Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weekend in Western WYOMING

I have the entire weekend to rest up and prepare for the final two presentations in my lecture tour next week. As I mentioned in my last posting, my previous visit to Wyoming was about 30 years ago and so I chose to spend Saturday revisiting those locations where I took my first field trip for my current employer: Big Piney and La Barge, Wyoming. By themselves, these locations are not "special" places. Neither town has any spectacular scenery or tourist sites to brag about, it's just that each place holds a lot of memories for me.

My day started at 8:45 am. I drove along Highway 352 to 191 and arrived at La Barge - my first stop - at 10:30 am. La Barge is the location of the oil field where my colleagues and I conducted a major field trial in the summer of 1978. Not much has changed in town although there are a few new stores, restaurants and a gas station!

Next stop: Big Piney. This is the town (population 404) where we stayed at the Big Piney Motel. Surprisingly the motel is still there!! Along with several new buildings which have popped up in the last three decades: a new elementary, middle and high school and even a Big Piney Fine Arts Center! And now there is the Big Piney Museum!! Add to this a new grocery store and a few new businesses (gas stations, restaurants, etc.) and you'd think there must be a lot more people living here nowadays. Surprisingly, however, the town's population has not changed much over the last 30 years!

The sign at the edge of Big Piney, Wyoming! This same sign was here in 1978!!

La Barge, Wyoming .... not much has changed in the last three decades.

An abandoned gas station .....

The same cafe in La Barge that we ate at 30 some years ago. Sadly it is closed!

Next, lunch in Pinedale. I ate at Stockman's Restaurant, after which I took a few more pictures of the surrounding area and then began the 165 mile journey returning to Rock Springs. I drove a total of 340 miles today in eight hours.

Dinner on Saturday was at the White Mountain Mining Company Restaurant. A nice local restaurant with good food.

On Sunday (September 20) I ventured south of Rock Springs and took in more of the Flaming Gorge reservoir and the surrounding areas.
So many unique rock formations .....

Never a dull moment when touring Wyoming!

Every time I turned a corner, there was another one of those "Wow" moments. So many truly amazing sights!

PS: One final word .... Coffee addicts, especially fellow bloggers, Madame Lefty and Ms. Cheryl, may be pleased to note that Rock Springs, Wyoming now has a STARBUCKS in town! The presence (or absence) of a chain coffee shop such as Starbucks in a town/city is one of my indicators of the presence (or absence) of 'civilization'!

3 comments:

Al said...

Gorgeous scenery!

My best wishes for a terrific conclusion to your tour; and please get plenty of rest when done...maybe even a short vacation?

John said...

Nice pictures, as always, Traveling Chemist :)

Have a well deserved rest now and a good trip back to home sweet home!

Steve said...

Ah, Pinedale - one of my favorite towns in the West. I've used Pinedale as a "jumping off" point for many hiking trips in the Wind River range. I did a 110-mile hike there a few years ago. There is a very nice brewpub, named "Bottoms Up" (next to the Great Outdoor Shop - a fine place to pick up last minute backpacking items) which serves some very tasty pizza.