Looking for warmer country we headed south. 38 miles from the Montana border is Cody, Wyoming (population 9,268) known as the “Gateway to Yellowstone National Park.” Just a few blocks from downtown Cody we found the Ponderosa RV Campground, an amazingly quiet place considering they squeeze 137 RVs together on a very small piece of land. It took only a few minutes to “squeeze” our RV into spot #26. Considering we had less than 8 feet on each side, and the neighbors were watching, the hubby did quite well. If you have ever tried to assist your spouse with parking a RV, you know that it can become ugly fast, take the best of marriages down. I avoid this situation as often as I can, I have even been known to pay the park hosts to go help him park. The best $10 I’ve ever spent.
We toured the town and visited all the tourist attractions, including the Gunfight at the Irma Hotel, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Old West Miniature Village, and walked through all the art shops in town. Cody has developed a great tourism trade and
handles a large amount of people very well.
Monday morning we loaded up and set out for Thermopolis, about a 90 minute trip south. We found a space in the Fountain of Youth RV Park. Thermopolis is known for their hot springs. The RV park had 3 mineral pools for their guests. Each evening the owner sang and played his guitar at poolside as the sun set, a great ending to the day.
Between trips to the pool we visited the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, the Hot Springs County Museum and Cultural Center, visited bison at the state park, and walked through the downtown area. It takes a while to get accustomed to the smell of the hot springs but the town was clean and friendly.
Our next stop would be Flaming Gorge Reservoir, in the northwest corner of Utah.
The gorge was named by John Wesley Powell after he and his men saw the sun reflecting off of the red rocks during his exploration of the Green and Colorado Rivers. South of Thermopolis we traveled through Wind River Canyon, along the Popo Agie River, through Red Canyon, and along the Green River, beautiful country. We set up our dry camp in Antelope Flats camp ground north of the small community, Dutch John. Because our fishing equipment got left in Texas we spent our time touring the area around the lake, hiking, and visiting with our neighbors in camp.
After 3 nights we started working our way back to Meeker. The remote valley along the Green River in north-western Colorado is home to Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge.
This area has been one of our favorite spots, always providing great hikes and wildlife. On this trip I got to see my first osprey, and plenty of deer and elk. We spent our last night on Douglas Mountain just east and south of the refuge and next to Dinosaur National Monument. Douglas Mountain may be Colorado’s best kept secret. Very remote but easy to find and provides great wildlife watching and hiking. During our last evening, while watching the sun go down and the bats come out of the trees, we reviewed our trip. We concluded; considering we are two people who have always led very structured lives that we did pretty good. We are still married, talking to each other, had a great time, and will do it again. So we held hands and watched the stars, pretty pleased with ourselves.