Sturgis – second visit

We are heading first for Devil’s Tower National Monument, made famous as the mountain backdrop in the Steven Speilberg movie ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. Devil’s Tower was the first declared United States National Monument, created in 1906, by then President Theodore Roosevelt. We will spend the night at the KOA campground near the base of the monument, before moving on for our now single night at the Sturgis motorcycle rally. Our schedule has been adjusted because of the time taken to get to and back from Yellowstone. We think this will be enough of the Sturgis experience for both of us.

Early morning light on Devil's Tower

Early morning light on Devil’s Tower

Our campground is full of motorcyclists heading to or from Sturgis, we are still over 100 miles away but the influence of the event, and the economic benefit, can be felt this far out. Backgrounds of our camping neighbours are varied, on one side a couple of Boeing executives and the other a man from rural Tennessee. We meet many others with different stories to tell, all making for interesting conversations.

Eddie, "Nasty Nick", Ronna and Roxane

Eddie, “Nasty Nick”, Ronna and Roxane


Nick's Mustang Contraption

Nick’s Mustang Contraption


We find out that the KOA campground shows the movie ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ each night, with the screen setup in such a way that the backdrop of Devil’s Tower looms imposingly above us soaring almost vertically 1,267 feet (386 m) above the Belle Fourche River which separates the campground from Devil’s Tower. Those who have seen the movie will know the scenes with light and thunder in the grey clouds. Above us, we have a similar backdrop with dark grey clouds, thunder and lightening, so atmospheric, we are just waiting for the alien ships to descend and whisk us away, but no, not tonight.
Watching Close Encounters of a 3rd Kind at Devil's Tower

Watching Close Encounters of a 3rd Kind at Devil’s Tower

We are still about 100 miles or 160 kilometres from Sturgis. Having heard stories of it taking hours to get in and out of Sturgis via the main street, we decide to loop to the north to get to our destination on the far side of Sturgis. My clutch plates are fairly worn and may not last if I have to spend time riding the clutch. I do not want it failing in the middle of Sturgis and have to push ‘Storm’.

Loaded and what headgear

Loaded and what headgear


Even this back route is filled with motorcycles, group after group pass us by. We see our first accident as a woman rider locks up and crashes for no apparent reason. She is Ok, but a reminder to us to keep our eyes open. As we get closer to Sturgis, we start to see more and more fields turned into camp sites. This is going to be a big event!

I think about all the Harley Davidson (HD) motorcycles that are filling Sturgis and its surrounds for the 10 days of the rally and wonder if, from above, the vast numbers of motorcycles and their riders in the HD colours of black and orange would not look to dissimilar to the large herds of bison that once roamed these rolling plains. As we have observed previously, the age of the HD riders is advancing, we see more and more HD three wheelers, perhaps over time they may fade away as the vast herds of bison did. The advancing years story was reinforced by seeing one grey haired baby boomer packing one of those weekly tablet holders in his panniers!

Traffic is not as bad as we had feared and we are quickly inside the Buffalo Chip Campground. Given the heavy rain the previous night, and the churned up grass from ATV’s, we decide to camp close to the West Gate just off the main route through the camp. We realise this will be noisy, but with more rain forecast, want to be able to get out tomorrow. The noise of HD motorcycles is constant as we setup the tent – what will the night bring? We also start to see the various interesting vehicles and their occupants pass us by, we have an excellent location for this.

Businesses around Sturgis open up to campers

Businesses around Sturgis open up to campers


I started to write this next part as a chronological report on our activities and observations, but feel that our visit and report on Sturgis is better served by a different approach.

When people heard that we were going to stay at the Buffalo Chip for Sturgis, we received warnings about drinking and fighting. Our impression was that this would be a wild place with all sorts of risks and dangers. The opposite could not be more true. I had expected many, many tents, the reality was that RV’s or Motorhomes as we call them predominate. Many are large house sized vehicles with trailers for motorcycles. Yes many people trailer their HD motorcycles to Sturgis, probably to keep them clean, given the efforts we have seen in this direction on the road. The impression I have of the hundreds of acres of RV’s is that of a shantytown we have seen in other parts of the world, with much improved interiors. I suspect this is due, as mentioned previously, the largest age group here seems be be the 50+ or, as we are known, the ‘baby boomers’. With age comes wealth and this was definitely reflected here. People are here to have a good time in a more mature way than we would have done in our 20’s. We see a number of interesting and non politically correct activities that in this environment do no harm and probably take one back to one’s youth, so why not?

