Sunday, July 01, 2007

1 July 2007 - Utah to Thermopolis, WY

Candleman and Booklogged have completed their first day out! We didn't get on the road until noon, but still made great time and finished the day in Thermopolis, Wyoming.

Crossing familiar territory gave us a good shake down. By the time we got on new turf we were already in the groove; settled in and over the giddiness of being underway.
We stopped in Rock Springs and grabbed a couple of Travel Bugs and some geocoins to carry to points beyond. From there we travelled north where we intersected the old Pioneer Trails and crossed over South Pass. Approaching the Wind River Mountains was awe inspiring. They're so rugged and majestic. Their foothills lead us into Lander. Candleman had been there as a boy and was excited to revisit The Sinks and The Rise. Here the Popo Agie River roars down a steep canyon, makes a hard right turn and dives into the mountain. It is amazing how much water the cavern can swallow without even a burp.
A quarter mile down the canyon, the water calmly emerges at the rise in a large pool that overspills and flows on toward the valley. The Rise has a lofty perch from which one can see into the pool and watch enormous rainbow trout cruise in the pristine spring waters. We encountered a couple from Derby, England at the Sinks. They were a delight to visit with, not only because of their delightful accent, but because of their enthusiasm for life!
We stopped at a little Thai restraunt in Lander for a lovely dinner. Our server was a handsome young Thai man named Neung. In his broken English and on a napkin, he explained that Neung=one, in other words, number one son. He also told us that his brother's name is Song. Sure enough, Song=two. Booklogged had veggie sandwich, but Candleman had Thai food, a plate of sticky rice noodles with bits of pork, green onion, peanuts, preserved radish and fried egg. It had a rather sweet sauce and was amazinly simple and tasty.

After dinner we headed on North. We stopped between Arapahoe and Riverton at a filling station/casino on the reservation, where we found gasoline at 2.80 a gallon! Obviously, they planned on making their money inside. (*Note added 1-10-2009: Gas prices that summer were over $3/gal. Right now in Vernal they are $1.69. We've seen gas as low as $1.35 on the Wasatch Front)
Along the river was pretty and green, but much of this area is dry and quite barren. Not too many interesting features either. Soon however, we approached Boysen Reservoir and looping around it we entered the Wind River Gorge. It's stark majesty is very impressive. We were amazed at the number of mountains in this region. We followed the river to the valley below and Thermopolis where we spent the night.
It is a bit tricky to match text and photos in this program, so I'm just going to include a few along with the dialog. They'll be in order and pretty much self explanitory in most cases. Hopefully, we can give a good enough sampling to let you see what great sights we're seening.


Alyson said...

The Sinks and The Rise sound amazing. I'm glad you guys are off to a good start and already having fun.

Katie and I left Vernal around 7:30 on Sunday. We stopped by Grandma's and visited a little and then went to hang out with Kristi for a while before leaving. We had an uneventful drive and made it safe and sound to my apartment around 10:45pm.

Alyson said...

You must be online right now, because a few things have changed since I typed my comment (including the fact the pictures are now directly under this post). Have a great day today!!

jenclair said...

We lived in Casper, Wyoming when I was young, and I loved it (and all of that mountainous region). Your pictures are wonderful!

ReveryWings said...

so.... far the pictures are familiar and beautiful places that we to have enjoyed over the years.... sounds like you as\re haveing a great time.... may the asezni be with you!