July 12 -14, 2015:
We are heading north today on route 191 for Rock Springs, Wyoming. Yes, we are going into Wyoming ! I don’t know what is going on, either I’m getting older or these roads are getting tougher ? We had a hill on this path that was so steep, the Hawk was grinding up there, full throttle, down to second gear, 4,500 RPM, it was brutal. Once at the top, of course then it’s all down, just as bad.
Twinkles and I met up at the Rock Springs Walmart parking lot, picking up some groceries and then decided where to go from there. Our first choice, the County fairgrounds was out as the National high school rodeo competition is there all week. You don’t mess with the rodeo in Wyoming ! The next choice, the High Desert Storage and RV Park turned out to be a dump, the KOA expensive and like a parking lot and we didn’t feel like doing the Walmart parking lot. As a result, we ended up at The Travel Camp 13 miles down the road in Green River, Wyoming. It was a good move, a really decent full hookup campsite with believe it or not, good working WiFi. If you can sleep through the highway and railroad noise that is ?
After setting up I went off to explore downtown Green River and Rock Springs. This is truly beautiful country and Green River is a real heavy duty Railroad and Mining town. Green River, Wyoming is known as the "Trona capital of the world" with the largest and purest deposit of Trona in the world. I had never heard of Trona before but they say it is used in about everything. The railroad yard is also huge and busy. I found the Brewery, an outstanding old Brewery building from the late 1800’s that also proved to have friendly clientele. I somehow had a huge beer plus a shot for $2.00. A number of other interesting buildings were observed in town.
|I'm sitting in the parking area of this gravel pit thinking about the little piles |
in front of me wondering if that great rock formation will end up the same ?
|The Green Gander is a great sign and across from the|
railroad yard, has to be a favorite of the crews
|The Hotel Tomahawk, love the name and it was a grand hotel in it's day|
|This is a bingo parlor and as I was walking past a couple middle aged women|
came out, another great sign
|The Brewery is for real, it was the first Brewery in|
Wyoming and in 1907 was so popular that
they produced 18,000 bottles a day ! Their slogan
was "the beer that made Milwaukee jealous"
|The rail line through Green River was very active|
|A store front downtown, I'm wondering if the Lincoln Highway did|
pass through here ?
Rock Springs also has a great old historic area with a railroad and coal mining heritage.
|Coal is king here|
|Nice to see that they are restoring much of the old buildings downtown|
|A nice historic area of town|
|Hotel Rex sign is great|
|The Pickin' Palace music store, love the bench|
|It's still a real railroad town, that's a nice old bank building in the rear|
I could have spent much more time in both towns, but you just can’t see it all, this is my biggest frustration. This is a one nighter, it’s rare that we do this, but we feel the need to move on. As a result, we are back on the road in the morning to somewhere around Pinedale, Wyoming.
It was about 130 miles to Pinedale across wide open range land, only a couple of small villages until Boulder and then Pinedale. Pinedale is sort of the southern gateway to Grand Teton National Park and has lots of shops, restaurants and tourist services with a western flavor. We had an idea from our internet research about a potential BLM campground north of town. We stopped at the Pinedale visitors center for travel info and ask about campgrounds. They agreed with our thinking that the Warren Bridge BLM campground should be good and available. We also visited the BLM office where they concurred and had a good area map.
The campground turned out to be better than expected, nice open pull through level sites, a dump station, water spigots all over, fire pit, picnic table and good mountain views for $5.00 a night. It is also next to the Green River which we’ve been following for a while now. There are also free camping sites across the road along the river but the sites are few and the road is very steep.
We make a trip to downtown Pinedale for laundry, a car wash, new sandals for Twinkles, lunch at the White River Brewing Company and a visit to the Museum of the Mountain Man. The museum has great exhibits on the mountain men, but I have to agree with Twinkles, they were more misfits and thugs than heroes.
|View from the RV|
|Romantisized painting of a Mountain Man rendezvous, a|
number of these were held in Pinedale
|The Cowboy Bar in Pinedale|
|Mountain Man sculpture in front of cattle mural at the|
visitors information center
|Pronghorns watching us closely|
|A Short-eared Owl sitting by the roadside|
An interesting side fact we learned was how the Pronghorn migration from their winter range near Green River, Wyoming to their summer range in the Grand Teton area is second largest wildlife migration in the North America. This has become a problem as they must cross route 191 with much high speed traffic. As a result, a couple of highway overpasses have been built just for the Pronghorns to cross over safely.
Next stop is Grand Teton National Park;