Wednesday, November 28, 2012

We left southeastern Wyoming and headed north, then west toward Casper, Wyoming, the second largest city in the State. Cheyenne being the largest. In order to see as much of each state as possible, we usually set our next destination about three hours away. It takes about 3-4 days to see and visit the area before we continue on. We wanted to see the middle of the state, so we set our sights on Riverton, then on to Cody. The Wind River Casino is in Riverton and we selected the Wind River RV Park hoping it would be similar to the Jackson Rancheria in California or the Seven Feathers Casino in Oregon.


We left southeastern Wyoming and headed north on I-25 toward Casper. Gentle rolling hills greeted us after coming out of Denver and the Rocky Mountains. These would soon give way to huge prairies.

One of our first "large" cities was Douglas, Home of the Jackalope, which is rumored to be a Jackrabbit with antlers similar to an antelope. Does such an animal truly exist? Well, it depends on who is telling the story.  Some say it's a mythical creature and others say its real, caused by a viral infection in rabbits. Regardless, they are mentioned as far back as the 16th Century.

We spied what appeared to be a Jackalope perched on this hillside, but then realized it was just another statue similar to others we had seen throughout the State of Wyoming. The City of Douglas is proud of it's claim to fame as the Jackalope Capitol of the World.

Click here: Jackalopes-Myth or Real

After passing through Casper, we turned west on US20, a very nice two lane highway. The middle of Wyoming is mostly prairie land with a few hills here and there. We were surprised at how sparsely populated the State is. It was mostly ranchland, with a few scattered farms and small businesses thrown in.

With mostly flatland and sage brush, the area was perfect for the Pronghorn. While not truly an antelope, in North America, it continues to be known as such. We saw many Pronghorns along the highway, some in groups and many simply by themselves. These animals are larger than deer but smaller than elk. In Wyoming, they outnumber people.

Another one of Wyoming's hillside dwellers. This fellow was pointing the way to Thermopolis, Wyoming with it's hot springs and the Wyoming Dinosaur Museum.

Once we passed through towns like Moneta and Shoshoni, we encountered Boysen State Park. Usually a beautiful setting with blue water, recent rains and wind had stirred up the water and the silt on the bottom so the water was brown and uninviting. This is just east of Riverton.

Just north and east of Riverton there is a campground and day use area. With a name like "Poison Creek", it was not appealing to us. As it turns out, there's not much there. Only redemption is it's right on the water. There are no hookups and really nothing more than a wide spot on the Boysen Reservoir. Nothing appealing at all, but the name is interesting.

We finally arrive in Riverton, population 10,615. There are four rivers that converge nearby, giving the City its' name. It is also know as The Rendezvous City, as it has, for centuries, been a meeting place, first by Native Americans and later by settlers, homesteaders and prospectors. It is surrounded by the Wind River Indian Reservation.

The Wind River RV Park is near the center of town and is not affiliated with the Indian Casino of the same name. In fact, they still had their old name on the sign out front. It was a dated campground, with few amenities, but it was clean. Since we make lemonade out of lemons, we still enjoyed the park, walks around the area and visited the casino about 5 miles away.
That's it for today. Next up...we head through Thermopolis and on to Cody, Wyoming and the eastern side of Yellowstone National Park.....

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