Our camping spot at Buffalo Chip!!

Our camping spot at Buffalo Chip!!


Buffalo Chip, Sturgis

Buffalo Chip, Sturgis


Michael from Warm Beach, Wa

Michael from Warm Beach, Wa


Buffalo Chip, Sturgis

Buffalo Chip, Sturgis


People enjoying themselves responsibly was my takeaway from this event. We are glad we went and enjoyed our time at Sturgis. We even managed to fall asleep at 1am as hundreds of motorbikes went past the tent, no noise restrictions here. You can even take you motorcycle to the concert and rev your engines in lieu of clapping.

We saw Lynyrd Skynyrd, Shinedown and Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real. A real rock evening. This and a visit to the Full Throttle Saloon, the largest biker bar in the world, made for a memorable time – roll on the 100th anniversary.

– Anthony

Wonderful Wyoming

We leave the Grand Tetons, which we find as magnificent and awe inspiring as we did 30 years ago. The air is crisp, the sky deep blue, the sun rays warming gently. Perfect bike riding weather.

I have amused myself while riding in Wyoming with the colourful and evocative creek and river names: snake, rattle snake, badwater, muddy, tensleep, little bighorn, little goose and belle fourche, nez perce, gros ventre. Yes, I notice the French names, this area once claimed by France, Spain and England.

In Jackson, we cross the Snake River to follow WY22, a steep, 10% gradient, road taking us over the Teton Pass at 2,570 metre altitude. Glad we have kept our extra layers on and grateful for our heated grips. The views of the mountain range are stunning but it is the gentle rolling fields along the Swan Valley Highway on US26 which I particularly loved. The winds along that stretch of road were absolutely brutal, buffeting us from the left, and stopping there is not an option.

A local family in Jackson, Wyoming

A local family in Jackson, Wyoming

Along Swan Valley Hwy

Along Swan Valley Hwy


This is the furthest west in the US we will be going on this trip. We only picked Idaho Falls as it is the closest town to Rigby where Klim, the manufacturer of our jackets, are located. We decided to visit them after meeting some of their representatives at the Gunnison Motorcycle rally to give them feedback after 14 months’ constant use.

We had no expectations or any knowledge of Idaho Falls and it turned out to be a lovely surprise, once again. It is Idaho state’s 2nd largest city, with a population of just over 58,300. Our hotel happens to be located close to the “falls” of Idaho Falls, on the Snake river, the town being so named in 1891 in reference to the rapids located there. In 1909, a dam wall was built for a hydroelectric power plant and turned the rapids into falls. In 1969, the largest irrigation canal in the world was built, transforming the surrounding desert into one of the most productive farmland area in the US. The current dam wall was built in 1982 after the citizens of Idaho Falls voted to invest into more hydro electric plants which today generate 50% of their electric power needs!

You feel a sense of pride in their town. Lovely river walk, Japanese garden section, outdoor sculptures.

Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls

Mormon Temple at Idaho Falls

Mormon Temple at Idaho Falls

Park bench on the banks of Snake river at Idaho Falls

Park bench on the banks of Snake river at Idaho Falls

Sculpture on the banks of Snake river at Idaho Falls

Sculpture on the banks of Snake river at Idaho Falls

After a walk along the river and through the city centre, with its grand art deco buildings, we make our way to Klim. The 2 reps we had met are away today on a bike ride so Porsche kindly offers to give us a tour of their building. We had never expected such a welcome: we are introduced to everyone individually!!! It was great to meet Rhylea the designer and give her some feedback. But how painful to turn down the offer of a free pair of pants because they were way too large for me… Klim is a wonderful success story of a company started by one determined and inspirational man – such a shame Justin Summers was out that day.

Porsche and Rhylea at Klim

Porsche and Rhylea at Klim

Klim warehouse - impressive for such a small company

Klim warehouse – impressive for such a small company

Two hours later, we are off again. We know we are approaching Yellowstone national park when we see road signs: be bear aware, food storage required. We get to the west gate, pay our entrance fee and find out that every campground bar one on the far side of the park is full. We turn back and try the KOA 12 miles down the road. That too is full except for 2 cabins – lucky for us albeit outrageously expensive for what you get: $109 with no toilet, water or bedding. But we do get a chance to recharge all our electronic equipment. And there is internet. I do a bit of research on campgrounds in Yellowstone. That is when I find out that most campgrounds are fully booked by 7.30am!! Eek. That is going to require an awfully early start in the morning. We choose Norris: one of the most primitive, not too large, not too far from our entrance and doesn’t appear to book out until 9am and only filled at 11am today.

