Leaving Nebraska, we took US Route 85 south to Cheyenne, Wyoming where we found Labor Day is taken seriously. Unlike at home where it’s an excuse for another sale, pretty much everything was closed so “labor” could have a day off! Novel idea!! We did find the Accomplice Beer Company open and had different but good sandwiches and a tasty Porter. I even drank one which is really unusual! Afterwards we headed out of town for Curt Gowdy State Park where we had a nice campsite and even saw the Milky Way.
Taking Interstate 80 over to Laramie we picked up RT 130 west across flat prairie towards Centennial where the road starts the steep and lovely climb into Medicine Bow National Forest and the Snowy Range. We had thought to dry camp at North Fork NF (National Forest) campground but we completely missed it. Probably too busy looking out the windows, and boy howdy was that a GOOD miss!! At 10,700 feet, we pulled into NF Sugarloaf Campground where our $5 camping fee got us a million-dollar view!!
We walked down to Lewis Lake just a bit below the campground and hiked out to Klondike Lakes.
Back at the parking area for Lewis Lake Ed saw a lady who had just finished paddling the lake in her inflatable kayak. Having never seen one, and being Ed, he started chatting with her, and as she was camped next to us, invited her to stop by for a drink. She did, and we now have another RV traveling (and photographer) friend, Sally. 😊 Oh and an important PSA… fill all your water bottles here with some really good cold mountain H2O!
On down, I really should say up, RT 130, at the Snowy Range Pass we stopped for the view of Libby Flats.
A few miles more and a stop at Lake Marie and the short trail across the road with a waterfall and trout in the pool!
Medicine Bow National Forest(s) like many of our National Forests, is not actually contiguous acreage but rather acreage, both large and small, that has been designated/preserved with the same name or sometimes a variation of the same name. In the case of Medicine Bow-Routt (official name and name on maps but not necessarily the entrance signs at the actual NF) the forests are three separate areas which are not connected; Medicine Bow, Routt and Thunder Basin National Grassland now all known as Medicine Bow-Routt. Oh, and you may have noticed, GRASSLAND there in the third one. Yup, just to further confuse folks a National Forest may not be a forest at all!😉
Anywho, I inserted the above so you’d understand why we left the Snowy Range, Medicine Bow NF on RT 130, turned right on onto RT 230 to the town of Encampment where we took RT 70 to go into Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest (part 2) 28 miles from MB-RNF (part 1)! This second one was not nearly as pretty as the first MB-RNF but it did get us closer to where we wanted to go! There are in this NF six, ‘sites” which are locations of former mining towns and we stopped at Battle for a brief look.
Mostly there is nothing to see but the Gazetteer marks them and sometimes they can be lots of fun, depending on what is left, or if one is a big history buff.
All in all, absolutely put the Snowy Range on your MVL (Must Visit List), it’s just gorgeous!!
NOTE RV’ers: There are several campgrounds along RT 70 in the 2nd NF but they are very small and/or nonexistent, at least we just couldn’t find them. We spent the night in Craig at a KOA, something we generally avoid.
We’ll stop here with this posting, but I will give you a heads up… next blog we’ll talk about really old things, and more wonderful countryside as we bounce back and forth between Colorado and Utah.