Torrington WY to Casper WY - 3,290 kms
Jun 29, 2014
After a relaxed breakfast with our hosts we headed off in comfortably mild weather. Through the day the temperature increased greatly but the incredible wind across the high plains dessert cooled things down but made it feel like we worked hard to get here.
We started out by visiting Fort Laramie which was impressive, this is the Cavalry Barracks (1874).
On the way back to the main road we snapped the original Platte River Bridge which came about compliments of the California Gold Rush.
Next we visited Register Cliff State Historic Site which is sandstone cliff where emigrants carved names and dates of their journey.There was also a trading post here for some years, hence the hole blown out of the cliff to store goods in a stable temperature.
Now to some Wagon Ruts, forget the other photos of wagon ruts and swales THESE are wagon ruts carved in sandstone near Gurnsey. We had lunch in a little bar and grill at Gurnsey and were relieved to see the elevation of the town was 4,500 feet plus. We had both been quite breathless walking up the hill to the wagon ruts.
From here we continued to climb and headed for Casper with a side diversion to see the Ayres Natural Bridge west of Douglas. After seeing only sandy and light clay coloured soil all day it was a surprise to start winding down to the water and start to see red soil.
Once we hit the car park we could have been in Central Australia.
And this is the Natural Bridge. It was a beautiful cool spot with lots of families relaxing and sites booked in family names. A number of multi-generational groups obvious. Felt good.
And last but not least we made it into Casper in time to visit the National Historic Trails Interprative Centre which was just as well as it is closed tomorrow. It was a lovely space and had some great exhibits and even if you hadn't seen or heard anything about the Oregon Trail it gave a good snapshot view of it and had interactive exhibits like crossing a river in a wagon and riding in a stage coach (simulated but good) as well as putting that in context with modern times. Worth the visit. This is an impressive larger than life sculpture in the car park.
Bits and Bobs:
Well Australia didn't discover B Doubles check these out........having said that I may be embarrassing myself as I know I had old Uncle's who used to drive Bullock Wagons but they are no longer available to ask and I don't have the photos!.
Last night's Accommodation:
Tea Kettle Ranch B&B, 9634 Van Tassel Road, Torrington, WY 82240
What a treat it was to retreat to this wonderful restful place. Comfortable and spacious accommodation, comfortable bed and we were made to feel very welcome by our hosts Isabel and Calvin. The view from on top of the world (or so it seemed) was breathtaking and it was a treat to learn much about the local history and area as well as what we still have to come. Some great tips also. Included delicious steak dinner and pie for sweets, breakfast, wifi, parking and country hospitality. Would be a lovely spot to chill for a few days.