|08-17-2007 Movin' On to Casper, WY
Friday, August 17, you can't teach two old dogs new tricks. We got up this morning and packed it all up to move again. First I took a walk down a few streets in the adjacent mobile home park. The sun it hot on the high plains already at 8:30 a.m. I waved at Benito and Delores out doing chores.
Bob checked the air in all of the tires. Everything is fine so far. We head north on I-25 at 10:15. Today we traveled incident free but we kept a wary eye on the tires for sure. It gets quite hilly with some long, steep pulls between Douglas and Casper, WY, along the North Platte River. We take exit 188B (Poplar St.) to Collins around Three Crowns Golf Club and follow the sign to Ft. Caspar Museum. Ft. Caspar Campground is right behind the museum on the banks of the North Platte River at 4205 Ft. Casper Rd., Casper, WY 82604 (307) 473-2955.
We enter the Park through their unique archway, hand constructed from individual logs selected from the crandall fires of Yellowstone National Park that occurred in 1988. We ring the bell by the locked front door and a gal says through a speaker that she'll be right there. A guy shows up about that time with a sandwich on a paper plate and lets us in. The gal comes and takes $185.00 for one week. She points us to #71, a back-in site. The entire RV Park is sandy gravel with no grass. It looks like most of the people are living here permanently and working in the area.
We set up quickly and head downtown to find lunch. We are relieved to be here by 1:00 without trouble. In town we find Poor Boy's Steakhouse on Central Ave. and eat in the 'historic' Pump Room (oil is the big industry here.) The Pump Room is a posh, dark-paneled bar and dining room with high-backed leather swivel chairs. The menu looks interesting. We order their 'unique' version of salads; Chicken Cordon Bleu for me and Buffalo Shrimp for Bob. Fries and shredded cheese come on top of the salad. We expected monster salads but they were sized like a side salad in flat soup bowls. At $8.49 each we thought they were pricey.
We left and went east on 2nd Street and found Albertson's (I picked up a handy phone book at the RV Park) where we stocked up on groceries. Then we took Wyoming (Casper's outer loop) all the way around to our campground on the west side. We spotted a new Super Wal-Mart just west of our campground. Who knew? We took a break and read the paper, turned on the A/C since the high was 93, and around 5:30 we jumped on our bikes. You can access the Platte River Parkway Trail from our RV Park-we love that!
We had to air the tires up first as they were 15 to 20 pounds low. It's a tire thing! We went east on the trail and took a wrong turn that dead-ended in a park along the Platte River where bridge construction was going on. So we consulted the bike trail map I picked up on the office at the RV Park and saw where we got off of the Platte River Parkway. Bob pointed out a small snake on the trail again. We got about three and half miles out and black clouds and rain were heading our way over the Laramie Mountains. We took shelter under Poplar Street overpass. Just across the road we could see the Black Hills Bentonite Plant (They make kitty litter.) There is a pile of kitty litter material the size of a mountain that can be seen from all over town.
Bob pulled the bikes up a rock embankment and stowed them under the shelter of the road. Wind blew rain under the overpass but we were high and dry. The North Platte River is rushing and very high. We were stranded about 45 minutes under our temporary shelter. It really got chilly. Finally, about 7:00 p.m. we braved a slight drizzle and headed back. Whew-what a cold ride! Where was this weather when we were sweltering on the Colorado trails in Greeley and Ft. Collins?
About half way back the rain let up and we could see clear skies in the west. We didn't sling too much water and gunk up on us (our hybrid bikes have no fenders.) We took shelter under the front entryway of the Water Treatment Plant just to warm up and dry off for a bit. We didn't stay long. Just around the bend Bob came to an abrupt halt in front of me. A huge black mastiff was running loose on the trail ahead. Soon we saw his owner with a younger version of this same breed of dog. The younger dog was on a leash. So we went by unharmed.
We were home by 7:30. All of the worker bees are home at the RV Park. There is a gang of kids playing Frisbee on the road in front of our rig. We put the bikes in the carport and went inside to warm up. Bob spotted a double rainbow out of our front window. We had a long, hard day but it was much more fun than yesterday.
It's 9:56 p.m. and 70.6 degrees.