Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quiet again at Porcupine

We are still at the Porcupine campground in the Bighorn Mountains.

The place seemed absolutely crowded last night. There were two "Scamp" trailers (unrelated) and three more sets of tenters, in addition to Mike and Ellen from Wisconsin, whom we met the day before. This morning, however, we are again all alone. One set of tenters, also from Wisconsin (at least from their plates) is still occupying their site, but they're out for the day. Two sites, actually -- there are a pair of nice "walk in" sites set off from the road a ways in the trees, and this large family has taken both and set up three tents and a large tarp across the two sites; they look well-prepared (although they, too, were caught by surprise with the water situation).

One reason for the empty status at the moment might be the storm that blew through in the night. It was not as bad, or as early, as predicted -- the weather radio had gone to alert mode several times late yesterday, with dire warnings about 60mph winds and quarter-sized hail. Louise even made a trip around the loop passing the word to all the other campers. Other than the vault toilets, Odyssey is the sturdiest thing around, and we offered to be the storm shelter should the worst happen.

The weather early in the day was quite pleasant -- sunny and relatively warm, though not as warm as Tuesday. I took advantage of the conditions to change the oil in the scooters; Louise's was overdue by a few miles, and I was early by only 150km (the correct oil for each was part of the massive Wal-Mart expedition in Cody).

After that was done, we took a ride down to the ranger station another mile along the road, then a "GS" adventure (for you motorcyclists out there) down an unmaintained road by the creek. On our way up to the main highway, we turned in to a dirt driveway (off the dirt Forest Service Road) just about a mile from here with a sign curiously advertising "Store Open -- Beer, Gas." We didn't make it all the way to the store, although we could see it -- a serious mud bog was more off-roading than we wanted to do just to see a store in the middle of nowhere. This actually turns out to be the Wyoming High Country Guest Ranch. Nice to know there are supplies near here if one needed them.

We also rode up Medicine Mountain to the parking area for the Medicine Wheel -- somewhere around 10,000'. Unfortunately, the road was not cleared beyond that point, and a mile and a half through snow was more hiking than we wanted to do to see the wheel. We did spot Odyssey in the valley below using binoculars -- I tried to capture a photo, which turns out to be a nice panorama, but I doubt you'll pick the bus out in it.

At the summit, just a little further uphill from this point is a large radome for the FAA's regional traffic control radar -- this is the highest point in the region. The road to the summit is closed to the public.

In a few minutes we will pull up stakes and head out. We already stowed the scooters, at 11:45 last night, upon hearing the dire warnings on the weather radio (we didn't think they'd remain standing on the dirt road in 60mph winds).


  1. Wow, where were you when I was a tenter, and despised RVers? How cool you are! If I had run into you back when I was a punk kid with attitude, it wouldn't have taken me so long to realize how totally cool RVers can be!

  2. Arrrgh, OK I give up, where's Odyssey in the panoramic shot? Huh?

  3. What Ned said... Where is Odyssey?


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