Thursday, July 06, 2017

Silt Colorado to Casper Wyoming

Mal told us he would be leaving for work at 7:00 AM, so I set my watch alarm for 6:00. The first order of business was to put some Ciprodex drops in my right ear. I had felt an infection coming on, not unusual for me, and my doctor prescribes these drops just in case. I hoped I had not left it too late before starting.

We had taken our suitcases out to the car last evening so the only gear we had left were our overnight bags. Mal made coffee and Corvette got up to say goodbye. We will be back together in St. Clair, Missouri in just about two months. We thanked them for their excellent hospitality.

The drive to Rifle was brief. After a stop at McDonald's (Sandy even got a breakfast smoothie), we headed north on Colorado 13. Corvette had warned that the road had a reputation for crashes and wildlife hits. For us, it was a road we had never been on before. I had booked a room for us tonight in Casper, Wyoming.

The first stage was a long steady climb to a summit 7,455 above sea level. Then we settled into a high valley over 7,000 foot elevation as we drove north towards Meeker. The road descended to 6,100 feet as we entered town while the 66 F temperature was quite comfortable after all the recent heat.

After Hamilton, the high plains gave way to a canyon for a while.

We arrived in Craig, a busy place with a good selection of hotels and businesses. As we were driving through town, I saw the Museum of Northwest Colorado. The sign said Cowboys and Gunfighters. We decided we had time, so we parked and wandered in. Admission was free and an older man with red suspenders and an O2 tank was eager to tell us all about the exhibits. The gentleman was Bill Mackin and all of the firearms and western garb and other items were originally from his personal collection. The museum was well worth the visit and the price was right.

These deer were found frozen after being tangled in a fence while fighting

Butch, Sundance and Etta Place?

This safe was from the Post Office in Evanston Wyoming

There were many racks and display cases of firearms and tack

Bill's current wife's 5th anniversary gift

Bill Mackin - cowboy historian

In addition to the museum, there was a nice park with some interesting wood sculptures and other things.

Main Street - Craig Colorado (today)

Main Street - Craig Colorado (1890)

Heading out of Craig, there was an electronic sign saying "Caution - Watch For Wildlife". I guess that meant there was a lot of wildlife to watch out for. They were serious because, at certain times of day during certain months, traffic fines are doubled due to wildlife concerns. North of Craig, we noted that irrigation was required in some spots for growing crops.

Caution - Watch For Wildlife

It was 87 F when we crossed into Wyoming at 11:30. As we have become accustomed to seeing, all watercraft were subject to inspection. We found ourselves on a two lane road with a 70 MPH speed limit and deer warning signs. We continued on up to Rawlins and I-80, crossing the Continental Divide at 7,004 feet above seal level.

Wyoming snow fence is everywhere

Only the second and third motorcycles we have seen since Rifle

We got onto I-80 East and navigated the two lane stretch towards Rawlins, stopping at a Flying J for fuel and lunch. The restaurant was Denny's and I had a Superbird (turkey and bacon) sandwich with fruit while Sandy had a grilled cheese sandwich and loaded baked potato soup.

I-80 construction

Gas and lunch

Rawlins rocks

Heading north out of Rawlins, the elevation was 6,600 feet but the land was as flat as Saskatchewan. We encountered many RV's and horse trailers heading south.

No idea what was going on here

Devil's Gate

Alcova Lake

We finally descended into Casper. I had the WalMart as a via point on the way to our hotel because Sandy needed a battery for her watch and I needed a syringe for my ear. On the way into town, there was a construction zone marked with orange cones. I saw a police officer with a LIDAR unit and checked the speed on my GPS. It said 43 in a 45. What I missed was the 30 MPH construction zone sign, which the officer told me about when he pulled me over. After he checked my licence and papers, he came back and told me that I should watch the signs instead of the GPS. No ticket. I thanked him for the warning, he wished us a safe trip and we were on our way.

We made our stop at WalMart and accomplished our tasks. We also got some food to take to our hotel room with us.

We got to the Days Inn and the desk clerk was new. Her parents were from a little town near Kingston, Ontario and, after many years in the USA, had just become American citizens. We had supper in our room and I worked on photos and blogs. My ear was starting to bother me a lot more so Tylenol got added to the ear drops. I booked rooms for Glendive, Moorhead and Marquette before turning in.

Today's Route (334 Equinox miles):

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