Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lander, WY and Yet Another Canyon

We are really gaining an appreciation for the whole Free city park stay.  Our first experiences with this were in traveling the back roads of Texas.  That in itself (traveling the back roads) is something that we enjoy.  Having places to stop and stay within the limits of a small town or city that we can explore and give our business to just adds that extra something that we’ll even go a tad out of our way for. 

Lander City Park is no exception.  It is quiet, clean and sits next to the Popo Agie (pronounced Poh-poh-zsha) River.






The weather was iffy while we were in Lander.  It alternated between rain and sun so we alternated between exploring the city and taking a drive in the rain to Sinks Canyon.  By this point we had lost count on how many canyons we had seen in Wyoming and were not so sure we were ready for another one.

We hadn’t even gotten to the meat of the park when we realized that we were DEFINITELY ready for another canyon!  Each canyon has its own personality and special characteristics but Sinks has a secret.

        The Popo Agie River flows through the canyon.

The way it falls over the rocks is beautiful but that is not the secret.

                              Once it turns the corner and heads down-slope...

                                       it enters this cave...

                                              and in a rush...

       circles this thirty plus foot tall feature then disappears into the darkness to the right.

           The river reappears a quarter of a mile away at this ‘Rise’.

It is a protected area in which the sandbar shifts and changes each year.  The ‘protected’ part makes the resident trout very happy.

                          So what’s the secret?

Well, although researchers know where the river enters and exits the time it takes to run the quarter mile is longer than it should be.  This indicates that the river travels through a series of (unidentified) cracks and fissures and, one could speculate, potentially a greater distance than a quarter of a mile.  Who knows?

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What we do know is that the cave is a great place to sit and take in the magic.

                                              The view isn’t so bad either.

It was hard to tear ourselves away but eventually we moved on from the ‘Sinks’ part of the park and drove the up, up, up multi-hairpin-turning road up to Frye Lake (the reservoir for Lander’s drinking water).

  The intermittent gray / blue sky along with the leaves changing seasons were appreciated.

                      Color was interspersed with evergreen for a painted landscape.

                           Rocky crags jugged from the otherwise rolling hillside.

             Gray skies or not this was a stellar location with some wonderful scenery.

     We saw a little blue but the increased elevation and wind made for some chilly temps.

    Still, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take it and so we had a snack on the beach.

            We watched an eagle fishing and enjoyed the solitude of this beautiful place.

       This cairn looked a little like the Buddha to us.

The paved road ran out only a few miles from the lake so we headed down the way we went up.  With the blue sky making more of an appearance it was a brand new drive.




                 And that concludes yet another canyon experience for us in Wyoming.

NOTE:  We’re way behind and trying to catch up.  So, this is another two posts in one day - day.  So, if you haven’t seen the one about Ten Sleep be sure to click ‘Older’ at the bottom right.