Wednesday (6/14) we lifted our jacks and departed Idaho Falls with a very pleasant 137 mile travel day ahead of us to visit our good friends Dianne & Tom just 20 miles outside of Pinedale Wyoming where they are camp hosting at a great little campground along a river.
We headed out of Idaho Falls east on HWY 26 and continued on 26 until we reached Alpine Wyoming where we switched over to HWY 89 until we reached Hoback where we turned onto HWY 191 and continued to the Warren Bridge Campground.
Tom & Diane have Camp Hosted at Warren Bridge 3 years and we can see why. It’s a very small & neat campground with only 16 sites that sits on the very pretty Green River.
There are no hookups at the campsites but there are a few water spigots scattered around and a dump station on site and with a cost of only $10 per night ($5 with an Old Fart Pass) it’s a great place to settle in and tour the area from, and of course for us to see good friends.
We rolled into the campground about 12:30 if I remember correctly and of course as soon as we got settle in we got right to catching up with Tom & Dianne. For those of you that follow the blog you might remember their names popping up over the last few years because we have bumped into them in places like Pahrump Nevada, Quartzsite Arizona, Casa Grande Arizona, Painted Rock State Park in Arizona, Colorado and Tucson Arizona. And it never gets old running into them.
After a short visit we all decided to all go our separate ways and get back together later for a run into Pinedale for a little driving tour and dinner at the Wind River Brewery.
After dinner we headed back to the campground where we visited a short time longer and then called it a night.
Thursday after a leisurely start to the morning and a short visit with Tom & Dianne we (Diane and I) decided to drive back into Pinedale and visit the “Museum of the Mountain Man”
In the early-to mid- 1800s, the fur trade was booming in America and Europe. Beaver pelts were in high demand for fashions, especially headwear, and the mountain men in the Rocky Mountains were able to make a living trapping and trading pelts. Mountain men like Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Thomas Fitzpatrick and William Sublette carved their legends in the Wind River Range with employment in the Rocky Mountain Fur Company and blazed a new beginning for the pioneers of the Oregon Trail heading west.
The Museum’s permanent collection includes many pieces from the fur trade era like Native American clothing, a great Winchester firearm display, a Shoshone bow made from the horns of a Bighorn Sheep and authenticated to be one of the oldest specimens of its kind, a buffalo-hide tipi that is one of only two buffalo-hide tipis still displayed in the nation.
The golden years of the Rocky Mountain fur trade can be traced to March 1824, when Jed Smith led a party of trappers into the Green River Valley, finding an abundance of beaver and a lack of hostile Indians to contend with. The mountain man, the annual springtime rendezvous, and overland supply system that followed this discovery ultimately characterized the classic Rocky Mountain fur trade era. The rendezvous of 1840 was the last of what is now known as the golden era of the fur trade industry.
The entry fee was $10 or $8 for those over 60 and if you stop in at the Visitor Center downtown before going you can pick up a coupon that saves you $1 each. We found the museum pretty interesting and I think it’s the first museum dedicated to the Mountain Man that we have come across in our travels.
After the museum we stopped at a small park located in the middle of town and took a stroll along the river before heading home, we had another restaurant to hit and need to get ready.
Once we got home we had about an hour to kick back before meeting up with Tom & Dianne and heading to the Branding Iron Restaurant in the tiny town of Bonduant (with a population of just under 100) which is 23 miles in the opposite direction from the campground as Pinedale.
If you find yourself in the area don’t let the size of the town or the size of the restaurant fool you because the food is great. Tom had a Tee-bone, his Dianne had Fish & chips and my Diane and I both had Salmon and everyone liked there meal. Oh and of course the deserts were pretty darn good as well.
After dinner we all headed home, visited a bit more and called it a night. Another great day.
Friday after another leisurely start to the day and a short visit with Tom & Dianne we (Diane & I) headed back through Pinedale so we could check out a scenic drive (like anywhere you drive around here isn’t scenic LOL) on Skyline Drive, which starts out as Freemont Lake Road in Pinedale.
The drive gets you some great views of Wyoming’s third highest summit (Fremont Peak at 13,745ft) and some great views of the Wind River Range’s jagged mountain tops before ending at Elkhart Park.
At the beginning of the drive we started at 7185ft and climbed to 9097ft at the top which provided us with some great views of America’s 7th deepest natural lake, Fremont Lake as well as views of Half Moon Lake and Soda Lake.
The entire drive is only about 32 miles but with all of the stops we made to take in the views it took us a while. And if it wasn’t a “HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT” wind day we would have taken more time.
After our drive we headed home, kicked back for a while and then headed over to Tom & Dianne’s for dinner. Tom did up some Brat’s on the BBQ and Dianne made up a potato casserole and vegies, mmmmmm good.
After dinner we went for a walk down by the river and then sat around outside until the breeze kicked up enough and the temps dropped enough that we called it a night. Our last day in Pinedale had come to an end.
After a good night’s sleep Saturday morning rolled around and it was time to lift our jacks, say our “see ya down the road” to Tom & Dianne and hit the road at 8am, we had a 265 mile day ahead of us so we got a little earlier start to our day.
I guess you will need to stop back in to see where we headed LOL!!