Wyoming Scenic Backway

Kiosk at the beginning of the Scenic Backway we drove. Between the bullet holes and the weathering, it was impossible to read.

We have learned that scenic “backways” mean dirt roads. Dirt roads can be anywhere from high quality allowing high speed travel to so bad you can’t drive on it. There is everything in between. Today’s road was in pretty good shape. The road went from Sinclair, Wyoming (probably named after the company with the dinosaur logo since they have a big facility there) to Alcova, Wyoming. We did not drive the whole way. The road goes along the North Platte River part of the way and then goes by the Seminoe Reservoir. I thought Seminoe was a Native American word but it is an incorrect spelling of the fur trapper Cimenaux’s name. It was named after him.

Seminoe reservoir.

We saw several deer along or in the river and we saw many pronghorn today and a couple of mothers with twins. Importantly, after researching pronghorns and learning they don’t jump fences, we watched three pronghorns jump a fence today. In one case, the mother jumped the fence when she saw our car and the babies ran along the fence line until they finally ran between the barbed wire and caught up with mom. They run fast. I could not get my lens focused on them. We saw a variety of birds and our second coyote of the trip.

Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) mother with two fawns.

We stopped for lunch at an area on the river between two reservoirs called the Miracle Mile. According to the Wyoming Fish Network, there were 4,469 fish over six inches per mile in this 5.5 mile stretch of river. By 2002, the number dropped to 2,000 fish per mile. There were less trout in 2002, but individually they weighed more – averaging 1.91 pounds. On the Wyoming Fish Network website they say “By 2018, the number of large rainbow trout (> 20 inches) wass (sic) as high as Game and Fish had ever measured.”

Miracle mile.

American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) floating on the miracle mile.
This little bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) lamb is beginning to grow some horns. We encountered a small herd of these when crossing over one of the mountains. We have seen a lot of bighorn sheep on this trip.
This black-billed magpie (Pica hudsonia) visited close by while we were eating lunch. It was hanging around with six other magpies, but none of the other ones came near us.

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