Wednesday, 17 August 2016

There's gold in them thar hills

Thursday June 2nd  and Elder and Sister McLean come to see me on my way.. 
They had taken me under their wing during my stay, giving me a lift to Riverton to shop and join them for a meal, and inviting me for breakfast in their RV.  Visitor centres such as this are manned by LDS members who are often retired professionals.  Interestingly Sister McLean was descended from Welsh emigrants.

From here I took the isolated Hudson-Atlantic City road, a gravel track crossing some remote and beautiful country..
A view towards the infamous Rocky Ridge on the horizon, where the Oregon trail runs... the middle distance is a Sage Camp, a Mormon site used by handcart trekkers. 

I eventually reached Diamond Springs, where I pitched my tent on a bleak hillside in a gale, the reason why the tent is cowering behind the piece of fencing on the right....
..not ideal, particularly as grazing was sparse and Lady's tether kept getting wrapped round the sage bushes.
 On google earth I had identified a small grove of trees as a possible camp spot, but on the ground it seemed inaccessible and distant behind a patch of boggy ground. (just below the horizon on the photo above)  Luckily I decided to do a recce on foot and found a track through the bog to the idyllic sheltered camp spot below. The horses were a bit miffed to be loaded up again, but were far happier in their new lodgings.  The video clip was taken in the morning when the wind had abated.  My first choice of camp spot was beside the reservoir in the distance.
Friday June 3rd.
A distant view of the Wind River range from the Hudson-Atlantic City road ..
An abandoned pick-up in the middle of nowhere?... fact transport for a ranchers' four wheeled friend, the ATV.

Home home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play..
Arriving at the bustling metropolis of Atlantic City..
Atlantic City was founded following the discovery in 1867 of large gold deposits in the hills around South Pass, which contain Wyoming's principal gold bearing greenstone belt.  Miners flocked to the area and the population of Atlantic City rose rapidly to around two thousand, but boom was soon followed by bust as placer gold ran out and large gold deposits failed to materialise. Mining activity gradually petered out over the years and Atlantic City became the small backwater town it is today, mainly catering for holiday makers and hunters.
 Checking in at the Atlantic City Mercantile, originally built as Geissler Store in 1893 and now a well patronised steak house and saloon... boasts an amazing bar reputedly transported from a former whore house in Hudson City and a great place for a cold beer after a long ride on a hot day.... the end of the bar you can just see Connie who kindly donated a bale of hay for the horses. Having covered a thousand miles since St Joseph, I decided to treat myself to a holiday cabin owned by the Miner's Grubstake next door, and the horses had a corral right behind.

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