Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Our Billings Visit

Billings, MT  High 94 one day and 73 the next.  Low’s in the 50’s

After leaving Flaming Gorge we headed up through Wyoming and another day of beautiful scenery. We drove through Wind River Canyon and marveled at the power of the river that forged this canyon.

We followed this trailer all the way through the canyon.


We ended up at the Twin Pines RV Park outside Lander, WY. Nice little park with a pull through sites so we didn’t have to unhitch. However, there was no cell service or internet. The campground WIFI only works if you are in the office. I was glad we were there only one night.

You go through three short tunnels as you follow the river.


DSCN3772From there we spent the next night in Cody, WY. Nice campground but we had to unhitch the truck and park behind the rig which doesn’t leave much room for maneuvering. This turned out to be a problem because the next morning a guy in the row behind us was trying to align his truck to hitch up his fifth wheel. And yup – he bumped our truck. Just a ding in the paint. Thank goodness.


The final leg of the journey to Billings went just fine.

I love cloud pictures.


I want to apologize to all our family and friends here in the Billings area. We did not have time to visit with anybody (other than Todd and Michaela) while here. We did have some great times with them. Michaela and Todd both have June birthdays, their wedding anniversary (5 years already) is in June and so is Father’s Day. So we took the time to celebrate everything.

Lunch at the Burger Dive


This trip to Billings was to get paperwork done. We needed to do the paperwork on our new trailer which is waiting for us in Arizona. We had address changes to get done. And all of this takes a lot of time sitting and waiting, finding out you need to fax things to credit unions and follow up to make sure they do what needs to be done. Then you sit and wait for your turn some more.

We also had some work done on the truck, did laundry, Jim got a haircut and we did some shopping.

So – no visiting and no sight seeing this trip. But we plan on being back in September for my 50th Class Reunion and hopefully we can find time to visit.

Another problem with visiting is that we really can’t invite others to visit us because our trailer is so small. And those of you who know me, know that I do not really like to sit outside and visit. Too many bugs. That’s just how I am. And also, Rocky Joe gets really nervous with other people around so we like to keep him as calm as possible.

We are parked at the noisy Moose but for $25 a night, (rather than $55 to $90) we can handle a lot of noise. Electric only at the site, but a dump and water behind the building.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Dam and Little Hole

Flaming Gorge  High 82  Low 62

Flaming Gorge Dam is 502 feet high and 1,285 feet long. The spillway consists of a 675-foot long tunnel that runs through the left abutment of the dam. Two 16.75-by-34-foot gates at the tunnel entrance will pass up to 28,800 cubic feet per second of floodwater.

These pictures do not show the force of the water being let through the dam. It was incredible.





Just below the dam is where the rafters and drift boats put in. There is a Park Ranger (or two) stationed here to keep traffic flowing. It wasn’t real busy when we were there but they do not let you park and walk over to the water. It is kept open for the lines of boats needing to be launched.


One of the pull out points on the Green River is at Little Hole. Just driving around the backroads, the scenery is amazing. We decided to follow the signs to Little Hole and check it out.

This area was devastated by a wildfire in 2002. A car crossing a cattle guard, had a blow out and a spark from that started this fire. It burned almost 20,000 acres and took 17 days to control.


We saw these pronghorns very much alive in this fire stricken land.



There is a scenic overlook just before you get to Little Hole. I run out of words describing how beautiful this land of ours is.


Can you see the overlook we stopped at?


There are three boat ramps at Little Hole to handle all of the rafts and drift boats that come down the river from the dam.




Another one of those hidden gems off the beaten track.

If you plan on coming to the Gorge to enjoy this outdoor wonderland, I would highly recommend you sign up for either a fishing expedition or a rafting tour. I wish we would have.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Swett Ranch Historic Site


We saw a sign for this historic site and decided to check it out. Really beautiful scenery.

Swett Ranch is on the National Register of Historic Places as an example of an early pioneer homestead and a ranch that was one of the last claims in the Homesteading Act of 1862. It is situated in the Uinta Mountains and is 1.2 miles off of Highway 191 on a narrow, one-lane dirt road.



Oscar Swett homesteaded the family’s original claim in 1909. Their first home was a one-room cabin where Oscar and his wife Emma lived with their three children.


The five of them slept together in this single bed which was nothing more than a shallow box filled with straw and covered with blankets.


When their fourth daughter was born in 1919, Oscar build a two-room log cabin. Spaces between the logs were chinked with mud and the inside walls of the bedroom were papered with pages from magazines.





In 1929 Oscar and his family built a three bedroom house complete with kitchen and living room. Since at this time, they now had nine children, a larger home was a necessity.



The card above the phone says that they had a telephone before they had electricity or plumbing in the house. They also were the only people in the area with a phone and they could only call the operator in Dutch John.


Oscar didn’t think it was right “to have a bathroom inside the house.” So when he finally gave into the pressure of his wife and children, he built the new bathroom in the big white house so that it opened out onto the porch.

Some recipes that Emma used to use.


DSCN3630This is a creamer that Emma used to separate the cream from the milk in order to make butter.

Oscar worked this ranch with horse powered equipment even through the 40's, noting that "horses don't break down and require a mechanic."

I love it when we find these wonderful hidden gems. The view of the Uinta Mountains from the ranch is incredible.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Flaming Gorge–Cedar Springs Campground

Flaming Gorge, UT   High 88  Low 64

The boat ramp just below our campground.


Jim and the pups near the marina.


Entrance to Cedar Springs Campground


View from the host spot in the campground.


Our site. No neighbors in sight. This is supposed to be a pull through site, but there is no way we could fit around that tree, so Jim backed out.


$12.50 a night with the Senior Pass. No hookups. $6 to dump and fill (not included in the camping fee)


We had great Verizon service and OTA TV.


We checked out all the other campgrounds in the area and are glad we picked Cedar Springs. If we were to come back through this way, I would reserve either site A or B. Nice long back ins.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Flaming Gorge is a mecca for fishermen, boaters, rafters, drift boats and anyone who enjoys the beauty of the land. It is the largest reservoir in Wyoming and is on the Green River.

Flaming Gorge was named by John Wesley Powell on his 1869 expedition down the Green and Colorado rivers for the "brilliant, flaming red of its rocks.

Can you see the bridge?


How about if I crop it for you.


This is the bridge when you get down to the bottom of the gorge.





You drive across the top of the dam.


The clouds also added to the beauty of our surroundings.


The drive up from Utah may have been challenging but so worth it. However, if you want to enjoy Flaming Gorge without the 20 mph curves, come south into the Gorge from Rock Springs, WY.  The road is still curving and up and down, but nothing like the Utah road.




It’s amazing how far behind you get when you don’t have internet for a couple of days. We are actually in Cody, WY for the night. I’m going to try and get caught up in the next day or so.