Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
After sleeping at the Sweetwater Station Junction rest stop, we hit the road first thing in the morning. The bulk of Wyoming is genuinely vast nothingness, but it’s absolutely beautiful. We passed rolling hills of sagebrush, barbed wire fencing spanning miles and miles to keep cattle in and snow fences to keep the snow off the roads, the occasional Cottonwood tree, Quacking Aspen or conifer, black cows speckling the landscape, and the sporadic Pronghorn sighting. The creek on the side of the road snaked around as the ground changed from red clay to rolling fields.
After a long scenic drive, we arrived in Lander, WY, a town recommended for us to visit by a shop owner in Laramie. We visited “Old Town Coffee” which was pricey, but became one of our favorite coffee shops during this whole trip. The coffee was well worth the price and the decor was not what you would expect from Wyoming (at least from what we had experienced so far). Trevor told the staff how nice the place was and after they got to talking, they informed us about the free camping in town. There was a park that you could stay at for free overnight so long as you weren’t there longer than 3 days. Lander is located near a lot of rock climbing and bouldering hot spots, so they provided free camping in town to cater to climbers.
After strolling through town, my observations brought me to the conclusion that people in Colorado really loved their Mexican food, but people in Wyoming preferred to get down with Thai cuisine. There were Thai restaurants everywhere (I’m mad I missed out. I love Thai food). We checked out some shops then headed to the park to chill out in the van. We listened to NPR News as they discussed the tornado aftermath in Oklahoma and lowering the legal alcohol limit age to 18 (as it used to be), versus the current age of 21.
We took a trip to Sinks Canyon State Park where we hiked the Popo Agie Nature Trail. Popo Agie is a Crow Indian word pronounced, “Puh Po-Shuh.” As you can imagine I butchered the name the entire time I was there, and still do to this day. Afterwards, we went to the surrounding Shoshone National Forest where we hiked the Middle Fork Trail. During our hike, we were warned to be on the lookout for predators since there was a moose carcass laying down the hill from the trail. It smelled lovely. The hike to Popo Agie Falls was fun and the views were amazing!
We returned to Lander and stopped at “Wild Iris Mountain Sports” before returning to City Park. A guy working there gave us a map with information on the back on where to go bouldering (indoors and outdoors), where to get showers, do laundry, fill up on water, and so forth. We returned to the park to eat and to do some people watching. I was baffled by a White Trash mohawk dude who appeared to be guarding the bathroom. I wasn’t sure if he was selling drugs or giving handies, but I wasn’t trying to go anywhere near the bathroom to find out. I questioned if the trailer, that looked like a fine place to cook meth, belonged to him.
After scoping out the town for a while, we decided to head to Sinks Canyon to utilize their free camping rather than stay in town. I’m pretty sure I saw the same trailer/meth lab that supposedly belonged to the “Guardian of the Lavatory” from earlier. We went for a walk and saw a beaver pop up out of nowhere from the river before returning to our home on wheels.
Jump Back to Part 34: Altitude Sickness & The Hobo Pool
Jump Ahead to Part 36: There’s a Jackalope in Dubois
Start Over at Part 01: The Blue Bubble, Freebies & A Rude Awakening