Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Alpine, Wyoming - Capers, Coffee & Laundry




Two miles from the border of Idaho, Alpine, Wyoming, is a cosmopolitan hub-of-the-universe offering all the essentials...including capers.

To the North the highway is bounded on the west by Palisades Reservoir and some mountains on the East. Here and there a stream flows down. There are only a couple of roads into the mountains and, as far as I could find, few dispersed camping sites...and those were taken.

Forced, FORCED, I tell you!! to resort to a campground, I was pleasantly surprised to find Calamity C.G. almost empty. I chose tent site C-11 at the top of the hill.



1957 Cummins Diesel (click to largen)
Next morning I supervised the Corp of Engineers launch of their tugboat to clear driftwood from near the dam outlets. Afterward, I explored Little and Big Elk creeks.

Little Elk is pretty small, but there are three (count 'em) dispersed camp sites along it. All were taken. Big Elk looks like good fishing but no camp sites.

The drive up Sheep Creek is beautiful and worth the price of the gasoline, but the area is closed for revegetation.

I was about to mosey on North but an R.V. park owner said the only laundry facilities in the next four counties was in Alpine. I backtracked.

While waiting for the laundry I found filet mignon for $8.99/pd at the Alpine Market. The butcher ground it up and with the aforementioned capers it made superb beef tartare.

The Mountain View Natural Food Market (140 Hwy 89 tel:307-654-5433) has all the essentials be yea a  New-Ager, Greenie, or bike-a-thoner. Coffee (beans or brewed), bison, local beef (excellent!) and fair assortment of organic fruits and veggies and a good selection of supplements. I picked up some Pamela's gluten & wheat frosting mix which, with a whisper of cream, is great straight off the spoon. A bit more, a touch of heat, and voila!...a fine hot chocolate.

Click to Largen
It was late afternoon when, following my Lucky Herrmann instinct, I took the road out of the center of town toward a large canyon. It was the Grey's River road. The Grey's is the last undammed waterway in the U.S. that connects with the Columbia and the Pacific ocean. I soon came to an area of dispersed camping and, as luck would have it, a beautiful overlook (photo at left).

Traffic on the road was intense and as the day advanced, it worsened. As beautiful as it was, I decided to push on. However, for those of you who don't mind neiborus proximus or being ogled by passersby (there's not much room between the road and river), there were quite a few dispersed sites. And everyone looked suitably civilized.

Knowing I'd have to drive a while to the next forest, I stayed another night at Calamity Campground. Cheryl and Mike, the campground hosts, are the best! From Mustang Island (Gulf of Mexico) to Palmer, Alaska (NE of Anchorage), their pit toilets are the cleanest.




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