During the warm months I wander around (when not working and gardening) in my Econoline Van with my faithful dog Tango.
Tango, the best dog ever
I vowed in 2003 to stop sleeping on the ground after 30 years of camping in tents. I first had a little Chevy Pickup with a topper, then graduated to my Econoline. The van is set up for sleeping, with a bed and other camping stuff. Way back in high school, friends and I traveled around in an Econoline Van, so buying one was quite intentional and sentimental! You know what they say about reliving your youth. Anyway, someday I hope to graduate to some type of camper, such as an A Liner or travel trailer.
This year, I will be trying some two-night loop trips, starting with trips totaling a max of 200 miles round trip. Here is the first adventure!
Trip One: Mid March, 2013 Total Mileage: 189
This is the time of year to see hawks, bald eagles and birds migrating north. I read before that Hawk Springs State Park (WY) is a great place for raptors of all kinds, as well as the site of a blue heron rookery. So, this was my destination for Trip One.
Hawk Springs is in the far southeast part of Wyoming, near the Nebraska border. I estimated the mileage there to be about 65 miles from Wheatland. From there the road to Torrington, WY to Guernsey, WY and then to Wheatland, WY made for a perfect loop tour not exceeding 200 miles.
- Wheatland, WY to Chugwater, WY on I-25
- Hwy 313 to Hwy 85 and Hawk Spring State Park
- Hwy 85 north towards Torrington,WY
- Hwy 26 west to Guersney and Guenrsey State Park, WY
- Hwy 26 west and then 320 south back to Wheatland, WY
1. Arrived at Hawk Springs 3 PM. It is smallish reservoir and had only a few fishermen for company. Set up camp. The water level was down about 20 feet from the high water line, so there was a nice “beach” to walk along. I did not see any birds except for geese. The reeds where the blue herons are supposed to be were not there, probably due to the low water line. Tango got to chase bunnies, which he never catches. Later he found a giant fish head to play with. Dog paradise!
By dark, the fishing people were gone. There wasn’t much of a moon so it was a dark and peaceful night. I crawled into bed early and read my Kindle until the battery was half used up (saving other half for second night).
2. Heading North to Torrington and West to Guernsey. The next morning, we headed towards Torrington, stopping at the two wildlife habitat management areas south of there. At the first I saw a beautiful, soaring hawk, but that is it. I had lunch in Torrington and then headed west towards Guernsey. I stopped at a wildlife habitat area there, no birds again but a nice nature trail to follow. I went on and then drove into the North Platte River Access that is east of Lingle. Not too inviting, mostly water diversion structures.
3. Camping Spot for Night Two. I had planned to stay at Grayrocks Reservoir for night two, but it was soooo windy out that I decided to head for one of the little secluded coves at Guernsey Reservoir. No wind! The water, which is very low was a beautiful turquoise. I settled into a spot I have wanted to visit again, but was put off a few years ago and a little scared after a small flash flood came through and washed away my stove and other stuff. There are only 3 camp spots here, and no one was around, of course. It’s not boating or camping season, which is why I like this time of year. Although the leaves are budding out, the mostly bare trees make birding easier. I spotted a bald eagle on a patch of ice in the middle of the reservoir. I watched him for a long time through my binoculars. I guess he was waiting for a fish to appear near the edge of the ice.
4. Home to a messy house…my choice was to clean house or go camping. Easy choice!
Hawk Springs State Park http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/Site/SiteInfo.aspx?siteID=8
Guernsey State Park http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/Site/SiteInfo.aspx?siteID=7