Welcome March & Ro’s 1st out-of-strate road trip – Wyoming!

Honestly, Plan A was to find buffalo.  Ever since I re-watched ‘Dances with Wolves’ a couple weeks back, I’ve had ‘tatanka’ on the brain. After research, I discovered buffalo don’t ‘free range’ during the winter months — so I settled on a buffalo ‘statue’ in Northern Co near the WY border.  That statue turned out to be a wooden billboard with a buffalo painted on one side — not exactly what I was thinking 🙁

Plan B – hike in Wyoming, the Cowboy State.  Wyoming’s famous natural wonders — Grand Tetons & Yellowstone — are 8 hours away (the West is HUGE).  Settled on Curt Gowdy State Park — 24 miles from Cheyenne, 24 miles from Laramie.  On the drive west from Cheyenne, passed a large wind farm — LOVE these things.  Not sure how much electricity is actually generated but LOVE these all-white spinning pinwheels in seemingly open, desolate places.

Arrive at Curt Gowdy and no one is there — crazy, huh?  Park is open but no rangers, no hikers, no car/truck of any kind.  Figured it out at Ro’s first potty break — 70 (yeah 70) MPH wind gusts.  I couldn’t push open my car door so had to slide out the passenger side.  Plan C — we drive to the other side of the mountain near Crystal Lake Reservoir.  Windy but much more do-able…and no snow.  It’s like we did 2 separate hikes this day — New Mexico-like rock formations & arid conditions in the sun, snowy hike and ice-covered lakes in the shade.

In typical ‘go big or go home’ style, Ro & I started on the park’s ‘Cliffhanger’ trail, traversed 3 or 4 intersecting trails, until we worked our way completely around the reservoir.  22 miles — by far our longest hike to date.  Not my choice really.  2 map misreads on my part — oops, still learning 🙂  And because of those misreads, we trail ran 4 miles of our downhill return — no rangers, no bodies (except maybe the femur bone Ro found) and the sun read approx 1 or 2pm.  [No cell phone since Feb 15th so taken up reading sun positions to avoid sunset ‘in the wild’ disasters.]

Longest day out to date — no buffalo and visited a state [where] I will never choose to live — but 22 miles?  ROCKSTAR hike!

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