SD > WY
We spent our first night in Gilette in a motel. It was nice to relax, get cleaned up and do some laundry. Wyoming was beautiful, but it was the first place we encountered rain which really put a damper on things (see what we did there?). But, more on the rain later.
The second night, Monday, August 14th we stayed in Glenrock, Wyoming in a camp spot called the “Bixby access area”. You drive about eight miles down a dirt road where cows, antelope and deer all share the road with you. It was pretty fun to watch the antelope and deer just whizz by us in the car and luckily Sox didn’t react to them. We started to wonder where this spot was since everything around us was all private farmland but eventually, we found it and got setup. It was a nice campsite equipped with a creek and everything. We joked in the last post about being by so many creeks but it actually is really nice to be by a water source! Just after we started boiling our water for dinner, someone pulled up and wanted to share the site with us. Part of this lifestyle is about community and sharing space so of course, we agreed. He asked where we were from and when Luke replied “Phoenix” the guy said, “Hey, that’s my name.” We ate our “fancy” ramen and Phoenix pet the pups and made some conversation with us. Right after dinner, we set up a tarp and moved our chairs and table under it because it was starting to rain. A small storm passed over us and we were able to resume sitting by the campfire where the three of us chatted all night. The next morning Luke was excited to try and head up to a more mountainous scenery so we packed up our stuff and said goodbye to our new friend.
The next day really had it out for us.
We were off and after about two hours of driving, we started heading down a dirt road. In case you all don’t know yet..we’re traveling in a two-wheel-drive car. The dirt road turned into a mud road…and we were sliding all over the place. Luke drove giant military vehicles in similar terrain so he was nervous but still way more prepared than Brooke would have been. She actually just hid behind her pillow the whole time. We get mostly through this road with one pretty rough patch and realize there isn’t going to be a place to get the few items we still needed so we turned to head towards the nearest town. We kind of realized that the spot we were going to camp at probably wasn’t realistic for our current vehicle so it was time for a plan b. Brooke looked up a new spot and luckily it wasn’t too far away.
This place was awesome. It was surrounded by hills and was like having your own private beach while camping. We haven’t seen Shoester so excited about a place the entire trip; he ran and rubbed against all the tall grass and bolted through the sandy beach. We were both pretty stoked about the site and felt we could definitely stay here a few days.
When we first arrived there were some pretty dark clouds off in the distance over the mountains. Brooke suggested waiting a while to set up the tent and other things to see if another storm was going to head our way. Luke wanted to be able to collect some firewood and just relax after our crazy mud road trip, so he wanted to just get setup and said we could throw up a tarp shelter. Afterall, we perfected our skills in the Badlands right? We got it all setup in great time and even had a nice shelter space going. We pulled out some art supplies and a book just as the rain started. We were ready to let it pass….until our tarp blew off our car. Brooke ran in the tent with the dogs and Luke went into the elements to save the tarp from flying away. Then, the winds REALLY picked up. The tent started caving in and the dogs were thrown into Brooke inside the tent and she almost rolled. Luke was now outside the tent just trying to hold it together so it didn’t go rolling. After about ten minutes of this, Luke threw open the car door and ushered us all inside. It was at that time when Brooke noticed it was HAILING, and the winds were insane. Luke stayed out in the elements to try and save the tent and all our bedding from breaking and/or being thrown into the water. Eventually, he flew into the car and sat there sopping wet. The storm lasted maybe 45 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. After the storm ceased we walked out to survey the damage and because Luke is so amazing, everything was just fine. Our belongings in the tent weren’t even that wet.
We decided to wait a bit and make sure we weren’t getting hit with round two so we took a walk around the beach. On our walk, we found a better spot in case of rain that was more tucked in some trees. Luke also admitted that you should just always listen to your wife ;). Also, apparently Brooke has the same gift of predicting weather as that of Karen Smith in Mean Girls.
Anyway, we moved our car to the new spot and settled in for the night. While Brooke was getting out the pot for our dinner, she dropped the lid of the cast iron onto her toe. It immediately started bleeding. Luke was a champ and grabbed our first aid kit and got it all bandaged up. After that, we made some pork chops coated in salsa with some Spanish rice for dinner and enjoyed the beautiful sunset. Between the mud roads, the throbbing toe and the hailstorm we were ready to call this a day. Oh right, and Luke’s tablet stopped working. Sianara Tuesday.
Luke was a little skeptical now about staying another night, so we decided to play it by weather. The next day we woke up and it was so nice out. Not a cloud in the sky! The plan for today was to try and walk around the entire 20-mile reservoir but learned soon after starting that parts of it were blocked off. We still went on a walk as far as we could and then headed back to camp. We took a reading/alone time break and decided to try walking the other direction. This one we could walk further, and soon after we started we ran into two bulls. Brooke almost jumped and was pretty glad when they didn’t come charging after her. We walked by slowly and made no eye contact. A little farther down the beach, we found the rest of the herd. We decided to pick up the dogs and walk a little further down the beach and show them we weren’t trying to disturb them. When we got past, we put the dogs down and Sox starts barking. Of course, now he barks. We kept going on the walk and only ran into one other set of RV campers and their three dogs.
The rest of the day was the same as the morning, no rain! Barely even a cloud and we were definitely grateful for the break. Brooke decided to try out our solar shower and Luke took a “rinse off” bath in the reservoir. We collected some more wood for our fire pit and made an easy canned chili dinner. We decided to call it an early night since we had a good drive to Colorado the next day. Wednesday was a much better day.
On our drive out we saw a bald eagle take flight off a nearby cliff and that was pretty awesome.
Thanks for reading about our grand Wyoming adventure.