Go West Old Man

I can't believe we finally made it to "the west."  Things seem so different here.  Not only is the environment and geology dramatically different, but there seems to be no people around, even in town.  The most exciting thing is that upon entering Wyoming, the Colorado Rockies appeared on the horizon. 
     Cheyenne, Wyoming turned out to be a fun western town.  We enjoyed a free wagon ride around town and some unique western museums.  On Friday nights it seems that all the locals in Cheyenne gather on the downtown plaza for some free music.  Good music and good people watching.
Nelson Museum of the West

Cheyenne, Wyoming

       We took a day trip to Vedauwoo (Vee-dah-woo) in Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming. Vedauwoo is a small area with weird rock formations.  We stayed all day climbing the rock mountains and hiking around the rock formations.  I climbed about halfway up one of the rock mountains, crawled under a large boulder, and started to feel I made it to an isolated spot.  However, when I made it to the other side of a massive boulder I discovered a nice new picnic table and a fire ring.

Good thing we didn't eat lunch here!

     After Cheyenne we ended up with a lakefront site in the town of Saratoga, Wyoming.  Saratoga is in the "middle of nowhere," has a population of a couple of hundred, but truly looks like a western town with none of the pretention seen in the larger tourist towns.  The best thing about Sartaoga was that it is at the base of the Snowy Mountains and the drive over these beautiful mountains was spectacular.  On the scenic drive, we found ourselves in the middle of heavy snow pack and even found a lunch spot on a river between snow mounds.
Western store in Saratoga, Wy.

Our lunch spot in the Snowy Mountains.

Snowy Mountains

     Next was Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area--wow!  Yes, another lakefront site, but this massive lake, which resulted from the damming of the Green River, featured an amazing array of colors painting steep lakefront canyons and surrounding mountains.  The Sheep Creek Geologic Circuit Road was the highlight of the visit.  The drive was through a very narrow valley with cliffs rising thousands of feet above.  I understand that this is popular location for geology students as the valley transcends through several important geologic eras.  I think this has been our biggest "wow" yet.
Flaming Gorge.
Now this is a lunch spot.
Sheep Creek Circuit Drive

Flaming Gorge

     Our next stop was Fossil Butte National Monument.  Fossil Butte is an ancient lake bottom which preserved fossils between layers of sediment.  Nancy and I joined 2 rangers in their 5' x 10' quarry where they catalogued the fossils which were in that small quarry.  I happened to notice a 3" fish or shrimp fossil in the quarry and the rangers congratulated my discovery by naming the fossil after me!  If you are ever in Fossil Butte you may ask about "Fossil #3796 George F" discovered on June 20, 2014.  Of course, I immediately texted Bryce, Acacia, and Adam and told them I discovered a T-Rex fossil.      
     Now it is on to Oregon.  Heidi and Heather beware!
     If you would like to see a map of our route to date, click on the link below.