Returning to KOA at West Yellowstome

Returning to KOA at West Yellowstome

We are up at 5am – it is freezing, literally. As we get to the park entrance by 7am after breakfast and refuelling in the town of West Yellowstone, there are already queues to enter the park!! The lighting is magical. Steam rising from the creeks. It gets to literally 0 degrees celcius. Winter gloves, max heated handlebars, extra fleece are not enough to keep us warm. We can’t resist stopping at some stunning spots but we know we need to get to Norris campground as soon as possible as we are sure most people on the road right now have the same intention. We decide not to stop for another stunning spot. We get to Norris campground at 7.30, drive the A loop, all full. B loop, all full, C loop, get to the top and here is one spot. Check the tag, the previous occupants left this morning. We are in luck – and it is the most private spot!!! Absolutely perfect!!

Leaving our campground at 6am

Leaving our campground at 6am

Morning mist on Madison river in Yellowstone

Morning mist on Madison river in Yellowstone

Steam  at Yellowstone

Steam at Yellowstone


I notice a path near the tent – this is not just person path, bison dropping (not bear I tell myself) and a running rabbit is proof. We will have to be careful and diligent with bear packing. Lucky they provide a massive bear proof food storage metal box for each tent spot.

Bear box for each camping spot in Yellowstone

Bear box for each camping spot in Yellowstone


We meet our neighbours Ed and Marte who invite us to join them for dinner tonight. While we chat, many cars pull up and ask if we are leaving. We got here just in time. Ed tells us that the reason this campground didn’t fill up until 11am yesterday is because a motorhome trailer jackknifed in the middle of the one way path and access was closed until 11am.

Visiting national parks in the US during the summer holiday period really isn’t the best time, and once again we find the roads and scenic spots way too crowded for us but we are here now so make the most of it to revisit some places we first saw 30 years ago and discover new ones. How things have changed in this time: signs stating drones are not allowed, signs warning of the dangers of geysers and that people have burned to death when straying off the path, and the size of the crowds, at Old Faithful particularly – when we first saw it, there were a few benches for people to sit on and wait and a simple low cord with a warning sign swinging from it.

Norris Geyser basin, Yellowstone

Norris Geyser basin, Yellowstone

Thermophilic algae live in temperatures of 38-56 degrees celcius (100-133 F)

Thermophilic algae live in temperatures of 38-56 degrees celcius (100-133 F)

Crowds waiting for Old Faithful

Crowds waiting for Old Faithful

Old Faithful geyser erupts on cue

Old Faithful geyser erupts on cue

I particularly enjoy stopping at the open meadows, dotted with wildflowers, and no one in sight. They feel so peaceful. And the Lake lodge, with its wide veranda and rocking chairs – so inviting: we enjoyed a drink and slice of cake overlooking Yellowstone Lake.

Hayden Valley, Yellowstone

Hayden Valley, Yellowstone

Canyon Village grand view of Yellowstone river, at 2413m

Canyon Village grand view of Yellowstone river, at 2413m


Yellowstone meadow

Yellowstone meadow


During our time in Yellowstone, we saw one black bear, many deer, lots of herds of bison, elk, swans and wolves, yes wolves (thanks to the visitors with powerful lenses and binoculars)!! A few years ago, I read an article on the history of wolves and the impact of the extermination of grey wolves on the whole eco system of Yellowstone and how 14 were re-introduced in 1995 and a further 17 in 1996. So seeing wolves was particularly special.

Bison, Lamar Valley

Bison, Lamar Valley

Bison herds in the Lamar Valley

Bison herds in the Lamar Valley

This is where we saw wolves, Lamar valley

This is where we saw wolves, Lamar valley


Although the park today was too crowded for us, we are glad we returned. Riding through the park was a true feast for the senses – the colours and lighting, the smells of pine and flowers, the sound of rushing creeks and rivers. And seeing nature being renewed – we saw huge areas of burned out forests with hundreds and thousands of tiny new pines growing amongst the burned out ones.

