|Old town, Rock Springs, Wy|
playing miniature golf
Rock Springs Wyoming
Campground: Sweetwater Events Complex, Rock Springs Wy. $23.80 after 15% discount, regular price $25.00 Full hookups. Rodeo, Fairgrounds type location.
Campground: Foothills Rv Park, Kemmerer WY. $25 fullhookups 50 amp. Basic, grassy sites, some with picnic table. No Shade. Good for an overnight stop.
Campground: Fremont Lake Campground. National Forest, no hookups. Paved road in with a couple big potholes. Campground has new pavement and paved sites on lower loop. Water and pit toilets. $$12 regular, $6 Senior.
I’m in the Rock Springs area for approx. a week. It was originally a coal mining town and railroad town as well. Highway I-80 runs through it which is the original Lincoln Highway, the first official highway going from the east Coast (New York City to California), not as famous as route 66, but still worthy of spending some time touring at least parts of the Lincoln Highway. It was also the crossroads for many of the various wagon train routes bringing settlers out west.
Speaking of coal, it was mined underground until that form of coal mining became too expensive. The town itself is lined with coal tunnels running underneath the town and surrounding area. They eventually mixed sand/concrete in a slurry and pumped it down into the mine tunnels to prevent any more tunnels collapsing, especially since a number of home disappeared after a tunnel collapsed.
|the Reliance Mine Tipple|
|a bit windy for Mr Owl|
|coal mine workers would separate coal into size categories|
the coal would be shaken on screens, creating much dust
|workers in the tipple often could not see their fellow|
workers next to them due to the coal dust in the air
I visited the town Art Museum that got it’s start in the local High-school, where the students saved money to purchase art for the schools walls. The paintings were eventually moved into the library/art museum so the whole community could enjoy the art. They have an unusual collection of original art including many regional artists on display, well worth taking the time to explore the collection. I wasn’t permitted to take any pictures, sorry.
|I did take one picture in the stairwell, an odd entry to the|
|the Art Museum can be entered thru the|
Library, which would be more appropriate
|since the art museum was added to the library|
this is the "main" entry to the art museum
a bit funky....
One of the stories told in a large painting is of the Chinese Rebellion. Now the Chinese workers building and repairing the railroads were not rebelling, it was the White Americans and Irish who rebelled against the Chinese. Mainly because the Chinese would work for less money building the railroads. The Chinese had their entire community destroyed, killing mostly men, as there was only one woman in the community at the time this all occurred. I was told some were able to go north a ways to the small settlement of Eden where they had a Chinese temple/church that took them in and protected those that were able to make it there. Just a note, the local history museum had no information on it, but the new Art Museum had as I say a large painting depicting the tragic event. Another large scandalous painting was hidden from view for many years, but is now on display… you’ll have to come to the museum to see it, oh my.
Well on Wednesday I was able to bring my truck into have the new “brake controller” installed. It’s a digital version that lets me see exactly what settings the brake controller is set too. The local Ford, Chevy and Rv dealer owns all of these businesses, and I ended up going the the Ford dealer to have the brake controller installed. Total Cost: $151.00 Very reasonable as they charged me the internet price for the controller and the labor was very reasonable. This controller is designed to use the trailer brakes first when lightly tapping on the brakes, which will be excellent when going down steep grades.
|new brake controller with digital readout|
Distance Traveled: 90 miles
|the Original J.C. Penny in Kemmerer WY|
|1902, J.C. Penny|
Since I didn’t get on the road till mid morning, I only went the 90 miles to the little town of Kemmerer, home of the very first J.C. Penny store and small home of James Cash Penny and family. What a cool find. By the way, the original store is still in operation (actually the third one in this location). I toured the store which has tons of discount and special buys on clothing. I had to buy a couple of items. Original cost: $84.00, I paid after all the discounts: $8.80. What a deal. I saw a few shoppers leave with bags full of stuff. Touring the small house Mr Penny had built, one year after starting business in this little town, was pretty special. It has been faithfully restored and the tours are free. The town is also noted for the fossils found in the area. I was able to go into a very nice store selling much of the fossilized fish, leaves etc. The local Fossil Country Frontier Museum was closed (Mon/Tues/Wed), but one can also go to Fossil Butte National Monument about 13 miles out of town.
