During our stay in Thermopolis, we got a chance to check out their local hot spring trails, view a bison herd (this was high on Mike’s list of critter curiosities), and check out Wind River Canyon. Wind River Canyon was spectacular and easily my favorite part of our wanderings in that area. It should be mentioned that Thermopolis itself was a really adorable town with friendly locals and great options for food and shopping. We cook most of our own meals to keep costs down (and trip longevity up), but departed from that for coffee and breakfast one morning and were not disappointed.
We also attempted to drive to a place called Castle Gardens, which is a local petroglyph site. We hit the visitor center of the nearest town after fueling up, and were told to take the first right after the only house out that way. This should have been our first clue that we were headed to the middle of nowhere! At the designated spot, we took that right, onto a dirt road with a small marker sign indicating Castle Gardens. I used my phone to mark our lat/long (just in case), and we began the rough ride toward the petroglyph site. Cell signal disappeared, as did the road indicator on the jeep’s gps, but I was able to use my phone’s maps to rough out which turns we should take. We were in open range area, so Mike did all he could to miss the piles of evidence left by the current occupants, herd and herds of lazy cows. Eventually (1.5 hours later), we came upon some large and distinct rock formations, hopped out to check them out and let Caira stretch. Are we there? Is this it? We didn’t find any indication of carvings in the area but decided based on the time of day to call it and headed back the way we came. Did we locate Castle Gardens? Should we have gone further? We’ll never know…and neither will you.