We continued west from Deadwood, SD, across Wyoming on I-90, through some torrential rainstorms and then up to 8,300 feet elevation to the Lakeview Campground in the Big Horn national forest and mountain range. The pull up the mountain from Buffalo along US Highway 16 was an easy pull for our 2015 RAM 3500 Truck especially with the cooler temperatures.
For a few minutes we were parked at the Lake View Campground of the Big Horn National Forest
Jason and Barb at the Big Horn National Forest Campground, the equipment and the sites were well done
The campground is beautiful set on the edge of Meadowlark Lake and is 100% dry camping. (No electrical, water or sewer services anywhere in the campground) Even with getting parked in a tricky site easily, we met some issues right away. Without electricity we needed to run our recently fully packed refrigerator on LP gas. Many RV devices are affected by altitude but Norcold is especially has issues with adjusting to higher altitudes above 5,500. Since we 3,000 feet over that the refrigerator would try to light and would just puff out immediately from the mixture being too rich. Some refrigerators can be adjusted for this, but without access to the internet we could not research the issue and it was not readily clear from a close inspection of the back of the unit. We have our generator, but that also at the altitude would have suffered from decreased performance. We had not intended to use the generator to maintain the refrigeration for three days.
Ten Broek RV Park & Cabins is very shady and cool in the warm summer sun, but you have to parallel park your rigs here!
The 50 year old park is tight and you have an odd parallel parking arrangement, which the owner manages well with “pull thrus” in each lane scheduled.
While Jason was running around setting up the campsite, back and forth working on the LP issue, etc. he started to get altitude sickness. Pounding headache, short of breath, etc. So we jumped in the truck and Barb drove us down to the lower levels in Ten Sleep, WY. We found availability at Ten Broek RV Park in Ten Sleep and decided to move there since we had a recently fully stocked refrigerator going bad and Jason’s experience at the high altitude. The RV Park is about 50 years old and a very unusual parking arrangement, where the rigs “parallel park” end to end and not side to side. The parallel parking is a bit of an issue, one morning we had a knock from the campground owner asking us to retract a slide in so a class A could maneuver around us and get out, not a big deal since we were home but what if we had not been home? Otherwise, Ten Sleep is a very small town of one gas station, a couple of saloons (with great food, ice cream, etc.) and functional community with school and senior center.
There are two major sides to the permanent exhibit at the Washakie Museum, Worland, WY
The permanent exhibits at the Washakie Museum, Worland, WY, were well done, this was the “The West” side of the exhibit
The sheepherder was self sufficient using this utility wagon out on the range, at Washakie Museum, Worland, WY
Not an “RV” because it was far from recreational, the kitchen of a sheepherders wagon at Washakie Museum, Worland, WY
There are two sides to the permanent exhibit, this is the “The Last West” side of the exhibit at Washakie Museum, Worland, WY
There are two sides to the main exhibits, this is the “natural history” side of the area, at Washakie Museum, Worland, WY
A mammoth statute at Washakie Museum, Worland, WY
Washakie Museum is located in Worland, WY
Jason and Barb overlooking the canyon of the Big Horn mountain range that US Highway 16 travels
Jason and Barb at Sitting Bull Park in the Big Horn Mountains and National Forest of Wyoming
As it turns out, this was a great base camp for a number of driving tours up to the mountain as well as away from it to a well done local history museum in Worland, WY. From the Big Horns to Ten Sleep is an absolutely stunning drive on Highway 16 on the North side of the canyon as well as an even more amazing drive along the South side on a dirt road with many turn outs that would be great for boondocking at a lower altitude. We encountered a number of smaller camper vans, trailers and tenters that were boondocking along this dirt road. We marked a couple of areas to return to should we ever downsize to a camper van. The Sitting Bull park in the Big Horn National Forest has some breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains.
As we continued along the “off-roading” on the road, Jason has a firm grip of the wheel as there were a number of locations where there were no guard rails over some steep cliffs
The next morning we found out the truck bed cover is not so tight, there is no seal under the tailgate to keep dust out
Medicine Lodge State Park has some great camping sites, petroglyphs from the early settlers and access to some “roads” that are really more off-roading than on-roading
From our off-roading adventure we look back down on the beautiful painted rock canyon from where we had started
Some of the ruts on this “road” were huge washouts and we had to navigate around them.
This map wasn’t really helpful, the road was well marked and the map showed a substantial road up onto the mountain
Jason standarding at the “exit” of our off-roading adventure. The map and trailhead were positioned “behind” some trees when you drove in, we missed the map. Although on the map the road we traveled it was marked like any other major road.
Our starting point of the off-road adventure from the Medicine Lodge area up to the national forest
We now have a new measure of “how bad can it get” for roads. In the Black Hills of South Dakota we found the forest service roads to be well maintained and well passable in our pickup truck. In this case, Cold Springs Road started out well-groomed and it was well-marked with huge expensive signs promising destinations on it that we wanted to check out including access to the painted rock canyon. As we continued on up the road thousands of feet in elevation we kept asking ourselves if we should turn around, the road had a number of washouts and the maintenance of it deteriorated. However, there were huge, very expensive and well maintained signs calling out miles that keep getting smaller to our promised destinations. Once we got to the painted rock access it was a just a cow-path to a hiking trail. So we continued on, because of the signage, to what we had hoped would be better roads where we could exit and were now closer than our starting point. Once we got into the national forest system it really fell apart, with ruts in the road one to two feet deep in places and a complete mess from the rain in the area. We had to turn around, almost 20 miles and two hours into this trek we could no longer continue. We were just a mile or two from the end where we would connect with a campground. So we backed up to a point we could turned around and made our return over that 20 miles. The kicker was that as we were got to the beginning of this trail, we came across the map which you could only see as you exit, hidden behind some trees.
What is up next? We move onto Cody, WY, for the Extreme Bull Riding and Fighting at the annual Cody Stampede Rodeo!
|Campground||We started at the Lake View - Big Horn National Forest campground, then moved down to lower elevation. to Ten Broek RV Park
West end of Ten Sleep, WY, on US Highway 16 where we stayed 3 nights.
|Nights Stayed||3: June 24, 2018 - June 27, 2018
|Parking Site||Site D4
|Attractions||Washakie Museum - natural and human history of the area around Worland, WY, in the basin and big horn mountains
|Remember for Next Time||Lake View campground was at 8,300' feet MSL
|AT&T Coverage||None in the Big Horn Mountains, marginal in Ten Sleep itself and not LTE only 4G
|Verizon Coverage||4G/LTE with low speeds in Ten Sleep, nothing in the mountains
|WiFi Coverage||Ten Broek Campground does have WiFi, but it worked like most, not very well
|Anytime Fitness||Not for miles!