We set out on the rode around 9:30 this AM. It became apparent the landscape was changing-cowboy hats, personalized ranch signs, fields of angus beef, fields of horses, alphalfa being bailed, etc. Then came the elevation change; we are now at 4,000 feet!
Arriving early, setting up camp, and then going exploring is the best way for us. We climbed around Scottsbluff, satified our curiosity at the NP visitors center, and finished the day with a prime rib dinner! Scottsbluff is where the pioneers encountered the first elevation changes. This created many hardships. Evidence of wagon ruts remain visible today.
This is the city campground-full hook-ups for $15.00/night. Now I can start laundry. Surprisingly the camp host lived in the Va Beach area while in the military. He, actually, met his wife while stationed there and he is from here. The campground closes Oct. 1. We just made it in time.
We are getting closer to our first destination goal-. At supper we met a nice family of five from near-by Wyoming. He is an elementary principal. They have lived on the east coast and now here. So they were full of suggestions about what to see.
Sat we took the auto tour to the summit. Curiosity got the best of us-exploration in real time was even better. Elevation at the summit is 4,649 feet. Along the trail, a senior volunteer stopped to offer more information. He walks this almost daily. Is this the secret to life? Anyway, the car tunnels and the hiking path tunnel were a result of the CCC-dug with pick and ax!! A local couple was out for a Sunday "stroll"; dog included.
The weather seems to be ideal-cool AM/PM; 70's during the day.
OK, that wasn't so bad. Let's go on to Agate Fossil Area! So, off we go. I've never paid alot of attention to palentology(sp). This piqued my interest. After completing primer level at the visitor center, we chose to explore the area where fossils remain. That required a gradual incline for one mile of the two mile loop. We made it with tired legs but glad we went. In this area the park service has identified the fossils and preserved them in plexiglass cases. Did you know the buttes are a result of weather related erosion over 20 million years time? That means the land had a greater depth-right?
I wish you all were able to see with the same 180 degree panorama of my eyes rather than what is captured in a "frame". The whole picture is incredibly beautiful.
I have been reflecting on the perserverance of the pioneers and the CCC workers. They were willing to risk all for possible gain. Then I think on today-we don't like to walk from the parking lot to the building without a shuttle bus!