Regenerated forest in Yellowstone

Regenerated forest in Yellowstone


We return to our campsite after a busy day – Anthony points out the name of our tent – Yellowstone!! And relax for an hour before joining Marte & Ed ( and Annie the dog( from Phoenix, now Texans to be close to grandkids, for a Mexican dinner. Lucky our contribution and choice of bags of peanut M&M’s for desert are apparently Ed’s favourite. A lovely evening was spent chatting before turning in for the night.

Our camping spot in Yellowstone

Our camping spot in Yellowstone


As we are busy packing the bikes the next morning, Ellen whom Anthony chatted to while I was busy storing all our food away, comes over to me with a “you are invited” note to a home cooked meal or 2 or 3 and a comfy bed to her home in Vermont. How kind!!!

Ed, Marte, Annie the dog, Ellen and Bob

Ed, Marte, Annie the dog, Ellen and Bob


Yesterday morning was so freezing, we don’t want to leave so early today. The temperature doesn’t go down to zero but it is nippy enough at 5 degrees. We stay rugged up as we will be climbing for the first few hours. First along the Beartooth highway, they Chief Joseph Highway. Chief Joseph pass has some interesting historic displays: Nez Percé Indians, led by Lean Elk and Joseph outmaneuvered the US Cavalry in 1877 by milling their horses around in every direction and leaving a confusion of tracks and managed to escape the US Cavalry. The US Army’s continued pursuit of 750 Nez Percé Indians lasted over 3 months. Chief Joseph eventually surrendered but became renowned as a great peacemaker and humanitarian.
Heading up to Dunraveen Pass, 2700m, Yellowstone

Heading up to Dunraveen Pass, 2700m, Yellowstone

Over the Lamar river

Over the Lamar river

US212 Beartooth highway

US212 Beartooth highway

Clarks Fork Yellowstone river, Chief Joseph Hwy

Clarks Fork Yellowstone river, Chief Joseph Hwy

The scenery is incredible, the roads perfect bike riding roads and today is the best riding day I have had in a very very long time, with Streak performing brilliantly. I had been waiting to encounter high temperatures before I could confidently declare Streak completely fixed after our Denver fixes, and today we got all the conditions which have caused me problems over the last 7 months: acceleration, uphill especially, heat and less than half full fuel tank. We had numerous passes, twists, heat and long stretches between refueling. Streak is fixed!!

Twists tighter than an S

Twists tighter than an S

Chief Joseph's Pass

Chief Joseph’s Pass

Today, we stop at Cody where we have lunch at Buffalo Bill Cody’s hotel named Irma after his daughter and stop for the night in Sheridan where we walk to Buffalo Bill’s other hotel, the Sheridan Inn, for dinner as there is no Walmart nearby for us to buy our usual humus, crackers, carrots or mushrooms for dinner.

Road signs we have seen over the last few days - Motorcycles are everywhere - look twice, save a life

Road signs we have seen over the last few days – Motorcycles are everywhere – look twice, save a life

Buffalo Bill's Irma Hotel in Cody

Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel in Cody

Buffalo Bill's Sheridan Inn

Buffalo Bill’s Sheridan Inn


We are hoping for a good night’s sleep tonight at our little motel as we are camping tomorrow at Devil’s Tower then we are off to Sturgis – not sure how much sleep we’ll get there…!!

– Anne

Sturgis – a first visit

Sturgis, a name that many motorcyclists will recognise, the home of the largest motorcycle event in the world, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, held annually for the last 74 years, with 2015 seeing the 75th year of the event. The event, which is expected to draw up to a million visitors this year, is not our usual UNESCO site to visit, but being so close and probably not riding back for the 100th anniversary, we will take the chance to get bragging rights by attending, and securing event paraphernalia While the event does not start until next week, we wanted to get the lie of the land beforehand, hence a quick trip to our chosen camping/event site. Can someone confirm Sturgis is a UNESCO site?

We travel from our Black Hills campsite, in which we sat through a one hour hail storm last night, towards Deadwood.

A little hailstone from around our tent.

A little hailstone from around our tent.

Deadwood is a famous town from the cowboy era, which today features a main street with one side dedicated to motorcycle parking only. Probably 150 years ago horses would have lined the street in the same place as motorcycles stand today. Historic buildings have been retained and now welcome tourists and gamblers. Yes, casinos have been established to take your money, replacing the card sharps and gunslingers of old.

