Wyoming: A Harvest Host, Another State Park, A Boondockers Welcome 

She said… 

One of our friends on Facebook commented that we sure were putting on the miles, and I think it seems like that because we have immersed ourselves in local sights and activities. In fact, while we have been on the road almost three weeks, we are only about 16 hours, or about two days’ travel away from home.

Our original plan was to spend at least two nights at each stop, and because of budget constraints (we hadn’t sold the house yet) I was trying to find as many free campsites as possible. Much of the time this means shorter drive times between stops and only staying one or two nights. This also means doing tear down and set up every other day, which we know is stressful on the cat, but it turns out is stressful on us as well.

On our last full day in Colorado, we snuck across the border and spent some time exploring Cheyenne, Wyoming and surrounds. Our first stop was the Welcome Center, and I must say that this is the most interesting welcome center I have ever seen. It was like a condensed version of the whole state of Wyoming. First was the construction: it was built of rammed earth walls, which, because of lack of timber, was the resource most exploited by the early settlers when they built their homes.

Rammed earth walls at Wyoming welcome center

Our first night in Wyoming was at Table Mountain Vineyards. We belong to a group called Harvest Hosts, a group of farms, ranches wineries, and breweries who invite travelers to stay on their premises at no charge. In exchange, the travelers are expected to help on the premises and/or purchase whatever the host produces. Our first Harvest Host stop was supposed to be Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy in Buena Vista, CO, but we had to skip it because of weather, so we were really looking forward to the vineyard, and they didn’t disappoint. We shared an intoxicating evening with vintner Patrick Zimmerer and his parents, Laurie and Bruce, along with two other travelling couples. We shared tasty food, excellent wine and good conversation, and a wonderful time was had by all.

The next morning, we left the RV at the winery while we snuck across the border to Nebraska to visit Scott’s Bluff, a landmark for the settlers travelling west on the Oregon Trail. After we picked up the house and bid Patrick farewell, we headed off for our home for the next two nights, Guernsey State Park.

The Guernsey Dam was built in the 1920’s creating a huge reservoir to provide power for southeastern Wyoming. In the 1930’s, Guernsey State Park became a center for CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) work in the Rocky Mountains. Groups of workers would compete to see who could build the most outlandish structures, hence The Castle (a palatial picnic shelter) and “The Million Dollar Biffy” (the most beautiful outhouse I have ever had the pleasure of sitting in). There is also a CCC Museum with stunning rock and log work.

Another group we belong to is Boondockers Welcome. While we were still in Aztec we hosted several travelers in our driveway, and now it’s our turn to take advantage. In Douglas, Wyoming we were warmly welcomed by Ray and Lois, Wilma the Brittany spaniel, and a host of barn cats. Ray and Lois made us feel like family, Wilma shared her spacious yard with our dog Maybe, and the kitties had Elsie our travel cat on high alert the entire time we were there. The most disturbing for her was a big tabby named Two Chains who climbed the tree outside our windows so he could stare down on her!

Douglas is a friendly town set in the beautiful Platte River Valley. In fact, everyplace we have been in Wyoming so far has sported beautiful scenery. If I had been traveling through Wyoming on a wagon train I’m not sure that I wouldn’t have opted to stop and put down roots in Wyoming.

Our next stop, and the reason for such a tight travel schedule, is Ten Sleep, Wyoming, where we will be serving at the Circle J Christian Camp for three weeks. Even though we will be working hard, it will be nice to stay in one place for a while.

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