After being a tent camper for years and years, I recently purchased a teardrop camper. I bought it mainly for security and safety while traveling. I hope to join some communities of women campers to make more friends and connections.

I am a reader and a writer; a momma and a grandma; a sister and a daughter. I have been a teacher and librarian for over 25 years. I used to blog here for new teachers, but now I have changed to blogging about my travels, and just for fun.

I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Jackson, Wyoming

The drive from the SE part of  Wyoming to the Western part is gorgeous. You can see the mountains creeping up on you as you drive west. The high desert has a beauty of its own.

Entering the park was so exciting for me! I'll be returning to the Bridger area later in my trip.
The Rocky Mountains are incredible!
Of course, at the Welcome Center to the Teton area, there was a huge set of more trophy animals. I didn't even flinch when I went in, but the Ranger told me NOT to go upstairs in the center, because it would really creep me out!

This display was really kind of pretty, considering that the building is right next to the National Elk Refuge, a large grassy area with a small river going through the center of it.

I camped in the Gros Ventre (pronounced Grow-vant') Campground just northeast of Jackson, WY. I had a fantastic view and a spacious site for a couple of nights. This is a large campground with sites for tents only, small rigs like mine, and giant trailers and bus-type RVs. I rode my bike all around the campground in the early evenings when people were walking and visiting. I met some nice folks who asked about my camper, and while riding around. My first night here, it got down to 36 degrees! I was so cold that I drove into Jackson to shop for some long johns. No one had any, so I ended up getting a light blue zip-up hooded jacket and some gray sweat pants. I am glad I got to wear them the second night! Brrr!

 My Dad asked me how I was going to change my clothes in Franklin, and here's how! I draped some shower curtains around the doorway and clipped it to the tarp. I had all the privacy I wanted. I even took a "cowboy bath" in there!

I set up my Little Free Library here in camp, and several people visited. I counted 2 new books and 4 taken. Yay!

 I went into Jackson to do some shopping and looking around. It is a nice town that kind of reminded me of  Aspen, CO.

I loved looking at the ski area called Snow King very near the downtown area in Jackson.

There are quite a few outfitters in Jackson that will take you white water rafting. I thought this display was so cute!

Antler arches on all four corners of Jackson's town square. They were having an international dance competition during my stay, so I had a picnic in the park and watched the dancers from Russia, Poland, and Taiwan.

I would love to come back to Jackson in the winter time to do some snowmobiling and other winter time activities.

I knew I wanted to go on a horseback trail ride, so I found this gem of an outfit that gave one of my most fun trail rides! Here are some pictures from the ride:

Tetons north of Jackson.

The town of Jackson down in the valley.

View of the mountains east of the Tetons.

The Sleeping Indian mountain.

Grand Teton National Park to the north.

Gros Ventre Campground is along the tree line.

Elk Refuge; you can see the sleeping Indian at the top left.

Jackson Hole Ski area.

Me and my trusty steed, Maggie!

LOVE this! :)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ryan Park

I can't believe I didn't take a better picture of my campsite. 
Moose Trail across from my campsite.

This a pretty small campground, compared to Curt Gowdy. My spot is right across the road from Carroll Creek and I can hear the rush of the creek (and occasional highway traffic) inside my camper! It was pretty warm when I arrived here last night, and the bugs were awful! Lots of mosquitoes and flies. I talked with the camp host and he said that this was "just Wyoming"! Yuck! Well, as soon as the breeze came up, the bugs didn't bother me too much. I set up my camp spot and put up the fly. I even managed to get the kitchen area covered as well as the front porch area. The water was shut off at the campground, so I had to drive a couple of miles down the road to the ranger's station.  Firewood is pretty easy to find around here, so I got a fire going just at sunset around 8:45. I heated up some chili for supper and enjoyed the campfire for about a half hour. I went ahead and aired up the air mattress and slept so much better last night.
Bad Kitty - glad for the air mattress.
I made eggs, sausage, and toast for breakfast. For some reason, I was really hungry this morning, and THIRSTY! I ended up going back twice to the ranger station to get water today so I could shower and do some laundry.
Yummy hot breakfast.

I took a short bike ride around the campground while some VERY noisy neighbors (who came in late last night) got their stuff packed away to leave (thank goodness).  I couldn't believe how loud they and their children were!Apparently, they didn't read the information at the entrance about camp manners! None of the other people in the campground with children are loud at all.

After getting water the second time around, I decided to hike the Moose Trail which surrounds the Ryan Park campground. The host said it was perfectly safe to hike by myself. I could see the campground almost the whole time.

Beautiful tall trees alongside baby ones.

The trail wound around through the woods and high prairie grasses and flowers. It took me about an hour because I kept stopping to take pictures! It was a little less than a mile, but a good beginning to this trip's hikes.

