The road out of town we decide to take heads us back into Yellowstone before exiting South West through the Grand Tetons National Park. It is a scenic route and nice road with the trees turning yellow and orange for autumn.
We reach the town of Dubois quite late that evening for us, about 7pm. We stop in a diner we find on the side of the road. Expecting the usual choice of burgers or burgers, we are pleasantly suprised by the great choice of food which is delicious. After loading up our plates with salad from the salad bar (yes folks Darren now eats salads!) we get chatting to a local Harley/ hog rider who is an ex-marine, now he builds custom bikes for people. He is really welcoming and leaves his business card with us saying 'if we need anything in Wyoming just give him a call'.
He also recommends a camp ground nearby which we head straight to after leaving the diner. It's now 8.15pm and dark so pitching the tent is less successful than usual. We manage to get there in the end and settle down for another noisy night, provided by the locals at 'kicking out time' of the pubs - a couple arguing loudly - I guess Friday night is the same the world over!
We leave Dubois and head out south east through the Wind River Indian Reservation. At first the scenery is rolling hills and lakes as we follow the river down.
This turns to open plains after about an hour and the horizon seems to stretch forever. Its very windy and the openess of the area means you can clearly see the rain clouds tracking across the sky ahead. Manageing to avoid the downpours, we seem to ride for mile after mile in a straight line, looking on the horizon the road disapears over a small rise and you guess moves left or right, but no, on reaching the rise the road stretches out still further in a straight line and this continues for the next three hours.
At one point on the road we spot an eagle which swoops down to land on our side of the road. Darren backs off the throttle and as we approach it decides to take off, after two flaps off its huge wings it flies forward towards us as we pass, Darren moves us to the middle of the road and I manage to duck forward to avoid a collision. Wow, that was close -so close that I am suprised not to find a huge wet bird poo splattered down my back when we stop.
Finally the flat landscape gives way to a few more trees and rocky outcrops as we pass through the Shoshone National Forest. The destination for the day is a place called Rock Springs and our planned campground, on arrival however it was clear that we would have to make other arrangements - the campground was on heavy gravel and alongside the Interstate.
So after another couple of hours heading west now, we come across a much more welcoming campground in the town of Lyman. Its now after 4pm and clearly about to rain, so we set about getting the tent up before it starts. I decide to head over to the reception and check emails while Darren pops down the road to the nearest ATM about 10mins away.
Get me outta here now!
During the time he is away I get accosted by two (Ugly) sisters travelling by car for the purpose of deer hunting. These women cheerfully introduce themselves stating that they haven't washed for 5 days and can't wait to get into the showers -
how nice. This is confirmed by several flies humming around them both.
Personally, I am not a fan of hunting innocent animals and shooting them dead while they are minding their own business, then stuffing them and hanging them on a wall for no other reason except to brag about shooting it. However, I know that this opinion is not going to go down too well in America as it is a huge pastime for many people here, so I make my excuses and leave.
Before I can get to the door Ugly Sister number 1 has started bragging about shooting a deer this morning, dragging it 500 yards to her car, haling it into the boot, driving to the campground toilets where she preceded to butcher it on the bathroom floor using an electric carving knife and plenty of extra gory detail which I am not going to mention here.
This is the most revolting woman I have ever met and I resolve never to speak to her again.
Unfortunately this is not the case and after several more very odd and awkward encounters we manage to finally escape the next morning.
It is a relief to be out on the open road again, I suppose we had to meet a few nutters sometime!
I must admit, that was probably the quickest we have got packed away and on riding out of the campground I could hear Em breath a sigh of relief, it really was a very strange encounter.
New day, new destination, this time we plan to overnight in Vernal which means riding across the border from Wyoming into Utah, passing through the spectacular Flaming Gorge National Recreational Area as we do so.
As soon as you cross into Utah you notice the red rock everywhere, the roads become more twisty as we gain altitude and the wind is fierce. It starts to get colder as we ride through the forested part of the recreation area, climbing still higher we once again manage to avoid the heavy showers.
Once we reach the top of the road , we look down to the prehistoric landscape which is the area around Vernal. The road down to the town is great fun, steep downhill hairpin bends, offering views of the quarry areas either side of us - the mining is for Phosphates to be used in fertilisers.
The town of Vernal proves to be a bit disapointing, maybe it's the rain or the high price of accommodation here. The town is famous for its dinosuar finds and landscapes. Everywhere you look there are plastic lifesized dinosuars marking the postion of another tourist trap.
Posted by Darren Homer at December 07, 2007 02:49 AM GMT
We head out the next day to Colorado where we hope to see some real dinosaur finds .
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