Sunday, August 17, 2014

Wyoming: Snowy Grange Scenic Byway and Saratoga

There really is only one word to describe Wyoming and that is"Wow!".  I must have said it a hundred times driving through giant, craggy rocky mountains, the prairie, ranch land, then farm land. The sky is so big here and the variety and extreme of land formations just boggle the mind.  Another thing that boggles my mind is how much money these crop farmers must spend on irrigation!

Driving the Snow Grange Scenic Byway yesterday up 12,000 feet was amazing.   I saw more natural beauty than I could ever possibly describe.  The trees!  Oh my, how beautiful. Wildflowers around lakes...all framed by massive mountains still covered in snow and ice from last winter.

We finally arrived in Saratoga, Wyoming which is exactly what I had in mind for the night.
 If you ever find yourself in Saratoga....and that would be in the summer because you can't get to it in the winter....look around for the old 1800's Wolf Hotel.  It's right downtown...which consists of one street. The hotel is charming and very period of the time in which it was built.  When we checked in and were told there was no AC, I was a little concerned for a minute.  Then I remembered, "this isn't Georgia".  The windows are all open on this cool night, the wind blows the curtains straight out into the room, and an extra blanket feels just right.  Just know it doesn't have an elevator...and there are 20 steep stairs to lug bags up and down.

First thing this morning was a dip, or rather a soak, in the Saratoga Mineral Hot Springs.  A gift of nature open 24/7 at no charge and one of my favorite things of the trip so far.  Next we walked over to Black Hawk Art Gallery and saw works of phenomenal artists of the area.  Turns out the manager "used to live" just a few miles from us back home in Georgia!  She traded in her suburban Atlanta life for the wilds of Wyoming and now, at 64, she hunts and kills the elk for the family every year.I just can't imagine.

The rest of the day we spent in and out of canyons, like Sybille Canyon, and traveling FLAT roads of ranch land as far as you can see in every direction.  Hard to believe we were often the only car in sight.  The population is so much less than I'm used to...and it is such a treat.  Riding beside the Platt River was awe inspiring... always is when I think of the original pioneers going right through here on the Oregon Trail.

Whatever is going on in the rest of the world isn't making a whit of difference out here.  I keep all that in my prayers and hope it gets better soon.  In the meantime, I'm staying in a good space.  Right now it is Wyoming!

Tomorrow:  lots of pictures.  They just won't load in the hotel.  Hope your Sunday is just the way you want it.  


Did you ever see "The Virginian" on TV?  It was popular many years ago.  We visited the original Virginian Hotel in Medicine Bow where the movie was originally written.  It was like stepping way, way back in time.

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