|the J.C. Penny home built one year after the|
opening of the 1st store
|Doug in front of J.C. Penny small cottage home|
|the area is noted for the fossilize plants and fish|
found in the quarries
|these are all on display and for sale in the retail store|
as the museum wasn't opened the day I went through town
|very reasonable prices, should have purchased one|
Distance Traveled: 112 miles
Getting to Pinedale along 189 then 191 a short ways was pleasant. No big grades to overcome, lots of wide open spaces, cattle ranches on prairie grass lands often covered with sage. Rivers flowing to capacity. Lots of Prong horn Antelope. Pinedale is 96 miles to the Grand Teton National Park, my next destination, but a million miles from the crowds. Population, 1,800 along with a few moose that live in town as well. They have a couple of parks that boarder the Pine Creek, flowing swiftly from all the winter snow run-off. I toured the CCC ponds and saw one moose this morning.
|a small dam used to divert the water to irrigation canals|
and the CCC Ponds
|CCC ponds, where I saw the Moose|
|wonderful crystal clear Mt snow fed rivers|
|Images of Fremont Lake, where I am camping this week|
|boat dock on Fremont Lake|
|no hookups, but paved pad and wonderful views|
It can be a challenge to find a restaurant with reasonable prices. Most in town start with $10 hamburgers and go up from there. It’s not unusual to pay $15-16 for a salad. The Wrangler Cafe had a good price on a lunch special. And at the Conoco Gas Station, Obo’s market and deli inside has a few good deals. The best being their Seattle’s Best Coffee, small cup for 89c. Don’t tell anyone, but I would have paid double for it…. Awesome good coffee.
One of the visitor center workers told me that a Mother Moose has lived in town for years and a year ago had twins. This year, she and the twins walked through town from the river park, sat down on the Library lawn and stayed there the entire afternoon.
The town is in good shape, catering to the tourist of course as well as the local ranchers and farmers. The growing season doesn’t begin until Fathers day, the middle of June. I talked to a number of locals who say they don’t even plant their flower gardens and put out hanging flower baskets until then as a freeze could ruin the tender plants. It’s a very short growing season.
I’m on one of the glacier created lakes, with the land scoured by those glaciers thousands of years ago, depositing large boulders and rocks everywhere. Fremont Lake is one of those glacier created lakes, 9 miles long, 1 mile wide and 400 feet deep. Lake fishing and fly fishing are very popular around here.
I’ll visit the Mountain Man Museum. The Upper green River rendezvous outside of Daniel Wy is where the hunters and trappers would converge to sell their beaver pelts and furs after the winter hunting season was complete. A time to get to meet up with friends and fellow trappers, telling stories of their adventures before going off again on their lonely trek into the wilderness.
I drove back to Daniel to take a few pictures of an old Motor Court motel, along with the original Daniel post office and gas station. They are all in ruin and won’t be standing all that much longer. When cars became popular and folks started vacationing and traveling far distances, these motels with a carport next to each cabin were very popular. I’ve seen some really nice restored Motor Courts, this isn’t one of them, but does still have that charm of bygone adventures for the first automobile travelers.
|the motor court, post office and gas station|
|one of the first motor courts, once travel by|
car became popular
|old motor court, each cabin with a carport|
|Daniel Wy, old gas station|
Winters can be brutal in this area. They tell me this past winter wasn’t too bad, but the previous winter they had temperatures drop below 40 degree. Today, Saturday is will be 70-46 degrees, Sunday 62-44 degrees with thunderstorms.
Kemmerer WY (original J.C. Penny store, still in operation, great bargains)
Pinedale WY (including pics from Daniel WY)