Pictures of the Week – Friday, October 5th

Another week has passed, and we have gotten our first taste of fall!

Spending time in the western States, we weren’t expecting much in the way of fall colors. Luckily, we have been pleasantly surprised with beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves coloring many of the trees on the mountains in Utah & Wyoming.

But on to the real topic of this post – our favorite photos from the past 7 days!

Where 1 Deer & Lots of Antelope Play

During our travels through South Dakota, we thought we saw a lot of antelope. There were pronghorn around the Badlands, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National Park. Then we visited Wyoming and discovered where the majority of the antelope play!

As we drove across the southern portion of the State and while we camped in Seminoe State Park, we saw hundreds of antelope frolicking across the landscape…and one deer. We’re guessing that the antelope have a slight intellectual advantage over deer since they ran away from the road when we drove by instead of spooking and running in front of us like deer tend to do.

Windyoming

We’ve been quite lucky with weather on this trip. Other than a few hail storms in South Dakota and a blizzard in Arizona, the only severe storm we’ve encountered was during our camping trip near Mammoth Cave. We thought that was a windy night…

Then we came to Wyoming. Whoa. The wind was almost constantly blowing, and on our second night camping, it was strong enough to blow our tent down on top of us and rip our tarp. That strong of a wind blew for hours. Seriously, HOURS. We tried to endure inside the tent, but by 1 a.m. with little to no sleep and the walls of our tent pinning us to the air mattress, we finally decided that perhaps the truck might be safer.

We awoke the next morning to find our trash scattered around our campsite, a kitchen towel across a parking lot, our tarp torn from the ropes holding it up, and our tent in a heap…but miraculously only cosmetically scarred.

Apparently Oklahoma isn’t the only place in the US where the wind goes whipping down the plains.

Our Trip to the Slammer

When we were planning our trek across Wyoming, we used our handy-dandy Rand McNally atlas to find campgrounds, National Parks, and other points of interest along the way. One of those points of interest was the Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum.

This prison was the first state penitentiary of Wyoming and operated for 80 years, from 1901 to 1980. The tour took us through the various wings of the prison (it was expanded over the years), the death house (which includes the death row cells, the gallows, and the gas chamber), and the exercise yards, with plenty of opportunities for stories about some of the more interesting inmates. A bonus? The tours are dog-friendly, so Knox got to join us!

The picture above is the south side of Cell Block A…the warmer, sunnier side of that block with its 5′ by 7′ cells that held 2 men. A fun place to tour but definitely not a place you’d want to visit on a more long term basis!

The Oregon Trail

As children of the 1980s, we spent plenty of grade school computer time playing The Oregon Trail. With such fond memories of fruitless deer hunting and deaths due to cholera & dysentery, we were quite intrigued to check out some of the real Oregon Trail historical sites during our trip through the US.

Our first stop in Nebraska was to visit one of these sites – Scotts Bluff National Monument. Scotts Bluff is the second most-mentioned landmark (after Chimney Rock) in the diaries of the people who traveled the Oregon, Mormon and California trails. It was a nice change of scenery for the travelers after a long trek across the flat plains in wagons like the one pictured above.