Our second stop in Wyoming wasn’t nearly as exciting as the first. We had a planned stop in Rock Springs, WY as a halfway point of sorts between Cheyenne and Salt Lake City. Another rough travel day and we were rewarded by the biggest mud hole posing as a campground.
Blow Over Risk
We heard horror stories about I-80 and the blow overs due to the wind and were a little apprehensive about the drive across Wyoming. Pat has now determined that the wind in Kansas was just the warm up. Wyoming has the “real” wind with 40-50+ mph gusts. There were overhead signs all along the way warning of blow overs and the speed limit dropped to as low as 35 at one point. We took it super slow even though the truckers were whizzing past. At one point we saw two of them in the ditch. They didn’t heed the speed limit we’re guessing and we felt kinda smug.
It started out bright enough, even sunny, but then takes a turn for the worse. My side of the windshield was iced over and the road was getting nasty, too. Just when we were ready to bail out, the snow stopped and the road cleared up. The wind, however, never let up.
The Mud Pit
We finally make it to Rock Springs only to find the campground a muddy mess. It was such a quagmire that the guy in the camper next to us carried his rather large dog to the grassy dog park. The rest of the park was gravel and brown, sticky mud. We took off our shoes as is our normal custom, put down towels for Jackson, wiped his feet, and still managed to get mud on everything. Mud on the floor, mud on the couch, mud on the couch pillows. And the relentless wind blew the mud on our pants – up to our thighs! If we hadn’t had reservations here, I think we would have mushed on.
We did find that the area lived up to Pat’s mom’s assessment. She told us it had a lonely beauty and I’d have to agree. The hills were layers of colors, but craggy with very little vegetation. And different faces depending on the weather, which remained mostly icky.
View from our campsite of the misty, moisty hills.
The next day we took a walk and enjoyed a little sunlight and the stark beauty. Some of the nasty mud did dry up. This picture is the hands-down favorite for this stop.
Top picture is looking back towards the highway with the snow capped hills and train in the background. Pat and Jackson start climbing and of course I had to take a picture of the delicate flowers that managed to hang on to the craggy soil. I was delighted by the Jack Rabbits, but they were too quick for photos. They had really tall ears and big pom pom tails. Just goes to show you that even the nastiest spots have something interesting to offer.
We took the day of downtime in the goop to do some chores. I needed to get some graduation cards in the mail and Pat worked on paying the bills and recording receipts. We also needed to seriously think about the next part of the trip since we only had one more reservation in Salt Lake City. With the continued snowy, cold weather, we decided to look at a different path. Surprisingly farther North was faring better than our current latitude. So, we’re going to try to go West and North a bit quicker. Montana is out and Oregon is in! We have tentative spots picked out – two in Idaho, one in Oregon and two in Washington, but we’re going to see how it goes. You’ll know where when we do.
Hey, another bit of good news. We bought a pizza in the campground store and baked it in the convection oven. Our first pizza and it turned out great! A nice little treat while we watched it rain, snow, and sleet.
Next up is Salt Lake City and the drive over the mountains. And ground squirrels! Can’t wait to tell you about them. See you on the way.