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Friday, September 23, 2011

Estes Park and on to Winnemucca

A view from our room at the Stanley

The morning at Stanley Hotel this morning was AWESOME. The sky as blue as the little Mountain Bluebirds, and not an angry looking cloud in the sky. We had our breakfast at the Stanley Hotel restaurant, as delicious a breakfast as we'd hoped for, Eggs Benedict for Barbara and an omelet for me.
Soon we were on the road again, headed for our overnight stay in Salt Lake City. As I drove the winding way through beautiful canyon land along highway 34 I was already having a touch of post-vacation blues. I saw 2 Red Foxes and didn't get photos of either, and for this trip to Colorado there were no Bighorn Sheep to be seen, insert large self pitying sigh HERE.

Just as those thoughts wound its way through my windier than any Colorado road mind of mine, up ahead on a curvy road shoulder were several cars, and drivers aiming cameras binoculars and huge smiles at a cliff face.

Here's what everyone saw. There are 3 ewes in this photo
Did you see this leaping ewe in the photo above this one?
I didn't notice it until I examined my shots later

They weren't in any hurry

Climbing slowly skyward
All too soon, the lively ewes disappeared beyond our view and we were on the road again.

Not long after were left Colorado for Wyoming we stopped to photograph some pronghorn grazing in the distance. This was our first pronghorn photo op of the trip because at 75 mph we no sooner spotted pronghorn than we were way past getting any shots of them.

Heads down

Heads up!

We spotted hundreds of pronghorn along the highways
I thought these 'so-so' photos were all I was going to get, but later, as we drove along an entrance ramp, we spotted some pronghorns, much closer in.

A doe eyes us curiously

I suspect this is a doe (on the left) and her twins

You can see here, whining is not restricted to human youth
Examining the photos later I noticed I had taken the second of my 'Udder Shots of North American Ungulates'. Too bad National Geographic isn't interested in my udderly facinating series.

Certainly the buck noticed those udders

The Pronghorn buck was certainly the most handsome I've ever photographed.

Pretty boy

Just when you think there is nothing interesting between you and your rest stop for the night, you run into one of those strange little highway tributes. We ran into a Wyoming tribute to, of all non-Wyoming heroes: Abraham Lincoln.

Four Score and what-the-hell am I doing in Wyoming?

Nearby the humongous Lincoln pillar was a Visitor Center that was not too interesting looking from the outside and homages to Wyoming all over a parking lot rest area. Inside however was pretty nifty. There were book cases full of free for the taking pamphlets on Wyoming attractions and history. I was happy to take several free-bee issues of Wyoming Wildlife. There was also the most compact state museum you can imagine.

The outdoor placards were decorated by the bumper crop of grasshoppers
In short, every little thing you could ever have imagined about Wyoming, it's people, wildlife and history were bill boarded and expanded on one little mini-museum. Did you know Wyoming has as many pronghorn antelopes as humans? One of many tidbits available for the curious at the rest stop.

Here, click on this photo and learn yerself up something!

A bit of Grizzly Wyoming History

A little Pronghorn interest
Not much other than wonderful scenery happened for the remainder of our journey other than some interesting spots of autumn in the hills of Utah outside Salt Lake City, where we happily bedded ourselves down for the night.

Autumn approaches

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