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Carbon County

Human Remains Found In Carbon County, No Word If Linked To Hunter Missing Since 2019

in News/Carbon County
25908

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By Mark Heinz, Outdoors Reporter
Mark@CowboyStateDaily.com

Human remains were found in Carbon County this week, but identity of the person hasn’t been released by the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office as of Thursday afternoon.

Sheriff Archie Royal told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday only that he could confirm that remains had been found somewhere in Carbon County on Monday. He did not disclose the location where the remains were found or any information about the circumstances of their discovery. 

The case is under investigation and no more information could be released, he said. 

Missing Hunter

The 2019 disappearance of Carbon County resident Mark A. Strittmater remains one of Wyoming’s most prominent missing persons cases.  

Strittmater, 44 at the time, went missing in October 2019. He was hunting elk in the Medicine Bow National Forest in Carbon County when an early season snowstorm hit. Multiple searches for him were conducted that year, as well as during the summer of 2020.

His binoculars were found by a hunter in November 2020.

That set of another search, which included a K-9 unit. Officials at the time said they found “other items” that might have belonged to Strittmater, but no human remains.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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Saratoga Cop Charged With Felony After Threatening to Break Other Cop’s Necks For Taking Dog

in News/Crime
17023

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Saratoga police officer was arrested this week and charged with a felony and three misdemeanor after threatening police officers tasked with seizing one of his dogs on New Year’s Eve.

Justin Micah Paul Brown has been charged with influencing, intimidating or impeding jurors, witnesses and officers — a felony charge that comes with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine — interference with a peace officer, a misdemeanor charge, and two counts of allowing a large dog to attack a person, also a misdemeanor charge.

Brown was arrested Wednesday, but posted a $5,000 bond.

Brown is a sergeant and one of three full-time officers at the Saratoga Police Department. He has been suspended from duty for the time being, according to Bigfoot99 radio station.

According to court documents, on July 23, 2021, Carbon County Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Opfar responded to Memorial Hospital of Carbon County in Rawlins to investigate a report that Brown’s K9-in-training Shaw had bitten Brown’s young daughter.

Brown’s wife, Amanda Brown, told the officer that the family recently purchased property and kennels in Saratoga.

The Brown family was in the process of moving in, but took a break and during that time, the dog tackled and bit the young girl.

Brown confirmed that he was training Shaw as a K9, but he bought the dog as a personal pet.

On Dec. 19, 2021, another Carbon County deputy was contacted on a report of a dog bite, this time on Amanda Brown.

Earlier in the day, Amanda Brown received a total of 18 stitches for a laceration sustained to her left inner forearm. It was reported this occurred at her Saratoga home while she was attempting to break up a fight between her two dogs.

It was later determined that Shaw was the dog that bit Amanda Brown.

On Dec. 30, a warrant to seize Shaw was signed by a judge.

The next day, police attempted to execute the warrant. Opfar spoke with Brown and told him the dog needed to be seized for court disposition. Brown said that would not be happening.

Brown also accused Opfar of lying and that he had violated Brown’s Fourth Amendment rights. Brown was told there was a search warrant for seizure of Shaw, but he refused to comply twice and claimed Shaw had already been taken to Colorado.

Brown then threatened all of the law enforcement personnel on scene, telling them that if they attempted to take his dog, he would “break [their] necks.” He also claimed no one in Carbon County could “take” him.

Opfar told Brown that all further contact could go through his attorney, and that he could have a good night.

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Carbon County Superintendent Warns Of Mask Mandate If COVID Cases Continue Increasing

in News/Coronavirus
12959

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The superintendent for Rawlins schools is warning parents that if coronavirus cases continue to increase within local schools, a mask mandate will again be implemented.

Superintendent Mike Hamel, superintendent of Carbon County School District No. 1, wrote a letter to parents on Tuesday, noting that the district currently has 10 staff and 89 students absent due to COVID.

“We have approximately 10 staff and 89 students out due to either having tested positive for Covid-19 or to having been determined to be a close contact to a known positive individual and being required to quarantine. We are seeing a noticeably higher rate of positive cases with students this year compared to last year,” Hamel wrote.

He urged parents to make sure their children were frequently using hand sanitizer and to encourage their children to wear a mask. While the district doesn’t have a mask mandate in place, if cases continue to rise, there would be one, he said.

“I want parents to have a little lead time that should our numbers continue to rise we will be reinstituting a mask requirement for all students and staff,” he wrote. “We would also look at reinstituting other protocols such as limiting access to facilities for outside agencies and parents, requiring masks at events and limiting fans at events. We are hopeful to keep in-person instruction available to everyone but we will be making plans to transition to a virtual platform should such a step become necessary.”

Hamel also encouraged parents to talk with their health care providers about the parents or their children getting one of the COVID vaccines, if they are eligible.

Currently, Teton, Albany and Sheridan’s school districts have implemented a mask mandate due to rising COVID cases across the state. Goshen County is considering one as well.

As of Tuesday, Carbon County had 63 active COVID cases.

Gov. Mark Gordon said Tuesday during a speech in Jackson that he would leave it up for cities, counties and school districts to make their own decisions regarding precautions to take to prevent transmission of the virus.

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Missing Carbon County Hunter’s Binoculars Found One Year Later

in News
7285

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A missing Carbon County hunter’s binoculars have been found more than a year after he went missing, but no sign of him has been found.

