAE history before the 1980s when it was licensed for classic country. It subsequently changed formats to sports and is now oldies.
  • Could not locate anything on KEKD out of Casper or KSJT from Jackson Hole.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Marlboro Country

July 31, 1972

7:00 AM
Woke up. Changed my mind again and slept in the back (to hell with anybody that doesn’t like it) Rearranged practically the entire car; figured I’ve had enough time to know what goes where now. Got that all done. Decided to cook in back of car and for the first time forgot to wait till flame lowered and turned blue: found myself with fuel dripping all over sleeping bag and almost burning off mosquito netting! Wrecked one towel and singed my hair on my hands (not bad) trying to put out fire. Decided to cook on picnic table. Forgot to mention it’s chilly with overcast skies and some wind. Not yet cold, but I wished I’d brought a jacket. Eating Salisbury steak and mushroom gravy, bread (no butter) and water for breakfast. Stomach died. Took a picture.

8:10 AM
Leaving, next step Cheyenne, Wyoming. Sky clearing, sun out but still not hot. I’m riding parallel to what must be the world’s longest train (well, it seems like it). Mountains on my left are beautiful, but too far away for a picture. Passing what looks to be fields of wheat alternating with fresh plowed fields. Pretty. Land seems flat or rolling with mountains far away. Wish somebody could see this with me. Just cruising at 60 mph, trying to take this all in. Listening to KRAE out of Cheyenne. Just forecast scattered thundershowers with a temp of 61. Now instead of corn it’s cows, all over the place just wandering around. Took picture of more of those fields.

8:45 AM
Cheyenne – low buildings, all spread out. Saw the “DT’s Liquor Store” with a pink elephant on top. Cheyenne just celebrated “Frontier Days” and the big news on the radio is the rodeo results. Half the dudes are wearing cowboy hats (not kids but old men).

9:05 AM
Trucking on Hwy 25 – all hills with mountains far in background. No houses, some cows & windmills. But land is fenced so it must be all grazing land. Now a few houses. 37 miles to “Chugwater, Wyoming.” Sky is overcast. A lot of snow fences; must be bad in winter with no trees.

9:20 AM
Saw some trees. Don’t laugh, I guess they don’t grow much out here. Starting to worry about gas. Haven’t seen a station since Cheyenne, and not much more houses. Sprinkling.

9:27 AM
Stopped to take picture of cows and windmill, but I don’t think it will come out. Raining now.

9:45 AM
Still raining, still no gas station. Cows are all laying down. Two minutes later, passing Chugwater – small town. Next stop: Wheatland. Very odd hills, took picture. Ears keep popping. Some rock formations look like tables or old castles. Back to sprinkling; can see larger hills or mountains on left far away.

10:05 AM
Rain stopped six miles from Wheatland. I’ve got the yawns. Real mountains on left in the distance, too far for picture, but are deep blue with clouds half way up. Oh, spoke too soon, it’s sprinkling again.

10:15 AM
Stopped in Wheatland for gas. Bought an air cushion seat for $3.75; don’t know if it’s a rip-off, but when it’s hot I don’t care. More cowboy hats. Everyone polite (Sir, madam, etc.) Left gas station, stopped at A&W for coffee. Ended up with a Papa Burger, jumbo root beer and coffee with a lid. I think the mountains I was seeing were in the Medicine Bow National Forest. (Whatever they were, they were beautiful and majestic.) P.S. Hamburger was lousy! Root beer tastes the same.

10:35 AM
Back on the road. Wheatland is a little bigger than Richmond. Five minutes later, crossed the Laramie River. Clouds still obscuring tops of those mountains. Wish I could take picture. Listing to KLZ. Road sign says “Game crossing next 10 miles.”

11:05 AM
Now hills covered with pine trees which are not tall like ours but short and fat. Then passed thru Glendo (pop. 292) Back on road in mountains (or whatever). Raining hard, but view is spectacular! This is either God’s Country or Marlboro Country (both fit).

11:25 AM
Two girls in another car waved at me. Made me feel lonesome.

11:30 AM
Stopped to take picture of mountains (hope it comes out). Listening to KEKD from Casper, Wyo. Which is where I’m heading. 57 degrees and cool.

12:00 PM
Passing loads of (I guess) oil or gas pumps dotting the hills. (Like the one off I-94 by 21 mile back home.)

12:15 PM
Passed 1st Casper exit. Then in 5 min. on Hwy 20 to Yellowstone! Have to go to the john.

12:35 PM
Stopped for gas & restroom. So relieved I forgot to get gallon amount. Oh, well. Then, back on the road. Sky still is overcast, but lighter. More cattle.

12:55 PM
Almost ran over a goat! I’m sure it was tame, though.

1:15 PM
Stopped at “Hell’s Half Acre, Wyo.” In a word: weird. Took two pictures, but would have been better if it was sunny. Met a storyteller-guide named “Casey Jones” (he said) but didn’t talk to him, had to go.

1:25 PM
Had to slow down for two sheep crossing the road. Then passed Hiland, Wyo. (pop. 10) Sun is getting hotter, land is sandy.

