Friday, August 12, 2011

Centennial Valley Arrival


Recalculating…. Drive point-one miles and do a U-turn

The Girl, my Garmin nüvi GPS, had done a stellar navigating job to this point. She had placed us on a lightly used, beautifully scenic diagonal route through northern Colorado and southern Wyoming rather than along the sterile square of Interstates 25 and 81, she had all but parked us in the Lander Bar back lot where we found our buddy Russ, and she had motored us through the great national parkland, keeping track of where we were and where we were going so that we could gawk like slobbering fools at the delights of the Tetons and Yellowstone without getting hopelessly lost.


Recalculating…. Drive point-two miles and do a U-turn

But this time we were sure she’d gotten waylaid.  A half-hour out of West Yellowstone, as we skirted Henry’s Lake on MT87, with nineteen miles left to go to reach our destination, The Girl directed us to turn onto a single-lane dirt track. Obviously, she thought it a quick-and-dusty shortcut, cutting several hundred yards of 87 pavement. So we motored on, knowing she’d come to her senses and carry us the final nineteen.


Recalculating…. Drive one-hundred yards and do a U-turn… dammit!

It was either turn her off or do what she said (a not unfamiliar situation) so we did what she said (a not unfamiliar choice) and spent the final nineteen miles traveling the rutted dirt roads of Centennial Valley – the absolute correct, and only, way to get to our final destination.

But, once the shock absorbers settled in, we stopped worrying about what was under us to gaze at what surrounded us – nearly 400,000 acres of what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calls a mosaic of open water and emergent vegetation… characterized by lowlands dominated by sagebrush, grasslands, and lush willow dominated riparian areas.”

An oasis surrounded by craggy peaks. A cradle of a fishery. Our home for the next few days.

We had arrived.



11 comments:

HighPlainsFlyFisher said...

That first pic...WOW. I'm getting a little jealous but mostly just anxious to see where we're going next , what a trip.

Sanders said...

Beautiful photos!

...the girl never let us down :-)

owl said...

HPFF, I'll spoil it for you. to the bar! :) LOL
Nice, nice, nice. Wish I could have gone. tee. hee.

I told 'em when we got there that it wasn't the kind of place you'd find unless you were lookin' for it!

Mike said...

HPFF, THANKS! It's one of my favorite shots of the trip.

And, Sanders, the girl was awesome all week, wasn't she? I'll tell her you said hello.

There was a bar?! I didn't notice, Owl. :-)

Clif said...

If you change her over to German, you'll find yourself compelled to comply.

Anonymous said...

Very nice.....I really like that cabin//Mack

Chris said...

Did you pass any abandoned cars and skeletons en route Mike?

Boney fingers clutching dusty GPS's...

deanwo said...

Agreed, the first pic is breathtaking! Looking forward to more, Mike.

Mike said...

Now there's a thought, Clif. Submissive....

Chris, No abandoned cars.. but a skeleton or two - sans GPSs.

Thanks, Dean!

wholelarderlove.com said...

Mike, these photos are convincing me more and more that a road trip in America next year is on the cards! Maybe you can be my guide in North Carloina!

Mike said...

Ro, It would be my great pleasure to show you around the area. And I would certainly look forward to what comes out of your fantastic camera as you visit the states.

Let me know and we'll make it happen.