Thursday, May 14, 2009

Skull Creek

Hello Diners,

Much has happened by Wyoming standards: Two other fine gentlemen from the barracks have acquired an apartment with me. We have internet and things are good!

We have been spending a lot of time around Dad and Baggs. We found our first amphibians as well! Boreal Chorus frogs, to be precise - the most common frog in Wyoming. They are essentially like our spring peepers, another type of incessantly chirpy tree-frog. We also obtained a sage brush lizard and a horned lizard! I will provide horned lizard photos as well as a picture of chorus frog amplexus someday soon.

Today we ventured out farther west of Baggs toward Kinney Rim. Our destination was a place called Skull Creek. The route was appropriately perilous. About 50 miles of offroad along a rocky rocky ridge. I bottomed out temporarily twice along the way as we traversed washouts. The view was amazing, and we made it to a crazy canyon with nothing but badlands in the background. Apparently, there is a petrified forest in those badlands and fossils galore. I found obsidian.

When we finally reached the end of our trek, about 5 miles from Colorado we found that there were no amphibians. But there were wild horses. About one score, in multiple small herds, running away from our truck. Their epicenter were the sandy hills surrounding a ghost ranch and reservoir. Mega cool. These mustangs raised sand when we drove within 200 yards, and then watched us from a safe distance. They were BIG horses too.

The abandoned ranch was really strange, with buildings seeming to have originated from various periods. The only residents now are cottontails and a mean old great horned owl. It was probably abandoned in the 70's or 80's because we found plastic big wheel tricycle parts from the ranch children, and the sagebrush growing around the troughs and barns were very tall. There were some mule deer bones and a jackrabbit ribcage. The sofas were exploding with rot and the old cans were plentiful. It was in such an isolated place, and the surroundings so barren and desolate, that it wasn't hard to see why no one lived there now. Judging by the landscape, the ranchers totally mismanaged their herd. It seemed like they had built that reservoir the horses liked, expected everything to be jolly, and then let their cattle graze down the grass to nothing but the sand beneath. Nothing grew back, the rain never came, and their frontier dream ended.

Things are crazy here!

Addie is coming on JULY 17th!!!

Thanks for reading, diners. You're the best!

1 comment:

rb said...

they sure make those plastic deerses amazingly lifelike nowadays. one word comes to mind about the abandoned ranch: hippies. or, maybe they were forced down the three-holer by a band of roaming evildoers and couldn't get back out. you should go back there and check.