Friday, October 16, 2015

Wyoming: One of the Many Rectangular States

And that's about all I knew about Wyoming -- until a few weeks ago, when our friends, the Leonards, asked us if we wanted to get out and camp in the mountains before it got too cold here in Colorado.  Fortuitously, I had just received an e-mail from REI about seven state parks with incredible camping (check it out here).  Well, when I saw one in Wyoming -- a state I had yet to visit -- my sense of adventure took over.  Now, I know at this point you're probably conjuring up images of vast plains with cowboys herding cattle, but this place is on the other side of the state, right along the Continental Divide.  I was sold from the moment I saw the pictures.

Although farther than we intended to go, we struck out for Sinks Canyon State Park (just outside Lander, WY), so named because the Popo Agie River suddenly "sinks" underground (3rd picture down) only to emerge about a mile downstream (4th picture).  REI was right.  The area was stunning!

Where the river emerges is a small pool where a large number of trout hang out. People drop food to them from an overlook, so these trout are very well fed as you can see from the picture below.

The park has one main campground and one smaller campground, with yet another in the Shoshone National Forest that borders the park. While all of the campsites are primitive (pit toilets and no showers), each campsite is also positioned right along the river, providing beautiful views.  There was even a suspension bridge adjacent to our campsite, providing great fun for the kids.

Our second day, we made the trip up to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. I couldn't do that trip justice here, so I'll dedicate the next post to it. Look for it in the next few days.

Our last day there, we hiked up to the Popo Agie falls, about a mile and a half upstream. It was well worth the hike with even more picturesque scenery than at our campsite.

Our families had a wonderful time.  We unanimously agreed this was a fantastic find.  So, if you like to camp and are headed to that area of the country, I highly recommend you check out Sinks Canyon State Park.

While the camping site is important to an enjoyable trip, it's not the only important factor.  Food is always important.  If you're interested in what we ate on our trip, stay tuned, because that will be next after I share the pictures from the national parks!

Oh, and for the record, I'm already working on that bucket list I mentioned in the last post!  This trip, we knocked out four:
- Wyoming (one of the states I had yet to see -- 37 down, 13 to go)
- Grand Teton National Park
- Yellowstone National Park
- John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway (one of the 433 National Park Service sites -- 58 down, 375 to go)

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