Sunday, July 19, 2009

Buffalo, WY near the Big Horn Mountains

(Jan) Buffalo, Wyoming, located along the historic Bozeman Trail, was founded in 1878 to provide services to soldiers at nearby Fort McKinney. This town and area have been the center of events such as the Johnson County Cattle War, the Wagon Box Fight and the Fetterman Massacre. Buffalo, at the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains, is a delightful, friendly town and home to the Jim Gatchell Museum and Occidental Hotel. The Museum is a gem, chock full of exhibits and historic items. Touring the Occidental Hotel, Bar and Victorian Restaurant was like stepping back in to 1890’s complete with furnishings from that era and a back bar that still sported bullet holes from days gone by.











At the outrageous hour of 6:00 A.M., we rolled out of bed Saturday morning to go look for Moose which are native to this area. We headed up Hwy 16 and enter Elgin Loop drive. Not too far along the trail we found a juvenile and momma moose in a sparse stand of pine and aspen trees. What a thrill. Next came a scenic canyon drive. Crazy Woman Canyon Road is a one lane gravel road that drops down the canyon over 1400 feet in several miles. The canyon is a beautiful, peaceful place of trees, a mountain stream and wildlife. Near the bottom are house sized boulders, the stream, a shear cliff on the other side and you on the gravel road between them. Awesome ride!

Sunday morning found us at Saint John Baptist Church, worshiping with a lively congregation and an excellent sermon on Human Arrogance vs. God’s Heart by Fr. Johnson. We went to find Breakfast after that and ending up at the Best Western Motels’s restaurant, Hoot and Howl. We weren’t sure what we were getting ourselves into but what we had was one of the best Breakfast Buffets we’ve ever had! Fabulous food and the bacon was out of this world.

Tomorrow we will leave here and head to Thermopolis to meet with friends Ron and Sharon Mead who are on their way east from Yellowstone. Will head up over 9,666 foot Powder River Pass and down through Ten Sleep Canyon. Ten Sleep received it’s name from early Native American tribes that traveled through this area. The ‘Old Sioux Camp’ at present day Casper, WY and another large Indian settlement north of here at present day Bridger Montana were both ten sleeps or nights away in either direction.

(Chuck) Buffalo, Wyoming, Big Horn National Forest. We have been here for the last four nights and it has been a great pleasure. We enjoy boondocking, the fresh mountain air and million dollar scenery… This has it all.

We are in a high meadow of the Bighorn Mountains that we share with several hundred cow calf pairs. The cows are enjoying an extraordinary amount of grass this year. Normally in July the pastures would be brown and sparse, this year grass is abundant and the condition of the cows shows it. They are carrying a good amount of flesh and the calves will show good rate of gain. Since the cows are in remarkably good shape, there has been no rubbing or scratching on the rig or our pickup. The worst that has happened was this morning about 6:00 a calf knocked over a lawn chair.

We have taken several hikes in the area, some through beautiful woods and valleys and one that brought us on a very hard uphill horse path which we soon found to be unpleasant. The rocks were so bad that we could not enjoy the scenery around us because we could not safely take our eyes off the path. Top that off with an abundant supply of mosquitoes and we were defeated after about 40 minutes. We returned to the pickup and went home tired and crabby.

I have included a photo of a plaque that is in Buffalo, on the bridge across form the Occidental Hotel. As I read the plaque, it seemed that it spoke to me that it could be from each of our small and large communities in this nation. Please take a minute and click on the photo to make it legible to read.

5 comments:

Jerry said...

Every time you guys post I read it...
and like it...
Say hi to Ron and Sharon...
Jerry and Nancy...

Sally Schindel said...

Loved this post! Copied your Heritage pic to my desktop. Got those GPS coordinates!
Stay one step ahead of those mosquitos and keep having a grand time...
Love, S

Eric said...

now that's a camping spot! the mountains look incredible.

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