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Trip Start May 11, 2012
Trip End May 31, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Thursday, May 24, 2012

Woke up to a white campground but fortunately the roads look clear. Water pipe froze up overnight so a bit of defrosting needed before we can shower and unhitch. Although its cold when you first get up, we were warm enough in the night and it doesn't take too long for the heaters to warm the whole RV through again. Can't believe we only have 2 full days left travelling, the road east to Cody has been called one of Americas most scenic, we shall find out soon.

Set off east through the park and hadn't gone very far when we were lucky enough to see a grizzly bear and her cub in one of the roadside pastures. I always thought bears were usually seen in woods and along rivers but apparently they prefer pastureland and this is certainly where we have made all three sightings so far. Stood and watched from 100 yards away as they both happily munched away on the grass and ignored the huddle of people who had now gathered at the roadside to photograph them. Made the end of our Yellowstone trip complete.

Headed up into the Sylvan Pass at 8500 feet which was very snowy after yesterday evenings snowfall. The lakes up here were all frozen and it was absolutely beautiful with the morning sun glinting on it all. The roads were a little icy and wound round the mountain sides so Mark had to concentrate hard. After about 30 miles we left the park and entered Shoshone National Forest which is still grizzly country. We were constantly looking for bears and it is amazing how many rocks and fallen trees resemble bears in the distance. I swear we saw hundreds of "rockbears" and " logbears"! The scenery here was mainly along rivers and in between mountain ranges, just one stunning vista after another.

Passed through Buffalo Bill National Park then arrived in Cody and parked up for a short rest stop before the next longer stage of today's journey. When you enter the modern town you pass by the original old western town where the buildings have been preserved, apparently they regularly stage gunfights here.

Heading south out of Cody we drove for about 70 miles through pretty desolate plains with only the occasional oil site along the way. A good deal of this is infertile land as it was once an inland sea and the basin itself is made up of sedimentary rock. It is, however, full of rich minerals such as coal, oil and uranium and there are small mines dotted around. There are also lots of museums with dinosaur bones which were fossilised when the sea dried up. Next stop was Thermopolis, so called as it is sited next to a large area of hot springs, there is quite a lot of thermal activity here as well. Went into a small western inn and had a really nice pizza for lunch, had to ask for a takeaway box as, you've guessed it, even the small ones were huge!

Filled up with gas again and off to Casper. This road started well and the first 30 miles were through Wind River Indian Reservation which is mostly through a canyon. Really pretty and we were alongside a railway track and river for a while. At one point a train passed us with loads of cargo carriages carrying the blades for wind turbines. It looked like it had a cargo of huge silver fish on board! After we passed through the canyon and by a reservoir we were once again on Wyoming plains. Plain really is the right word, they are pretty monotonous, just mile after mile of flat open, fairly infertile land. It doesn't help tha you can generally see several miles ahead so you know more of the same is coming! The only distraction was a massive weather front ahead of us where you could see the huge rainstorms falling out of the sky. The clouds looked like a giant black mushroom, quite extraordinary, and also felt like we were heading towards the end of the world. As it was, we missed the worst of it as it was blowing to the west of our route and we went through the remains of a hailstorm and saw some lightning in the distance.

Originally planned to stop earlier on route but we decided to get more miles out of the way today and hopefully make tomorrows journey a little shorter. Fortunately, I had researched a bit on campgrounds near Casper, and remembered a nice one near the river. Found it pretty easily and camped up in early evening sunshine. We can actually leave the doors open, it is warm enough again. The snow was great to see but I'm glad to be back in the warmth again.

Another fairly full day of travelling tomorrow, I can't believe we ae almost at the end of our RV journey, just Denver and New York to come...
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