1:47 PM
Moneta, Wyo. (pop. 10)

2:10 PM
Have passed Shoshone, Wyo. Now entering the Wind River Indian Reservation. Stopped and took picture of Boyser Resovour (I know that that’s spelled wrong). I could take a million pictures of weird hills and rock formations.

2:30 PM
Entered Prouton. Small farms, some stores, etc. It does have shopping center & hospital. Town is bigger than at 1st glance. Higher still into mountains. Sign says “Open range Loose stock.” The pick-ups all have rifle racks in back windows.

2:55 PM
Entered Kinnear (pop. 44). Sky getting cloudy again. I am 142 miles from Yellowstone. Now raining here, but the sun is shining on far away mountain tops. I can see the snow at the peak.

3:15 PM
Stopped at 1st marked rest area since Cheyenne: 2 tables and 2 outhouses. No real rest areas so far (and I’m pretty far).

3:25 PM
Passed Bull Lake River. Land is covered with boulders and rocks.

3:30 PM
Stopped and took picture of Crowheart Butte; named because after a victorious battle here the chief of the Shoshone Indians displayed a Crow Indian’s heart on his battle lance.

3:45 PM
Beautiful mountains all around. Like a picture themselves. If I had more film, I would go crazy. Sides of some of the mountains are pink. The whole thing is mind boggling, honest to God. Now I just passed big red cliffs. Have been passing the Wind River. It’s pretty with small white rapids. Still passing wind eroded pink and red cliffs and buttes.

4:15 PM
Took two pictures at a self service gas station. One of mountains, one of horses. Went thru Dubois: just what you would expect a small town out West: “Rodeo Saturday Nights” little shops and acres of ten gallon hats. Radio reception horrible; can’t find any stations.

4:30 PM
Went by a “pass.” Then went up a steep grade behind a stake struck: average speed 20 mph. Ears popping again.

4:40 PM
Rain again. Just entered Shoshone National Forest. Getting darker. Now it’s tall pines and Smokey the Bear signs warning “Fire danger today is: high.”

4:50 PM
Deep in the heart of Shoshone Forest. Trees towering overhead. Dropped pen and had to get another from the glove box. No mean feat considering the crap packed in front of it. Raining hard, visibility poor. Have to keep downshifting to make it up the grades. Ears popping again. More cliffs in distance.

4:58 PM
Entered Teton County. Ears popping again. Have to add that to Jim’s list of body pleasures. More mountains with snow near top.

5:10 PM
Stopped to take picture of Teton National Forest. Then saw herd of cattle on side of road. (Note: this is open range.) Went by another scenic overlook: would like to take another picture as the clouds are below you. Just beautiful!

5:30 PM
Entered Grand Teton National Park. KSJT (Jackson Hole) finally came in on the radio. Temp 66; still raining. Five minutes later: 26 miles from Yellowstone. Stopped in long line for something. Can’t tell what yet. I think it’s park rangers. Car in front of me from New Mexico. Still raining. Found out what is is: Camping and vehicle permits. (Cost $3.00 per day). On the way again – Teton Mountain range. Spectacular snow covered and sunlit. Stopped for pictures (wish to hell it wasn’t raining). Later, stopped for another picture for Donna as it’s sunny now.

6:10 PM
Left Grand Teton National Park, entered back into Grand Teton National Forest.

6:20 PM
Entered Yellowstone National Park. All but three campsites are full. Hope I can get one. Passed Crawfish Creek, thought about Bill and Jim. Crossed Lewis River – giant canyon; beautiful! (scared about going over the edge) passed Lewis Lake (large lake to look at, but small on map.)

6:45 PM
Crossed continental divide twice for you geography fans. I personally can’t remember what the hell it means. Took picture at Twin Geysers. There were steaming pits of water near West Thumb called the Paint Pots.

7:15 PM
First wild bear. Not able to take picture.

7:45 PM
Finally found vacant campsite. You would not believe all the people. Good tip for next trip: look for campsite early in the day. Seems cold here. Lots of freaks, both young and old. Took picture of campsite. Met a man from Saginaw; he told me of good places to go in Yellowstone and the Canadian Rockies. Everything I marveled at, he had seen better: i.e. The Canadian Rockies made the Tetons look like molehills, the pines in Washington state made these look like matchsticks, etc.)

He told me how to get to his house and then he went to get ready for bed. Ranger says it got down to 33 degrees last night. Already you can see your breath. Third try at building a fire from wet wood. Could use cook-stove, but just stubborn, I guess. Smoke smells great (burning pine needs. They burn hot and dry the other wood, I found out.) Made it! Hurray! Hot hash, cooked over a wet wood fire. Dedicating this meal to Hash Head Hay in Richmond, Mich. Washed dishes, put out fire, secured campsite, and now preparing to read some and then go to bed. Hope to put the lantern in rear of car with hatch up so heat will go to front. I don’t know if it will work. Still worrying about bears. (Thanks, Mom!) Weather in a word: Freezing! It’s now 9:10 and so peaceful and serene wish I could live this forever. Goodnight.