Wyoming Wild Flowers

14 July, 2011

This spring we had an abundance of rain, more than usual. This produced green prairies and mountain sides with lush vibrant wildflowers. Many of these flowers I have never seen before.

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Last fall, I scattered native seeds and was pleasantly surprised this spring to see the results.

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Yucca is a native plant to this area. Normally, when you look across the prairie, you will notice them only when you are close up. This year they were in full bloom. I only see displays like this about every 3 years, so this was a very special year for the Yucca.

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Chief Joseph Scenic Highway

01 May, 2011

 

Today, May 1, was the perfect day for a drive along the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway. Named after the Nez Perce chief during the conflict of 1877, this highway and area also has significant historical interest. The Nez Perze during the summer of 1877 were flewing the US Calvary through Yellowstone Park and traveled the trails through the mountains east of Yellowstone and out throught the Clarks Fork Canyon. They eventually surrendered 30 miles from the Canadian border with Chief Joseph’s famous speech, ‘From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.’ There are several interprative signs along the highway giving the history of the conflict in this area.

The Chief Joseph Highway starts at Wyoming Highway 120 and ends about 46 miles at the Beartooth Highway. From there you travel through the Two Dot Ranch for about 8 miles till you enter the Shoshone National Forest. Mule deer along with other wildlife is abudant. The rock formations and colors are stunning. Each time I reach the top of Dead Indian Pass, my breath is taken away with the beauty of the snow covered peaks with several peaks being over 12,000 feet.

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There are many trailheads for hiking and riding off the highway. Sunlight Basin offers another scenic drive to the back country. As we travel along the Clarks Fork River, we look across to the Beartooth Mountains. The Clarks Fork River and Canyon is the division between the Beartooth Mountains(glacier formation) and the Absaroka Mountains(volcanic formation).After we pass through the community of Crandall, I get my first glimpse of Pilot and Index Peaks. This to me is always the crowning jewel of the drive. Today, they were covered deeply in snow, promising the valleys below a good spring run off.

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We enjoyed a picnic lunch and returned home after a relaxing drive. I will travel this highway many more times in the coming months as one of my favorite excursions. All of this is just in our backyard living in Northwestern Wyoming.

Wyoming Trail Riding

14 September, 2010

One of the many wonderful aspects of living near Cody, Wyoming is the spectacular trail riding opportunities. Ronald Reagan once said, ‘there is nothing better for the inside of man than the outside of a horse’.We will often just ride out of place across BLM for a short ride enjoying the mountain views. On other occasions we will trailer a short distance to ride up in the mountains.mountains around Cody WyomingOn Labor Day weekend, we went up Chief Joseph Scenic Highway and down to the bottom of the pass. There we parked the trailer, tacked up and headed down the trail. riding in the mountains near Cody WyomingThis trail takes you along a route to the Clarks Fork Canyon where Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians escaped from the Calvary in 1877 and head north to Montana. The vistas are magnificent. And the granite cliffs are awe inspiring. riding in the mountains near Cody Wyoming.

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On Labor Day weekend, we went up Chief Joseph Scenic Highway and down to the bottom of the pass. There we parked the trailer, tacked up and headed down the trail. riding in the mountains near Cody Wyoming. This trail takes you along a route to the Clarks Fork Canyon where Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians escaped from the Calvary in 1877 and head north to Montana. The vistas are magnificent. And the granite cliffs are awe inspiring.

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After about 4 miles or so, you come to the overlook of the Clarks Fork Canyon and the trail that leds down the south face of the Canyon to the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River.?This trail is very steep and mostly shale and is for the experienced rider. The view from the top is breathtaking and you can almost image Chief Joseph and his band of people and almost 2000 Appaloosa horses traversing this trail.

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Happy Trails!

Riding the Beartooth Mountains

24 August, 2010

 

The third weekend in August we went up to our favorite spot in the Beartooth Mountains with friends. We camp near the old sheep pens across from Little Bear Lake overlooking Chain Lakes. We are at about 9400 feet elevation.

The first day we took a short ride over to Rainbow Lake, crossing a couple creeks. The second day we rode to Top and Dollar Lakes and up the Stockade drainage to Stockade Lake where we had lunch by the lake.

We tightened cinches, mounted up and rode along the creek to Losekamp Lake at the base of Tibbs Butte.

From there we started climbing out of that drainage up to Hauser Lake. From Hauser we went to Rainbow Lake, crossed the Morrison Jeep Trail and back over to camp across from Little Bear Lake. It was about a 6 hour ride of sheer beauty.

On the third day, we rode over to Rainbow Lake and explored a new trail that took us to Top Lake through the woods.From Top Lake, we rode down into Little Sawtooth Lake at the base of Sawtooth Mountain where we had lunch.Then we rode back to camp along the Morrison Jeep Trail and the old sheep trail. To me there is no place closer to heaven than the top of the mountains. Happy Trails!

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Sunday Drive in the Beartooths

22 July, 2010

A beautiful day and drive in our 1939 Chevy Coupe in the Beartooth Mountains. We drove up the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway which is 15 miles north of Cody, Wyoming. We drove along the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River to Cooke City. Then we back tracked and took the Beartooth Highway over the top of the Beartooth Mountains. Charles Kuralt called this highway the ‘most scenic highway in North America’.undefined

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