“Oh my gosh,” I hooted as I read the copy of the local paper that I had picked up. “Ole, you’ve got to listen to this.” It was an entire page dedicated to the “Opal News.”
“July 8th was John Heidler’s birthday and to celebrate it they invited friends and relatives to join them that Sunday afternoon for calf roping and goat tying at their home arena.”
“Monday through Wednesday this week Zona Vig spent time visiting Travis and Chandelle Brink and family in Box Elder. While there she took care of other errands and appointments.”
Margaret Fogelman went into Faith on Monday for an appointment, then Tuesday she kept a therapy appointment in Faith. Da Fogelman was also in Faith that day as he left his pickup there for repairs.”
This is for REAL, folks, I couldn’t make this up! You really know you’re in the sticks when this is what makes the newspaper!!
Anyway, it came time to say goodbye to all our Sturgis neighbors until next year. They’re such a fun group of folks. We packed up the kids and Beau and sent them on their way and we headed farther west. Our destination for that day was a little wide spot in the road called Ten Sleep, Wyoming. We’ve stayed there before and because Ole really needed clean sock and this RV park has a laundry we stopped there again.
So we took the southern route over the Big Horn Mountains and crossed a creek named Crazy Woman Creek. I found the name rather intriguing so I did a bit of research on it. Back in about 1860 or so, (can’t remember the exact date) a fur trader was trapping out the area. One fall he returned from selling his furs with a white woman as a bride. Something happened and the fur trader, who had been quite friendly with the local Indians, got on the outs with the Indians. They captured the trader and his wife and forced her to watch while they tortured him until he died. They released her and apparently as a result of all this she lost her mind. She managed to maintain some kind of residence along the creek and the local residents kind of watched over her, kept her in food and saw that she had shelter until she died as an old woman.
We crossed the Big Horns, with a summit of about 9500 feet. Then it was all downhill from there. Eighteen miles of a 9% grade – with lots of hairpins turns – not real fun in a large motorhome. But thank heavens for the exhaust brake. The first time we did this a number of years ago we were in a gas rig and by the time we got to the bottom I was in tear from relief that we had even made it to the bottom. Of course, that was after our previous year’s experience of losing our brakes coming out of Death Valley the winter before. That was also a 15 mile 9% grade. My tears at the bottom of the grade at that point were what prompted the purchase of a diesel rig with an exhaust brake. I didn’t even cry this time!!
We spent the night at a little spot called Ten Sleep. Another interesting name – I knew the the history at one time, but can’t remember all of it now. Named by the Indians, it had something to do with it being “ten sleeps” from some other point. If you’re really interested, do your own damn research (chuckle).
We crossed through the Badlands of Wyoming – a stretch of 50 miles where we didn’t see another sign of life – no ranches, no other vehicles, no power lines, no cell towers – nothing. All you would see along the highway was a mailbox and then a very long stretch of road (two wheel tracks) going back into the hills to, I suppose, a dwelling of some sort. What a lonesome existence that must be – miles and miles from anything.
We finally ended up in Meeteetse, Wyoming, which is one of our favorite places that we’ve discovered in our travels. It’s just a little place, population 297, but what a history it has. I’ll tell you more tomorrow as we’re headed for the Cowboy Bar tonight.
A few pictures – click on the link.