Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sunday, 21 June 2009

My dad and I went to Fort Kearny near Buffalo, WY this morning. This is a state park and it they were having re-enactors speaking to the visitors to the Fort.

Fort Kearny was established in 1866 to protect the Bozeman Trail from Indian Attacks. This was one of the few forts that had a stockade built around it. The fort housed six companies of infantry, two companies of cavalry, and a band. The fort was in use from 1866 to 1868 when a new treaty was established with the Sioux, and a new route to the gold fields of Montana was established to the west of the Bighorn Mountains.

We were treated to a firing of a mountain howitzer, by the re-enactors. Dad and I had a good time. The both of us are military history buffs, and with us both growing up in western Nebraska, the Indian Wars were always items that we were interested in. As a child, my parents often took us to Fort Robinson and Fort Lararmie, and we also drove by the site of Fort Mitchell when visiting my grandparents. Dad and I parted as I needed to get going back to Yellowstone.


I headed back to Bighorn National Recreation Area and the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range to see if I could find anymore mustangs. The band of horses that I had seen on Friday was in about the same location on Sunday. I didn’t stop because I wanted to see more of the area and find additional bands.

I drove about four miles and found another band, right on the side of the road. The stallion was a beautiful tan color, there were two younger adults that were gray, and a young colt that was tan and blonde. In the valley just below them was a dappled mare and another gray horse. I only intended to stay an hour in the park overall and I spent the full hour with them. Then I needed to head on to Cody.


On the way out, I saw another band of horses, and then the excitement of finding a nice prairie rattlesnake on the road.


In Cody, I stopped at the Wyoming Rib and Chop house for dinner. I know they must think I am cheap, but the have one of the best buffalo burgers and it was only $7 for a half pound burger. Definitely try the place, the other meats look great, although I do suggest reservations.

On toward the park and it was raining again. I stopped at Pahaska to see if the foxes were about, but strike three. I don’t think they are there anymore, because I have tried three times over the last week.

Once inside the park, just before Lake Butte Overlook, I came on a bear jam. It was a small grizzly with the standard coloration. It was on the embankment on the north side of the road less than 10 yards from the road. Right below it was a small SUV and the female driver was out of the vehicle and directly behind it. I recommended that she get back in her car because she was too close, but she just looked mean at me. I think it scared her into the car when it decided to cross the road immediately in front of her vehicle. It then proceeded along the guard rail on the other side of the road. I could not believe a family with a toddler got out of their vehicle on the other side of the road and ran over to the rail. I finally had to leave before the frustration got to me much more.

I headed on toward Canyon. In the meadow about a mile south of Mud Volcano I came on another bear jam. This one was a little larger and I did get the 600mm out for it. The lighting was not that good, so I was shooting ISO800, but it was still 1/40 of a second on the shutter. This was a nice looking bear, I just wish the clouds weren’t above us again. It started to rain so I went on into the Hayden. Both of the overlooks had people, but no real action, so I decided to call it a night and get checked in and go to bed early for tomorrow morning.


I hope to see you under the Western Skies.

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