Posts Tagged ‘Sheridan Wyoming’

The van’s loaded, the cabin shut for the winter, and we’re on our way.  Let’s pause at the as we get on the Red Grade Road and take a look at the mountains in the dawn.  Do you see Black Tooth back there, about right in the middle, still with snow?

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The view just as we start to descend is even more beautiful than usual.

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No, this isn’t some after-death experience post, so sorry if you came here expecting something different.  We’ve seen a lot of views in and from the Bighorn Mountains, but what do they look like seen from “down below?”  What’s the view I see on arrival that makes my heart beat a bit faster and my soul sigh with contentment?

We’ve gotten our books and groceries, so it time to head home.  Before we get to the Red Grade Road, let’s stop for a moment (no cars coming) and take a look at where we’re heading.  Be careful driving here just at dusk or at dawn.  There are deer everywhere and they can seriously damage your car/van/truck!

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It’s a much clearer view today than the day with all the smoke.  Do you recognize Black Tooth?  We’re almost back.

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Summer is forest fire season in the west and this year was no exception.  Fortunately, none of the fires was close to us, but smoke from these fires often travels hundreds of miles.  One day there was so much smoke that it was as if we were in a thin fog, with a smell sharp enough to make me feel that the fire was just over the ridge.  This is what it looked like later in the day.  The peak just to the left of center is Black Tooth, a bit over 13,000′ high and still adorned with patches of snow in August, as were a number of other peaks this year.

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A number of years ago, a fire got close enough to the cabins for us to see the flames, forcing all of us to evacuate.  The fire jumped part of the Red Grade Road, but thankfully, our cabins and almost all others in the area were spared.  I never want to be that close or closer to a forest fire again.

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​In the mid-seventies when my dad came home one day talking about an opportunity to buy a cabin in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains, I heard the words “mountains” and “horses” together. That’s all I needed to know. My vote was “Yes.”

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Do you ride?  If not, don’t worry.  Among the almost 50 horses are plenty of gentle ones and I can give you pointers.  We ride Western, with cowboy-style saddles, and up here, we can ride for miles and miles, usually without encountering another person or rider. Western saddles are built for comfort and riding long distances and the saddle horn, used by cowboys to tie one end of a rope is great for holding on to if needed. Just remember the rule:  if you go through a gate that’s open, leave it open.  If it was closed, close it.  There are cattle in some places and letting them out from where they should be and into where they shouldn’t is a big no-no.

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(Obviously I didn’t make it clear when I started posts about my Wyoming trip that I’ve already been there and am now back home, writing these as though you’re coming along with me.  🙂 So thanks for the wishes for a great trip.  I had one and now I hope you’ll have one, too. )

Just as hobbits have second breakfasts, I have a second home, one I’ve been coming to for over 40 years.  Arriving at the cabin feels like coming home.  But just as at home, I must have supplies.  We’ll need to make several stops in Sheridan before I take you up the mountain.

First comes the library.  Stocking up on books is key when the nearest library is 45 minutes away.  Next, groceries.  Although I brought several boxes of supplies/necessities, I have to get the rest of what I need for my recipes.  Have everything you need?  Let’s head up the mountain.

The unpaved, generally unimproved road is the Red Grade Road. Yeah, it’s quite rough this year with lots of loose rock.  Fifteen miles per hour is about the limit, up or down.  (This is what makes meal planning vital!) The van doesn’t have four-wheel drive, but it goes up pretty well. We’re over 7,000′ now.  And here’s the cabin.  Let’s haul all the bags and boxes in, have some dinner, and sit on the porch enjoying the view.

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View from the porch

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