August 19, 2018
The night before yesterday it rained, so we woke up to beautiful weather and the clearest skies we have seen in weeks. It was the first time in awhile there wasn’t smoke in the air.
We headed to the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Adjacent to it is the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. We saw some wild horses and they are beautiful. They looked healthy to me. There is an organization called the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center who is actively involved in helping to ensure the continued success of these horses. I was fascinated with the stripe going doing each horse’s back and found some interesting information on the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center website. This website discusses the distinct colors and markings of the horses.
We spent some time at the Devil’s Canyon overlook. Wow! While we were there we saw someone water skiing down the canyon. There was a great campground at the end of the paved road where there is also a boat ramp. If we come back this way again, I’d like to camp in the campground and kayak through the canyon. There is the potential to see a lot of wildlife here. We saw LOTS of scat.
After we left the recreation area we went on Highway 14A into the Bighorn Mountains. This is another scenic highway. It does not disappoint. Unfortunately, it started to get hazy again by the time we got into the mountains, so the views were marred by haze. Nevertheless, the road is astonishing. It was an incredible engineering feat to build it.
As we go around the country, we notice that a lot of amazing road construction as well as campgrounds, lodges, and other facilities were built in the 1930’s. The Civilian Conservation Corps built a lot of buildings, trails, campgrounds, and other facilities that we benefit from today. It’s interesting to me that so much of the stuff we enjoy the most was all built around the same time frame. You can’t help but wonder how they manage to build these roads in these difficult terrains. I, for one, am very thankful that they did!
We went close to the Bighorn Medicine Wheel. We visited it a couple years ago and went back because we saw marmots and pikas while we there. I didn’t get a look at any Pikas, although Regis saw one briefly. But, there were lots of marmots. I also saw a little chipmunk actively feeding on natural food. Since I mostly see chipmunks begging for food in picnic areas and rest stops, it was amazing to catch sight of one eating a good and proper diet for a chipmunk.
It started to rain on us on the way back and the temperature is now quite chilly. Hopefully, all this rain will clear up the air and help this dry spell.