Buffalo, WY

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In Buffalo, we parked at the Buffalo KOA.

Buffalo, WY

Are you familiar with the “Longmire” TV show (6 seasons available on Netflix) or with the “Walt Longmire Mysteries” book series by Craig Johnson?  We very recently began watching the first season of the Longmire show but didn’t know much about it before we started looking for a place to stay in Buffalo, WY.  We found out that during the time we had planned to visit Buffalo they were holding an event called “Longmire Days”.  It turns out that Craig Johnson is from just outside Buffalo and his writing is based on Buffalo and Johnson County, which he has renamed Durant, WY, and Absaroka County in the books.  The dedicated fan base has responded and turns up in large numbers for this 3 day event featuring appearances by Craig Johnson and many of the actors from the TV series. Continue reading

Sheridan, WY

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From Billings, we headed southeast and crossed into Wyoming after having been in Montana since July 15th.  In Sheridan we parked at Peter D’s RV Park.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is located in Montana, just about halfway along the drive between Billings and Sheridan so we chose to make a day trip from Sheridan to visit there.  On June 25, 1876, approximately 260 of the 600 troops commanded by Gen. George Armstrong Custer were killed in a brief battle with a much larger force of Lakota-Cheyenne Indians commanded by Lakota Chief Sitting Bull.  Some 100 of the Indian fighters are thought to have died but it’s difficult to know since those who fell were removed from the battlefield.  The battle was bloody and brutal.  As you walk the grounds, read the placards and view the markers showing where soldiers died you can only try to imagine what it must have been like with arrows and gunfire raining down in all directions.  At the end of a very engaging Ranger talk about the battle, he said, “The ghosts here will speak to you.” Continue reading

Yellowstone National Park

Yes, Yellowstone National Park (pics) is home to Old Faithful, but it is so much more than that.  As most people know, Old Faithful is not the most spectacular or the oldest or the biggest geyser in YNP but it is one of the biggest that is most predictable, erupting approximately every 60 to 90 minutes.  Old Faithful is located in the Upper Geyser Basin which is part of the most active area of the park in terms of thermal features.

Old Faithful Inn - Upper Geyser Basin

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Grand Teton National Park

The Teton mountain range is somewhat unique in that it looks very different from the western side versus the eastern side.  The western side has rolling foothills which fits our picture of most mountain ranges.  On the eastern side, when the mountains were thrust upward, the eastern plane dropped leaving dramatic sheer cliffs extending some 6 to 7,000 feet above the plane that extends from its foot.

Grand Tetons from Colter Bay

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Teton Pass

From Ashton, ID we headed southeast in order to go around the southern end of the Teton range and to enter the Grand Teton National Park from just north of the town of Jackson, WY.  Highway 33 carried us from Idaho into Wyoming and across the Teton Pass which tops out at 8,431 feet and affords beautiful views of the surrounding Wyoming countryside.

10% downgrade for 5 miles

The problem is that on the eastern descent from the pass, the highway has a 10% grade that extends relentlessly for 5 miles.  On board a 24,000 pound motorhome with a 2,000 pound car pushing from behind made this a challenge I hadn’t bargained for.  Taking advice from the highway signs advising truckers to use a low gear and keep their speed under 25 MPH, we make the descent in second gear and attempted to keep our speed in line with the advice.  With the help of a couple of stops at large pull-outs along the way we made it down safely but with the telltale smell of brakes that got a little hot.

On to Grand Teton National Park.