The campground in Buffalo emptied out as the morning passed by. We hit the road by eleven and topped off the propane for when we get to Yellowstone. As we left Buffalo in the rear view mirror, the highway starting going uphill into the Big Horn mountains. We took a side road at Sourdough because we were told we might spot moose up there. No moose, but a beautiful spot to park for a while and let Cali run free as PJ write some cards and I hiked around the hills seeing if I could find any wildlife. Only Cali but she was wild enough.
We returned to highway 16 and just around the corner we came face to face with the snow covered peaks we had been admiring from down below. Loaf mountain was the closest of the tall mountain tops. There were very few other people at the overlooks so we were able to take our time and Cali roamed freely in the grassy fields next to the pull outs.
We topped out at 9666 feet at Powder River Pass. It was Cali’s first time ever seeing snow. By the look on her face, I don’t think she was any too impressed. She walked gingerly over the six inches or so of snow and was happy to be on the other side. The views were spectacular as we began the downhill descent on the western slopes.
What is this #@&%$
A mile or so beyond the pass, we came upon Meadowlark Lake, a small lake with snow touching its banks. The high mountain wind was ruffling it’s surface and I decided it needed to be paddled. I pulled off the Inception and not wanting to take the time to change, I just launched from the boat ramp in my street clothes. I did a quick circle to get a close up look at the snow covered banks where the shade was keeping things from melting. We had miles to go so it was a brief session then we strapped the boards back up and continued down the mountain.
Large rock formations rose up from the plains below looking like they were straight out of a set for a cowboy movie. A local in an old battered Chevy was having overheating issues so I stopped to offer some water. A canyon ran along the base of the drop off below the road with a sparkling creek flowing through it.
The sunshine we had been enjoying all day disappeared as we reached the base of the mountains at Ten Sleep. Thunder clouds rolled in across the plains and long spears of lightning reached down from the sky. We did a mail drop at the Ten Sleep post office and then entered an agricultural area as the wind began to seriously blow with the incoming storm. We hustled past the sugar beet farms passing large trucks with the big tubers piled high over the sides.
Soon we were parking the vehicles in front of my Cousin Tommy’s house in Basin, Wyoming. He and Debbie welcomed us in and we sat around chatting in their family room and catching up on how our families are doing. We met their sweet older dog, Annie and relaxed after a long day driving. Tommy and I took a ride over to his workshop and put a few things away and checked out his wood shop and man cave. For dinner, we drove over to Greybull and hit Lisa’s Restaurant for a fine dinner. Being Friday, there was a lively crowd and the place was filled with happy noise. We talked throughout the meal about everything under the sun. Having lived in the area over 30 years, Tom and Debbie know just about everybody in town and greeted the other patrons in the restaurant. It was a great night out and we talked some more at the house before heading upstairs to sleep in a real house for the first time in months. Thanks Debbie and Tom for the warm welcome.