At times it can be very slow moving or stopped due to road closures. Wind in the Winter is even higher, it can gust up to 75mph, in the east this is called a hurricane. We that live in Wyoming learn to plan trips to town around the weather.
If you are a winter sports activist then driving in extreme Winter conditions is a task required to enjoy your activity. Although tough at times the roads, once you arrive to your destination in the mountains, the pain of Wyoming Winter Travel goes away quickly.
I am 54 and for the first time in my life, I went to the forest to hunt our tree. Mostly for the Christmas in Centennial Celebration, but also for my In-Laws coming for the Holiday’s. I am not a big Christmas celebrator, however it always reminds me of my Mother.
So out to the Medicine Bow National Forest with our tree permit in tow. We drive up about 6 miles from our Hotel and find a spot along the road to park, then gather the tools needed a saw, an axe and a camera. We begin the trek in (you must be at least 500′ from the road). Only 5 minutes in a we find the gem. As I start to chop the tree a feeling of peace comes over me. The sound of the silent forest, the crisp air and thoughts of days gone by(Mom). It was really surreal and serene, with a hint of nostalgic folklore. I was raised in the inner city and we always just went to the lot up the street to get a tree, this was like a whole new world. Out in the forest with the forest spirits and my wonderful wife(with Mom over watching). The tree falls to the forest floor or blanketed snow covering. Handing the tools off, I grab the trunk and start to drag up the hill and then down back to the road. This task also brings feelings of accomplishment and nostalgia. On the road we load the tree in the truck and head back to trim and put up the tree. With a nice cup of Hot Chocolate.
Source: Mountain View Management
I highly recommend Christmas Tree Hunting in the forest.
Mike asked me to attempt writing something that might hold your interest, my first blog.
We take time off in the spring and fall, close the cafe and take in only a few hotel guests so we can make repairs and improvements to the building, relax (which means sleeping in for me) and some travel. This fall we were invited to the Wyoming Tourism Convention in Riverton Wyoming. We passed through the area of Lander and Riverton years ago and have always wanted to re-visit.
We drove over the Snowy Range on Highway 130 in a rain and snow mix. Then we jumped on I-80 to Rawlins and north on US-287 turn at Muddy Gap Junction, which has gas and a store. You can also sign your name or draw a picture anywhere inside the store if you bring your own marker or pen. We stopped to stretch our legs at Devil’s Gate, a geographic feature that the Overland Trail and Pony Express used to navigate the land. The high plain covered in sage, is a grayish-tan, with mountains to the south of us. As we continued west the land starts to show glimpses of red soil until the land and road in front of you drops and whole hillsides are red with white stripes. Our next stop was Johnny Behind the Rock, a trail loop close to Lander. We went our separate ways to explore among the red sandstone formations, large sagebrush and cedars. Mike choose to climb the right side ridge. I stayed below and took pictures of the 5 foot tall sage bushes then climbed the left formation to explore.
The next morning we left Lander for our first Wyoming State Park, Sinks Canyon S.P. The sink itself is pretty impressive, the river in the canyon turns sharply and goes under a cliff then disappears…yes disappears into the ground and comes back up a few hundred yards down the canyon.
It is a place where you want to climb down as far as you can go to see where the hole is. If only we had super flashlights and wet suits. Unfortunately the visitor center closed after Labor Day so we missed out, it looked like there were some interesting displays inside. We were impressed with the signage at the trail head in the state park educating you to be conscious of transferring non-native invasive plant species seeds on your shoes, clothes and pets. We continued to drive up the canyon then started to climb in a series of switchbacks that gave us views of flat land where Lander sits. This took us into the Shoshone National Forest(the Wind River Range is here) where we drove 20+ miles on decently graded gravel roads. There was new signs throughout the Forest, which made us jealous because our forest district (Medicine Bow-Routt) needs a lot of TLC. We saw squirrels, chipmunks a grouse and beaver dams. We stopped at the largest lake and watched the huts for a while in hopes of seeing a beaver being busy, no sightings or sounds.
The conference that propelled us to the area was definitely worthwhile. We met many new people, and the speakers were informative. We learned about the State of Wyoming tourism campaign for the coming year, #ThatsWY And Mike got to meet and speak with our Governor Matt Mead for a few minutes and invited him and his family to visit the cafe soon.
Gold and some light orange these are the colors of fall in the mountains. If you go to high of course the colors disappear due tot he fact no trees grow above 9000′ Here in #centennial #Wyoming we have a nice array of color near the river and on some of the lower mountain roads. Bring a lunch or pick up a carry out order from your favorite eatery and go enjoy the solitude of Fall.
I have always been a great burger seeker. However in today’s market the majority of restaurants serve less than great burgers. Purchased from the cheapest source, and they get away with this due to the fact most of you burger eaters will eat whatever is set in front of you. 95% of the beef is raised with hormones to produce beef faster than a natural growth period for the cattle. Which ruins the beef in my eyes, the taste is bad. Then the water and coloring put in so that you the consumers will buy more if it is bright in color at the market and full of fat, which you consider juicier. I am here to ask you to stop settling for mediocre beef burgers and ask the establishment to serve a better burger. Places are selling less than good burgers for $9 and then when a place offers a great hormone free burger you question $12, but will eat crap on a bun and pay $9 for beef they pay less than 2.50 for a pound. Great beef cost more because it takes more feed to grow a beef naturally. So now I put forth that all of us Great Burger Consumers stand up demand a better burger! Make it known in your community if you find one of these burgers and post it for the world to see, then your community will be Great Burger Seekers and Eaters like me.
I also think someone out here should start a facebook page or group for the Great Burger Quest of the World
The very best time to visit Medicine Bow National Forest is most definitely fall. Less people, better weather, serene beauty of the gold colored aspens. We take walks in the forest on Sunday’s after we close the cafe, sometimes it is a quick walk on the boulders, other times long hikes along the mountain lakes. We bring a lunch and find a rock to sit and eat(finding rocks is not a problem in the Medicine Bow peak area). We think that you too will find the Fall the best season in the mountains. Come up enjoy Wyoming!!!
We love the smell of fresh roasted coffee in the morning! Want to try some of our in-house roasted coffee? Then come on in! The cafe is open from 7-2 Tuesday-Sunday or book a room in our hotel and stay the night! Check our website for more information: http://www.themountainviewhotel.com/.