|We arrived in Fort Bridger, Wyoming on Thursday afternoon. We did a walking tour of a portion of the fort before dark, expecting to complete the tour Friday morning. We got heavy rain during the night and everything was muddy, so we decided to wait to tour the fort when we returned in the afternoon. So, we traveled to Granger, WY to see the Old South Bend (Granger) Stage Station, a rock building, built in 1850. This was a lay-over stop for the stage, the pony express, the wagon trains and later on the railroad. Now it is very desolate and almost a ghost town. We saw several homes that looked occupied, but no people or animals to be found.
We traveled on to Diamondville, located at almost 7000' where diamonds were mined. From there we went to Kemmerer, WY which is home to the original J.C. Penny's store. James Cash Penny, whose name became synonymous with doing business according to the principles of the Golden Rule, was born Sept. 16, 1875 outside Hamilton. MO. The store Penny opened in Kemmerer, on April 14, 1902 was a one-room frame building located between a laundry and a boarding house off the main business district. He and his family at first lived in the attic over the store. Later he built a small white cottage that is still there today. This store is still known as "The mother store" and is operating today.
As we were driving to the Fossil Butte National Monument, we passed a cowboy on horseback with 3 dogs and a herd of around 2,000 sheep. The sheep were stretched out in a long line of about 5-10 sheep wide. They were crossing over terrain covered with sage brush headed to a different pasture.
Located in southwest Wyoming, Fossil Butte National Monument preserves one of the richest fossil deposits in the world. Fifty million-year-old fish, insects, birds, mammals, reptiles, and plants are perfectly preserved in limestone. The exhibits include over 400 fossils featuring a thirteen foot crocodilian, the oldest complete bat, and a mass mortality of 356 fish. This is a semi-arid landscape of flat-topped buttes dominated by sagebrush, other desert shrubs and grasses. 3 great lakes existed 52 million years ago. All are gone today, but they left behind a wealth of fossils in lake sediments that turned into the rocks knows as the Green River Formation, made up of laminated limestone, mudstone, and volcanic ash. The fossils are among the world's most preserved remains of ancient plant and animal life.
Driving back to Fort Bridger we passed a marsh area with some migrating shore birds, including a Sandhill Crane. Then we drove into a snow and ice storm with the temperature dropping to 36 degrees and snow covering the road and the landscape. Now we are back at the RV and are experiencing lightning, thunder, heavy rain, hail and wind. Hope this does not last very long. It has definitely been an interesting day.
Take care and be safe. Tomorrow we head to the Twin Falls, Idaho area.