Wyoming Branding -- May 7th
The first RoadTrip Rendezvous was held near Ft. Laramie, Wyoming on the 7th of May. Roadtrippers in attendance were Moderator Bob, Gen, Charlie & Betty, Thurman & Kathleen and Mark (Editor) and Megan.
Mark, Megan and Bob's roadtrip route was from Las Vegas, Nevada via I-15 to I-70 with an over-night in Grand Junction and then I-25 to Torrington, Wyoming. Click here for a Powerpoint slide show of the branding.
Return roadtrip included stops at the historical park at Ft. Laramie, Register Cliffs, Estes Park, Rocky Mtn National Park and two loops around the front range of the Colorado Rockies. Speed run back to Las Vegas on I-70 & I-15.
Best Road Food: The Wildrose Restaurant in Estes Park, Colorado!
Best Road: Peak to Peak Byway -- Estes Park to Pinecliff via Colorado route 7 and 72.
Total Distance: 2,194 road miles
Memo: No tickets but I did get stuck in a ditch in the Arizona strip...
Thurman's field report with photos.
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-12-2005 at 09:01 PM.
Reason: Added a llnk
We flew Phoenix to Denver. Drove I-25 north to Cheyenne,
then US Hwy-85 north to Torrington. On the return trip we
took US Hwy-26 east, NE Hwy-71 south, CO Hwy-71 south,
CO Hwy-63 south, US Hwy-36 west, I-70 west. I liked Denver's
Best Road: CO Hwy-71 through the Pawnee National Grasslands.
It would be fun to do US Hwy-26 through Nebraska and Wyoming.
Best Food: The homemade goodies we had for breakfast and lunch
on branding day; however, we did enjoy the Snake River Pub and Grill
I could see spending an entire day in Cheyenne.
The branding was an excellent experience.
Uncle Bob's take on a Wyoming Branding!
The first RoadTrip Rendezvous was an amazing experience. The drive was near perfect – at times dramatically stormy, at others CAVU (“clear and visibility unlimited”). We saw rain a few times, but other than the mentioned afternoon hail and thunderstorm (at Torrington), nothing that slowed us down much.
I met Mark and Megan in Las Vegas and we got a late morning start on Thursday, 5/5, heading out on I-15 toward I-70 in Utah. We stopped at a neat little Shangri-la on the Arizona line called Little Jamaica – don’t look for it on your map – it is an Editor Mark Secret Spot. A spring-fed creek tumbles down a hillside under an I-15 overpass, and spills into the Virgin River – the river was red like the Colorado, rendered swirling and muddy by the Utah mountain snowmelt. After an unexpected short delay, we got back on the road toward Cedar City and a picnic lunch at a little town park in Paragonah (I think).
Later, at dusk, I got my first-ever view of the San Rafael “Reef,” a magnificent red-rock "uplift" in central-southern Utah. Before I-70 was blasted through it, it was an almost impenetrable barrier to any kind of transport except maybe mule or foot! The view was incredible – I can’t believe that after 35+ years of road tripping and truck-driving, I had never seen that stretch of road. But no matter how much you drive in the USA, there’s always something new to see!
Saturday, 5/7/05: A branding is the modern day equivalent of the Spring “round-up.” About the only difference between the frontier days and the “new” version is that it is now done closer to home perhaps and these days, it is also a family & social event. But just the same as it was in 1880, it is still a day of tough work for the working hands. I am one of the fortunate few city boys that have been privileged to see our western heritage and the cowboy traditions still being honored, last week on these several family ranches in Wyoming! These were real cowboys (and cowgirls!), from 5 to 80, working as a team to get the job done.
Our drive home included the side trips Mark mentioned, through some of the most beautiful mountains in the world! Along with the scenery, we saw deer, elk, hawks, camels, pronghorns, buffalo (bison), emus, an extremely bold fox, numerous inquisitive ground squirrels, dinosaur tracks, Buffalo Bill’s grave and snack bar (the "Pahaska Teepee"), Oregon Trail wagon ruts, Oregon Trail emigrant graffiti, old Ft Laramie, & I’m sure I am leaving some things out…
We had a great discussion with George Zeimens at the Western Plains Historic Preservation Museum in Lingle, WY. Mark had arranged to have Professor Zeimens give us a talk on his work as an archaeologist and the human history of the area.
