Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Continued Adventures at Bighorn Canyon NRA

As we’ve mentioned, we are not prone to wandering very from our camped area.  But the weather was due to be extra hot (at least 85 which equals well above 100 inside a metal box with loads of windows) and the only way we would have air conditioning is to drive the van.  The paved road ran only another 12 miles from where we were and also promised some neat stuff so off we went.

A Magpie had a long conversation with us as we were leaving on our adventure.

                  The views in the first part of the drive were colorful and promising.

                                    We took the turn for the Devil’s Overlook.
What we encountered was one of those views that you just simply cannot capture.   So, we won’t waste time with a bunch of photos that do not do it justice.

     We tried a panorama but it didn’t work.  So we pieced this (looking left) view together.

When you look right it is a whole other world.  Again, it is impossible to truly capture the feeling of overlooking the third largest canyon in the country. So, we’ve melded a few shots to create the one above.


The vastness, the textures and the colors just were not coming out the way that we saw them.  So, instead of spending a lot of time on photography, we simply stood there quietly and took it all in.

Then we moved on down the road... literally... you start to descend to the level of the bottom of the canyon.  As we came around a corner a truck was pulled off and two folks were standing beside it staring at something.  We scanned the terrain thinking it was perhaps some of the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustangs.  It wasn’t.

                                      But it was just as good!

                      Two Bighorn Sheep were chillin’ in the shade.

    We continued driving to the ‘End of the Road’.  This is not the end, this is the driving.

     The views were spectacular and you couldn’t help but take several shots of everything.

             Up close, far away, the colors just kept coming and so we just kept driving.

We had expected to reach the end of the road (which has both a campground and a boat ramp / parking area) and then turn back and stay the same place we had stayed the previous night.

But once we saw the views from the boat ramp / parking area (where overnight camping is permitted, by the way) we knew we weren’t going anywhere!

  Nicole followed a dry wash to an overlook of the canyon.

Note: You can obtain a similar view by walking to the edge of the parking lot but that just didn’t seem as adventurous as walking down a dry wash.

        And because you just cant get enough of such a beautiful view, here’s a panoramic.

                             Of course there were photos of tiny flowers taken.

  The now infamous (in our blog anyway) Russian Thistle.

                                 And others we haven’t identified.



Describing the size of these flowers is difficult.  We could compare them to a gnat and say the gnat was bigger (or so it seemed)!  Perhaps if you take a grain of cooked rice and then cut it in half.  That might be a good equivalent.

One thing is for sure though.  When you finally get down on their level and have a good long look they are just too darn cute.

Well, our cell phone is one of those add money every month sort of deals and after we got out to the Bighorn Canyon NRA we realized that we had only two days before we had to put some money on it.  With no reception out at the canyon we had to head back to town.

We left early in the a.m. so that we could enjoy the morning light on the drive.  We were tooling down the road when Darlene suddenly blurts out, “Wild Horses!”  Since she’s not prone to random singing, Nicole knew she meant the Pryor Mountain Mustangs.

                                    There they were, grazing off in the distance.

According to the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center, “This herd of horses is very special because of its Colonial Spanish American heritage. This tough little horse, derived from the horses of Portugal and Spain, has been present in this rugged mountain area for nearly 200 years.”

After watching them for a few minutes we continued on down the road only to be encountered by a group grazing right next to the road.

Instead of returning to the Bighorn Recreation Area we decided to continue on down the road and see what it had to offer us.  Soon, you shall see too.