Wyoming, here I come!!

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by Wildman, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. Holy crap, the last two and a half hours have been busy ones. My buddy and neighbor had been planning a trip to Wyoming to go ATVing for a few months now. He originally invited me to go but I thought we were going to go to Canada instead. Given gas prices and other limiting factors we decided to not go to Canada and make a fishing trip closer to home, maybe two. At the time I declined the Wyoming trip.

    But about 7:30 my neighbor got a call that his uncle, an older feller, had been having heart flutters. The doc said nothing serious but as the days drew closer for the trip he became more nervous and didn't feel well. The decision was made for him not to go. I happened to be drinking beer in the neighbors garage and he hung up and asked me to go again knowing we'd canceled Canada. It took me about 15 minutes to get things situated to make sense and it was done. I just finished tearing the house apart looking for things. The ATV is in his garage on the charger greased and ready to go. Still hasn't sunk in completely that I'm going yet. We'll leave tomorrow night about 6pm and be back late on Tuesday. It'll be a blast I'm sure but I do hate leaving the family behind that long.

    So I think where we are headed is a place called Ten Sleep, maybe near abouts Buffalo. Camp is around 4000 feet and we'll ride up to 8-9000'. I'm sure wishing I'd have reclutched my wheeler after sticking those huge ass Big Hornies on, but it should be fine. Anyone familiar with this area? What to expect for weather? Any tips? I do plan on taking my Ruger Mark I along for close range rodents and such. If I had a scabbord I'd take my .243 for P dogs too.

    Whew, I better try and sleep. It's supposed to be about 17 hours to drive!
     
  2. Carbin8r

    Carbin8r Member

    The weather has turned rather poor here in N. Colorado and it's not looking good in the Buffalo, WY region for the next several days or more either. Travel prepared for some ugly weather and stay safe!
     

  3. good luck w/ the trip man. I wish my atv wasn't busted!
     
  4. Have fun! I wish I could take off on trips like that. Make sure you tell us how the trip went :)
     
  5. base871

    base871 Guest

    wyomings weather is strange. i was in western wy last year at about 7000 asl in august. the days were in the 70,s-80,s but it did snow one night! i'd just play it safe and pack a bit for all seasons, but when in doubt, weather.com is your friend!
     
  6. AndrewST

    AndrewST Guest

    Have fun and be safe! Update when you get back on all the fun!
     
  7. This is an obviously long story. A testament, in my opinion, to how much I loved this trip.

    Well here it comes folks. I’m back from Wyoming and outside of being sleep deprived we all survived just fine. To bring people up to speed I was invited on a trip from my good friend and neighbor earlier in the year. Planning a trip to Canada fishing I then declined and left well enough alone. But on April 30th, the night before the guys were to leave, I was asked to go in place of one of the guys who started having a little heart trouble. Obviously I accepted and went.

    The trip included 8 guys; all but two were family including myself and one other fellow. We had packed up two trucks and two trailers and took off. Traveling conditions were fairly decent because the trucks were the four-door type, a Chevy Avalanche and its Cadillac counterpart. I being the only Ford guy in the group had to swallow a little pride and pretend I liked Chevy vehicles. Not once did I make any off handed comments. Not once!

    As is usual with me I felt a little trepidation as we drove away. I’ve always hated leaving my family for several days at a time and having my kids run along side the vehicle waving didn’t make it any easier. Neither did the fact that I only knew two of the other guys. But these guys were all very nice and easy to get along with especially considering they are Chevy dudes. But like I mentioned before, I can overlook certain shortcomings. At this point I think it would be prudent to mention that the family members had rumored this trip would be dubbed the BBM trip. I could only assume this meant Broke Back Mountain. This tidbit didn’t exactly calm the nerves any either!

    The first several hours of the trip were very uneventful thank God. As anyone that travels knows a quiet trip means an efficient trip. We had traveled through some of Minnesota and into South Dakota. At Wall South Dakota we met a snowplow in the opposite lane with its plow down. This was odd because at that point there wasn’t any snow on the ground or in the sky! We kind of laughed about it at that moment. But oh what three miles can do. By the time we got to the Wall exit we’d hit rain, then sleet and ice pellets, then heavy snow. The road surface was very slippery and a sign was out telling us the interstate was closed. Into Wall we went at about 6:30am. We had to wait a while for a breakfast joint to open and hoped the storm would pass by rather quickly. After breakfast we went to the famous Wall Drug. What a cool store. The signage on the interstate is extremely annoying but the store was a pretty interesting tourist trap. After having our fill there we wandered into the now full-blown blizzard and crossed the street.