After that, I did laundry, washed my hair and did some catching up on this blog. Now, I just need to go upload all of this for my blog down at the local cafe.
Here is what I had to deal with at the cafe:

Thanks to Rayette, the co-owner of the cafe, I came to respect the art of a dead animal head or stuffed animal. Her husband killed the mountain goat. I am a little less freaked out by trophies by this time.

My hair is so straight here - only 10% humidity! Lovin' the camping life! 

Medicine Bow National Forest

West of Laramie is where the mountains really make you gasp! I had to gear down for a few places where the highway was steep. I reserved a space at the Ryan Park campground, and it happened to be on the far side of the Medicine Bow National Forest.

Driving through Medicine Bow was a breathtaking journey through the pines and aspens. I stopped at the summit and took some pictures.

Bad Kitty is glad we made it over the pass! It was really cold!

Look at all that snow! Several people had to take a look at Franklin while we were here.

Snow was on both sides of the highway and looked like it had just been scraped on the entrance to Sugarloaf Ski Resort!

Laramie Bound

I barely slept last night. I hadn't used the air mattress because it didn't fit with my beach chair in the camper and I was determined to have a chair in the camper.

Bike race!
The bike racers took off up the hill next to my campground around 9:00. Earlier this morning, I put up my fly just to get some experience with it. It stayed up well and after a relaxing morning, I packed up and got on my way to Laramie. I can hardly begin to describe the beauty of this area! There is a mountain range, then a big valley where Laramie is located.

Sculpture of Abraham Lincoln in honor of the Lincoln Highway.

Display at the Welcome Center.

Wouldn't you know, the Welcome Center would have a stuffed bear. ICK!

Wagon rides in Laramie.

I found a shady parking spot kind of far away from the old town area. It turned out that they were having a city-wide celebration with a carnival, food trucks, live music, and booths selling crafts. I ate some delicious Alaskan cod from a food truck. The young man running it gets the cod from his father, who is a fisherman in Alaska, trucked in! Yum! I rode my bike from my parking space all around the downtown area and then around the town. I think I could live there!

Heading West

I left the farm about 11:00 and drove around to some of my favorite places in McCook. I have fond memories of happy family vacations and seeing lots of relatives in this town! The people in my Grandma and Grandpa's old neighborhood probably thought I was crazy taking a picture of their house. I also drove down Norris Avenue - a brick, divided street that goes downtown. McCook is a quaint small city and I'm proud to have been born there!
Grandpa and Grandma's house on East 5th Street.
I drove north to North Platte to travel on I-80 west. I think I figured out why I always drew landscape pictures this way!

The sand hills north of McCook are absolutely stunning!

I should have called a couple of cousins who live in North Platte, but I was determined to get to Cheyenne and camp west of there that night. There wasn't a lot to see west of NP, but the highway steadily climbed to higher elevations and I began to see mountains in the distance! I went through a small thunderstorm, but missed some bigger ones that were in Cheyenne just before I arrived.

Here's a big storm brewing over the high plains. I could see it many miles away.

This storm did some damage in Cheyenne.

Cheyenne is the capital of Wyoming. People were friendly and the weather was so cool compared to Oklahoma. I found a shady parking spot and walked around the old town center a bit, visiting their famous train station. Can you believe that women were allowed to vote first in Wyoming?

Cheyenne's Train Station

Baggage claim area and now gift shop.

Little Free Library in the station!

Train switch.

Wyoming capitol building getting a face lift.

Looking toward the train station on Capital Street from the capitol building.

The station was restored and the gift store lady was welcoming and helpful. She gave me the best directions to Curt Gowdy State Park, where I was going to stay that night. I took the Happy Jack highway, which was picturesque and I couldn't help but imagine all the pioneers who took the Overland Trail through there on the way to a better life. I saw an antelope near the fence next to the highway. What a surprise!

Nice entrance gate to the state park.

All set up in the Aspen Glen camp section.

Curt Gowdy State Park is a really nice park. It kind of reminded me of Keystone State Park in Oklahoma, how the campsites are close to the water. I found a quiet spot in a grassy area near a large stand of Aspen trees. The couple next to me helped direct me backing in to my space and were enthralled with Franklin!  Annie is a teacher and she and Max live in Ft. Collins. They were there with some friends to do a mountain bike race the next day. I rode my bike around the camp area a little, trying to get some oxygen! The bathroom was kind of far away, so my bike was helpful. I had a bit of a headache from the altitude (8300 ft.), but it wasn't too bad. I was just thirsty and hungry.

I ended up moving stuff around in the galley and the camper. I just didn't know how everything was going to work, I think I have things arranged just right now. I had my first campfire, enjoyed the antics of the prairie dogs and chipmunks, and toasted a marshmallow this evening.