This morning after breakfast, Matt and I hiked on the bluffs overlooking the Big Horn River. What an experience! There was nothing particularly strenuous, but the adventure was in hiking an area that is quite uninhabited; there are some paths but no formal trails, and we had great fun exploring in different directions. We kept ourselves oriented to the river running way below us, and had no trouble finding our way. We would pick a rock feature in the distance and then hike toward it. We found formations to climb and crevasses to avoid. We also dodged a number of fire ant hills, and we saw a few lizards; fortunately, we didn’t encounter any snakes or big animals!
Once we had the hike under our belts, we headed out with my brother and sister-in-law for lunch at Dirty Annie’s, at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains. The food was as good as I remembered, and I also replenished my supply of T-shirts. A large group of motorcyclists arrived just as we were leaving, so I’d guess the place was going to stay busy for awhile after we left.
Then it was on up the mountain to Shell Falls, which is just as incredibly beautiful as it was last time I saw it. 🙂 Trekking around the viewing path was a cakewalk compared to the morning’s hike, but the views are amazing, and the sound of the rushing water reaches your very soul. Also, today I got the best look I ever got at the smaller waterfall that lies far across the gorge. I’d love to be able to hike back in to that smaller cascade some day.
Next stop was a little park/camping area beside Shell Creek. The water runs swift and clear there, and although the area is quite overgrown with brush we were able to hike some distance along the bank. The opposite side of the creek is a rock wall so high that you have to bend way back to see the top, and there are some very interesting caves along the river bank on that side. It’s a gorgeous little spot, and seems to be pretty much undiscovered.
We wrapped up with a stop at the Dinosaur Track Site, which is an archeological dig where, many millions of years ago, a mud flat fossilized, capturing the footprints of a number of dinosaurs who were traveling across the area. It’s fascinating. Today I learned a little more about the history of the site. It was discovered by a local man who had become an archeologist, and he was then instrumental in setting up a formal dig project and documenting the discoveries.
I seem to have acclimated to the altitude and thin air in fairly short order, but a strenuous day like today will take the starch out of anyone. As soon as the laundry is dry, I think I will be taking my tired self off to bed. Tomorrow is a day for repacking the cargo area of the Equinox (Sophie), then a visit to Sheep Mountain. Wednesday we will pack up and head out for Cody; Thursday is for Yellowstone!
More tomorrow. Who knows what we will find on Sheep Mountain?
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