    We came upon a tavern that wasn’t open. I’m not sure why but the gal inside opened the door and let us in. I’m thinking it was around 9:30 at this point. Before long there was a long line of Bloody Mary’s in front of us, some with a beer chase. After a couple drinks we decided to get a hotel room to have a chance to shower up and rest. We still hoped to get back on the road soon. As it turned out the road wasn’t scheduled to open until 7 the next morning thanks to 6-8’ drifts over the road near Spearfish. So we jammed into the room and slept best we could. With a steady stream of vehicles pulling into town it took no time at all for all the hotels to fill up. We were lucky to get the room we did. One of the guys mentioned that after a little bit the room smelled like chlorine, feet, and poop. Thinking back on it I don’t think there could be a more accurate description. But I’ll say this. With 8 guys jammed into a room we all did damn good to not get on others nerves! An ample supply of Coors and Bud Light seemed to be just the right anecdote for that. At about 8pm the hotel manager called us and said the roads would open about 9pm. We decided to sleep as much as possible and get up and leave by 3am. Back on the road!

    From Wall we drove to Buffalo Wyoming and stopped at a place called Duffy’s Bluff. Damn good food I must say! Then we stopped at a sport shop and got our ATV trail passes and some got a fishing license. From there it was off to the Big Horn Mountains. Talk about a beautiful site seeing these snow capped peaks. I know the Big Horns are not the tallest ones in the world but, dammit, they are awful pretty! It was at this point I had to be extra cautious about mentioning anything about the vehicle brands. We had a damn heavy load on each vehicle. Add to that the steep inclines we were traversing and it has to be understandable that the trucks made grunting and groaning sounds similar to that of an old man easing into a hot bath. At one point I think they even sounded like a pack of hounds barking under water. But I never mentioned this or made light of it. After all getting ass tossed into the mountains didn’t seem like entertainment. And if that happened how the hell would I possibly be able to drive two trucks?

    We peaked at about 9600’ according to a sign. We then met a couple at Deer Haven Lodge to do some riding. We had to cross back over about 18 miles to a trail. None of us had expected to ride before getting to our rooms so we had to drop into our skivvies while on the big hill and get our thermals on. It wasn’t freezing cold, about 30, but cold enough. Once we saddled up we hit the snow covered trail. Drifts on the hills made for some tough going for sure. One of the machines (the local boys) was a 2x4 Cat. Between that and some of the guys breaking trail we had a time unstucking the machines. I and one other fellow rode ahead to scout and see how far we could go. All told we went in only about 11 miles. But after about 3 miles in we were lucky enough to see four moose trotting into the woods. That was my first time seeing moose in the wild and was amazed at how they just glided across the snowy meadow. Beautiful animals to say the least!

    From the top we loaded back up and headed into Ten Sleep and found a guy that rents out nice little cabins and got two of those. I think everyone was most eager to get into the shower house and get cleaned up. Most of us smelled sort of like a hippy in a garbage dumpster. While we were getting settled into the cabins one of the guys noticed a few mule deer about 75 yards away from us. I thought that was a good sign, having wildlife like that feeding so close by.

    After supper we headed to the local bar (Big Horn Bar) and had a few beers. We also met with the ranch manager who was going to allow us to ride on the 80,000 acre ranch the next couple days. This fellow was super nice and generous. He struck me as an original cowboy as you’d see them on TV. Laid back but not afraid of a hard days work. The rancher gave us some clues about where we could see various wildlife and other scenery. The next day promised to be a good one.

    We loaded up after breakfast and drove to the ranch about 10 miles out of Ten Sleep. After unloading the ATVs we gathered a little plan and began the ride into the hills. After we crested the first one my neighbor stopped and kind of gave us the lay of the land. He and his son, also along, know the ranch fairly well as they’ve lion hunted it for the past several years. The best description he gave it was when he said, “there it is boys, your playground.†Boy was he right. We headed off in several different areas. Some went exploring some hills and bluffs and others looking for rabbits and other small game to target practice on. The numbers of rabbits there is staggering let me tell you. They have almost no natural fear of man; I was able to walk right up to them. I proved I could not only miss them from long range, but point blank range as well. My Ruger Mark 1 has a loose barrel and gave me fits all weekend. Yes, the guys gave me crap about it. One even offered to let me throw his hat at the rabbits!

    At this point I’d find it hard to describe much more without going into a book format. The scenery was never ending. It was almost impossible to focus on just one thing. I wanted to find some nice elk sheds so I tried to watch for them. While I did find two juvenile sheds there was no success on the adults. One of the guys did find a nice adult elk shed, not a trophy, but damn nice just the same. Several guys found sheds from the mulies as well. Two of us found skulls too. From here all I can do is offer up some of the pictures I took and let you make your own stories from there. I apologize for some of the clarity of the photos but they are all I have. I also found out I cannot make a photo look like the actual landscape I was viewing. All I can hope is they are nice enough to get people interested enough to go and see the beauty for themselves. I’ll be the first to advise anyone with a chance to ride out west to not pass it up! This is a trip I’d never have up and done on my own but will forever be thankful to my friend and neighbor for taking me on. (Even if it was in a Chevy; That’s the last I’ll mention that!) The scenery is gorgeous, the locals are very friendly, and the experience is one you’ll never forget.

    Please review the photo’s and try to imagine how cool this land really is:
     
  8. Some teaser pics, the rest are in a link upcoming.
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    A few of the quads...Notice the pretty yellow one? :D
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    Yours truly in the brown coat...
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    My buddy that invited me...
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    Go ahead and check them out! :)
    My Wyoming 2008 ATV pictures!