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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

24 States in 27 Days - Day 3:

Oct. 12th, 2012 - Friday. The roar of garbage trucks nudged me fully awake, after spending a lot of the night counting trains (11), and we emerged from our warm cozy nest before the sun was fully up. The big “park” we thought we were next to was actually a cemetery - not a bad spot to sleep we discovered. Curious about the soda spring park and a sign to a geyser we’d seen the night before, we drove back to those two different locations. Octagon Spring bubbles up from the ground with effervescent gas creating naturally carbonated water. Of course we had to try it. It tasted just like drinking pure iron, very metallic!!

The Soda Spring geyser was the next site to explore. It appeared during a drilling project in 1937 and now this man-made geyser is regulated, capped and released every hour on the hour. Lucky for us we only had to wait about 15-20 minutes to see this Old Faithful rival.

We moseyed our way towards Wyoming, stopped for coffee in Montpelier Idaho, turned onto hwy. 89, then driove north to Afton Wyoming, then on to Jackson Wyoming.

Brad loved Jackson, and we spent a few hours wandering the streets visiting galleries and shops, while Brad took photos of signs. It was another beautiful, sunny day. 

A corner of Jackson town square.

Just north of Jackson Wyoming.

The Tetons

From Jackson we continued north, thinking we’d connect back up to hwy. 20/14/16, just east of Yellowstone, but discovered we had to pay National Park fees to continue that way. Since we weren’t planning to spend any time at the park, we decided to turn east on hwy. 26/287 through Dubous to Riverton. 

In Shoshoni, we kept going north to Thermopolis - drawn by the words “Worlds Largest Mineral Hot Springs”. Unfortunately Thermopolis ended up being another resort pool, not the natural springs we’d hoped to find, and the state park didn’t offer camping, so we decided to keep going.

The next town we came to was Worland, and since we were both tired we decided to drive around and look for a cozy spot to stealth camp. I had my window open as we drove past the industrial part of town when suddenly a rottweiler came lunging straight towards us! I put my window up as fast as I could and said let’s go! Not finding any spot we wanted to settle for the night we kept going. On the map there were a lot of campgrounds up hwy. 16 - so we took off on what we thought was the right road. Immediately we were curving our way thru construction cones, without any signs to show we were on hwy. 16 for over 25 miles! Not even a sign pointing the way to Buffalo or Ten Sleep. No lights, inky black forests, nothing to direct us, until finally we drove through the tiny town of Ten Sleep which made me feel a bit better. We then started peering into the darkness for a campground sign - driving and driving… still not seeing anything… Eventually we saw a sign to a fish hatchery so Brad turned and soon there was sign to Leigh Creek campground just a mile further. All sites were taken except one, so we pulled in and parked. It was right by the creek. By then it was after 10:00, so we quickly tucked things away, climbed into our bed and soon fell asleep in total darkness with the soothing and relaxing sound of the creek rushing by.

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