I’d agree with Mark that we had our best road meal at the Wild Rose in Estes Park, thanks to Chef Hubert, when everything else in town was already closed for the evening! But I am a westerner, and there is nothing better than a steak grilled over a wood fire – for that, I’ve had none better than the meal we enjoyed at the Lake Little Moon Supper Club on US26 at the NE/WY border. Oh, and I am now intimately familiar with the location of most Starbucks outlets on the I-70 and I-15 route through Utah and Colorado! Caffe Mocha is the BEST!
As was our drive to Wyoming, the drive home to Las Vegas was filled with great views and great company. We did some train chasing, and stopped for dinner in Green River, UT at the Tamarisk Restaurant (on the banks of the river). After an overnight at Richfield, Utah, we rolled into Las Vegas around noon. I was home in Phoenix again by 6:30 p.m. that same day. Many thanks to Editor Mark & Megan Edwards, and our Colorado & Wyoming hosts for a most memorable 2005 RoadTrip adventure! Bob
Hey I'm back!
I just got back from my 2 weeks roadtrip! I really had a wonderful time on the road, meeting new people, seeing "old friends" again and wandering around looking for heat and great sceneries.:o)) I have to admit the rendezvous was a success. I think this branding might be one of the most exotic experience in my whole life...And I mean not just the branding itself! Like the food for instance, as a typical French Canadian I never even had a sloppy joe before... And brown chili?? Anyway, this was all very good and I'm very glad I tried it. There was only one little thing I didn't try and I won't say what it is but those who've been there know what I'm talking about!:o) [I think she is referring to Rocky Mountain Oysters] The ranchers were all very kind and welcoming, I felt like I was part of the family. I was sad our group had to split after Register Cliffs to go our own separate ways.
The first part of the trip was pretty fast, I had to get to Torrington by Friday night so I zoomed accross Ontario, crossed at Sault Ste. Marie, drove through MI, WI, MN and SD. Drove through Badlands, Black Hills, Mt Rushmore and western NE. Beautiful sceneries! After the branding, I headed west towards SLC, I really wanted to try these Spencer Hot Springs in Austin... Unfortunately, when I got to Ely, it started to SNOW!!! Aaargh! I live in it 8 months a year, I was not going to put myself through this kind of weather again! So I changed my mind and headed south through Great Basin and then on to Vegas.
I had a really nice room at Arizona Charlie's. I met Mark, Bob and Megan for lunch once again in Vegas. I spent an afternoon walking the strip, driving around the old downtown area. Some guy asked me to marry him, I met some nice French folks in the Paris casino, I met a Louis Armstrong impersonator. Strange town!!!:o) The day after, I went to Valley of Fire, Lake Mead and Zion¸ I can't believe I didn't go to Zion on my latest trip, this is such a beautiful park! From Fredonia, I drove to Kayenta, Monument Valley (just like I remembered from Thelma & Louise!:), Canyon De Chelly and then on to Phoenix. Bob and his sister graciously let me stay with them for 2 days. I really love those typical southwestern houses, I felt like I was home! The next day, Bob and I had a great lunch at a Mexican restaurant. I spent the afternoon at Lake Pleasant while he was working!:o) Ah life is hard!:o)
Now the boring part : I had to go back to Quebec. My friend told me it was like 2 degrees C in Montreal... Very encouraging. It took me 4 days to come back here. I drove my beloved highway 60 through AZ and NM once again. And then interstates most of the way through NM, TX, OK, MO, IL, IN, OH, MI and Ont. Now I have to get back to work... After such a great journey, I have to say that it really sucks:o(( Maybe I could've got lost in AZ and never get back here:o) Or maybe I should have married that guy in Vegas after all!:o) I'm definitely ready for another rendezvous! I just need vacations!
Thanks again to Mark, Megan, Bob, Ruth and all the ranchers who so graciously welcomed us in Wyoming.
Note : I didn't get any speeding ticket either...Hum actually I've got pulled over in my own hometown!!...And got away without any ticket once again!!:o))
Last edited by Quebec Gen; 05-18-2005 at 06:55 PM.
Wow...sorry I missed this!
Mark had emailed me some time back about this but I have been, well, let's just say "out of pocket" for quite some time and not able to have time to respond much to emails, come here and visit, and do any roadtripping myself. Sounds like I missed a fantastic time. I'm jealous.
Hopefully I'll be available for Rendezvous #2
For those who are curious, I've posted some new photos of my latest trip to the south west including some of the branding. The URL is : http://desertchick.photosite.com
Have a great day!