Main Street, Deadwood with motorcycle parking

Main Street, Deadwood with motorcycle parking


Mustang Sally, a great western name

Mustang Sally, a great western name


On from historic Deadwood to Sturgis. The town appears to be a hive of activity with setup work being undertaken. Merchandise tents and stands being erected, semi trailers full of with every conceivable motorcycle accessory plus all those mandatory Sturgis teeshirts being unloaded are the activities we see as we move from one tedious stop sign to the next. It is difficult to traverse the town’s main street under normal circumstances, what will it be like in a week’s time? Impossible I think! A small crowd of motorcyclists wandering the streets, looking to make purchases from the vendors. A good time to buy without the crowds, but there is nothing we really want.
Main street in Sturgis without the crowds

Main street in Sturgis without the crowds

We finally get through town and head for our campsite which is where the major bands are also playing. It is called Buffalo Chip and has become famous for great parties over the years. The place is almost empty, final preparations are underway. Looks like the calm before the storm. I am sure it will be so different next week. We get our wristbands for Monday and Tuesday night and learn that camping is first come first served and some people started camping a week ago to get good spots! Hundreds of thousands of people are not our thing and we are already starting to chicken out by thinking only one night at Buffalo Chip, due to the time it will take us to get to Yellowstone and back.

Buffalo Chip bar, customers to come next week

Buffalo Chip bar, customers to come next week


Field of Flags at the Buffalo Chip campground to honour those who serve in the military

Field of Flags at the Buffalo Chip campground to honour those who serve in the military

Veterans are important here at the Buffalo Chip campground

Veterans are important here at the Buffalo Chip campground


This region is known for strong winds and we head west we battle strong gusty winds in the late afternoon. A reminder that we need to start riding early to avoid the physical strain that this type of riding brings. We are heading for Thermopolis, a small town in central Wyoming that is based around hot springs, hence the name from the Greek for ‘Hot City’. First we pass through the Wind River Canyon, this is a spectacular route, with the river sparkling in the sun as we ride.

Wind river canyon, a great ride.

Wind river canyon, a great ride.


The hot springs at Thermopolis were part of an Indian reservation which was sold to the US Government with the proviso that the hot springs should be available to all people for free. This has resulted in a spa that is open to all for free, well, for 20 minutes at a time. We tried it and 20 minutes is more than enough! We enjoy a stroll through the park, seeing the hot springs running into the river – must be nice to have that warmth in winter.

80 years of hot springs activity created this

80 years of hot springs activity created this

Thermopolis hot springs lake

Thermopolis hot springs lake


Wyoming is a big state and we enter our third day crossing it at our pace. We are heading for the Grand Tetons, somewhere we have not been since 1985, wow how time flies! First we have yet another pass to cross, the Togwotee Pass on US287 with an elevation of 9,658 ft (2,944 m) over. Over the top and we see the Grand Tetons for the first time in 30 years. We have a picture at home taken from our tent when last camped here and this view had recalls wonderful memories from the past. We pass Jackson, a well known ski town, as we head for Idaho Falls which is a far west as we will travel in the USA.

Grand Tetons, our first view in 30 years.

Grand Tetons, our first view in 30 years.

Where we camped 30 years ago

Where we camped 30 years ago


– Anthony

A day in Casper, Wyoming

I have always believed things always work out perfectly in the end, for some unknown reason. Today was another example. We were all set to leave Casper this morning, we were fully packed, finally decided what route we would take towards the Black Hills today and ready to put on our jackets when Anthony said his crooked neck was still too sore and maybe we should stay put another day. Of course. Perfect in fact as that way, we could get up early tomorrow and go and see the 30 or so hot air balloons take off at 6am: as we got up this morning and opened the curtains, we were graced with a stunning sky full of hot air balloons drifting past in the distance. Little did we know what an awesome day we were going to have!!!

It all started over breakfast, when the hotel receptionist brings us a map of the Black Hills which Doug, a Texan bike rider whom we chatted with last night, has left us so that we don’t miss any of the amazing roads awaiting us, each road colour coded, distances and special sightseeing sites marked. So useful!! How kind. And we have no way of thanking him.

We decide to go for a bit of walk as it will loosen Anthony’s muscles. Quick change out of our riding pants and boots and into our ‘town clothes’ and shoes and off we go. We haven’t looked at a local map but Anthony has a vague idea of where he’d like to head. After about 20′ we get to this:

No pedestrians allowed beyond this point in Casper

No pedestrians allowed beyond this point in Casper

We stand there a short while contemplating our options, can we climb down the bank? There is a fence along the railway line. Eventually, we turn back when a massive ute/pick up slows up and stops beside us: “you want a lift across the bridge? Hop in the back.” Wow, how did he know?! We laugh at our luck, it feels strange as we haven’t done this since our backpacking days decades ago. Australia has way too many laws including not allowing people to travel in the back of utes this way. He drops us off on the other side, tells us about a walking track along the river and how we can return to the other side further down and we watch him leave: he returns the way we came from. He must have spotted us as he was heading in the opposite direction, did a U turn to pick us up and eventually went back on his way. Another kind person.

We haven't travelled in the back of a ute for decades

We haven’t travelled in the back of a ute for decades

It is a lovely walk along the North Platte river. The city council has obviously spent a lot of money on this for the locals. There are several sculptures, picnic spots, benches, maps.

Finding Silver statue in the middle of the Platte river in Casper

“Finding Silver statue in the middle of the Platte river in Casper

Sculptures along the walking-cycling path in Casper

Sculptures along the walking-cycling path in Casper

Fence around the bank - must be big in the mining community

Fence around the bank – must be big in the mining community


Oil was found near Casper in 1851 and was mixed with flour  sold to westwards bound pioneers as axle grease

Oil was found near Casper in 1851 and was mixed with flour sold to westwards bound pioneers as axle grease

We spot a mini golf. That would be fun! We go in but the staff are all busy cleaning the place. It does not open for another 40′ but they let us in anyway. Fantastic. We had fun. Anthony won by a mile including a hole in one.

Hole in 1 at Casper's mini golf

Hole in 1 at Casper’s mini golf

We ended up being out and walking for over 2 hours – a good work out. Time for a rest back in the room and eventually we go out again for a bite to eat. As we walk down to McDonald (yes, there are times when you have to take what’s available but luckily they now make a delicious healthy Asian salad), a long distance cyclist goes past. I notice his safety jacket says Marseilles. “vous êtes Français?” I call out. He turns around and stop besides us. Jean is from Marseilles and is traveling from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He turns 76 in November!!!!

Jean from Marseilles is cycling from the Atlantic to Pacific coasts

Jean from Marseilles is cycling from the Atlantic to Pacific coasts


Amongst many other trips, he travelled around the world on a bicycle back in 2005. How inspiring. And what a character. We told you we were slow!!!! He tells us that he is following the American pioneers’ trails and is heading to Independence rock tomorrow. I remember we rode right past it on our way to Casper but didn’t know the significance of it. Pioneers used to scratch their name and date onto the rock as a way of letting other family members know they were at that point and when they came through. It is important for Jean to scratch his name into that rock for his great grand children. Stopping at that point was out of the question anyway for us as it was so windy. He is looking for a hotel and asks us where we’re staying. That is too expensive for him. Anthony suggests to me that we could pay for a room for him at our hotel – of course. Jean is touched by Anthony’s offer but turns it down. He does not need money, he just doesn’t like to spend that much on accommodation. We tell him that many people have been kind to us and it is our pleasure to do something for him. But no, he won’t have it. It is now pouring. We eventually say goodbye and tell him we’re going to McDonald’s for lunch. As we sit down with our lunch at McDonald and Jean turns up. He wanted to chat with us some more. I am enjoying chatting in French. Anthony leaves us and we carry on chatting for another hour. The offer is still open I tell him but he says that the offer is as good as if he took it up. What a great, inspiring man. I hope we manage to see him again when we return to France.

Jean inspired me to go to the local Museum on historic trails next, while Anthony rests. Jean was cycling across the US, following those trails – out of historic interest but also because they avoided the mountains! National Historic Trails are designated to protect the remains of significant overland or water routes to reflect the history of the US pioneers. There 19 such trails across the country, 4 of which come through Casper, including the Poney Express trail.

Represents the Poney Express trail

Represents the Poney Express trail


I crossed the North Platte river in this carriage (in the museum!)

I crossed the North Platte river in this carriage (in the museum!)


Casper, from the National Historic Trails museum

Casper, from the National Historic Trails museum

It is wonderful how people can touch you, at the most unexpected time. And you can have so many amazing experiences in just the space of a day.

– Anne