Mark A. Strittmater, 44 at the time of his disappearance, went missing in Medicine Bow National Forest during an early season snowstorm in October 2019 while hunting elk.

Multiple searches were conducted for him last year, but were called off after yielding no results.

A search last week did result in some new clues, but still no sign of the hunter himself.

According to a release from the Carbon County Sheriff’s Department, a hunter found Strittmater’s binoculars in late October, which led 11 searchers and a K-9 unit to search again for the missing hunter in the forest last week.

They went to the area where the binoculars were found, turning up “other items” believed to be Strimatter’s, but he was still not discovered during the search.

“The sheriff’s office will continue with the search efforts for the missing hunter in attempts to bring his family closure,” the release said.

This was the first search for Strittmater the sheriff’s department has held since the summer, when a team organized a three-day investigation to try and find him. Again, no new results were found.

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Carbon County Hunter Butt-Dials Search and Rescue; Gets Saved Even Though He Was Fine

in News/Good news
7050

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Carbon County hunter has recently learned how much impact an accidental dial can have.

The Carbon County Search and Rescue team got the chance to save someone last week who wasn’t aware he needed help, the organization said.

The story involved a man only identified as “Tim,” who went elk hunting last week.

Somehow, Tim activated an SOS button on his GPS while out hunting, alerting officials that he was in need. A security company tried reaching Tim, but his cell phone service was spotty due to him being hunting. 

The company also tried contacting Tim’s wife, who didn’t answer immediately. But once she heard the voicemail about her husband activating his SOS call, she went into action.

She also provided information to the security company about her husband’s medical conditions, what he was doing and any gear he might have had. 

Since no one had any luck getting ahold of Tim, the sheriff’s office and Rawlins Search and Rescue team members were contacted to try and find Tim.

“He wasn’t responding back to the SOS and his location wasn’t changing,” Tim’s wife said in the post. “I think I only slightly panicked.”

Tim’s wife hacked into his GPS account, discovering that he was moving, but not responding to the SOS call. She realized that the alert was likely a false alarm, but sent the updated location coordinates to the search and rescue team. 

“I’m relieved knowing the device works and the entities worked efficiently to make sure he was OK,” Tim’s wife said in the post. “I’m proud of the fast response and know we’re always in good hands with the amazing people we have in our county.”

Tim discovered that he was being searched for, with everyone quickly realizing that this was definitely a false alarm.

“The deputy on scene located Tim packing his elk out,” the post said. “We are just glad he is OK, and he got his bull!”

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Carbon County: Visit Beautiful Saratoga

in Sponsored Content
4629

Relatively unknown compared to other tourist destinations in Wyoming, Saratoga still holds its unspoiled charm and western heritage to heart. Exemplifying this heritage are places like the historic Wolf Hotel built in 1893, by German emigrant Frederick Wolf. 

This glorious old brick building still stands as a centerpiece of the town and welcomes guests year-round. Other attractions include the Hobo Hot Springs. 

This is a natural mineral pool where visitors can swim and relax in the hot-baths 24-hours a day free of charge. 

Saratoga Hot Springs Resort offers visitors many amenities including a microbrewery, day spa and guided outdoor adventures, while the Saratoga museum is open during the summer affording visitors a peek into the town’s rich past.

The Saratoga National Fish Hatchery, built in 1915, lies just to the north of town. Visitors are welcome, and the tour is something both children and adults will enjoy. Seemingly out of place in the small rustic town is Shively airfield. 

Although there is no commercial service available here, its 8,400-foot runway is capable of handling all sorts of aircraft including private jets.

Saratoga is a sportsman’s paradise offering anglers a true blue ribbon trout fishing experience in the nearby North Platte River. 

There is also access to big game hunting of all kinds in the nearby mountains and plains. Local guides and outfitters are happy to show their favorite places to “bag a big one”. Saratoga is host to many events throughout the year. 

The Ice Fishing Derby held at Saratoga Lake draws anglers from all around. Also there are rodeos, brew festivals, chili cook-offs, outdoor concerts, art festivals, and even chariot races each year, here in Saratoga. Contact the Saratoga Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce for specific information when visiting The Good Times Valley.

Saratoga Highlights

Hobo Hot Springs SaratogaHobo Hot Pool The hot pool is located on Walnut Street. Much of the history of Saratoga revolves around the world famous mineral hot springs and thermal waters. Native Americans would come and soak in the hot springs which were considered neutral territory. 

Eventually a bath house was built as more and more visitors began coming to the Platte Valley. The same waters that brought the first settlers into the fertile North Platte River Valley still attract travelers and natives. Free and open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Saratoga Hot Pool is the ultimate for healthy relaxation with water temperatures ranging from 106 to 119 degrees.

The Historical Wolf Hotel

The Historical Hotel Wolf opened its doors on New Years Eve in 1893 with a gala masquerade ball. Over its lifetime, The Wolf has served as a stop on the Stage line, a barber  shop, a guide/outfitter service, a drive through liquor store and an art gallery. It has also played home to many visiting celebrities. The Wolf Hotel is on the National Register of  Historic Places. Today the Hotel Wolf has been restored and looks much as it did in 1893.

Saratoga Lake

Saratoga Lake Saratoga Lake is a favorite spot for fishing, boating, water skiing, and wind surfing. Just a mile and a half and a few minutes north of town off WYO 130/230, the lake is noted for a year-round fishing excellence. A boat dock makes loading and unloading a piece of cake. Also, the lake campground provides water and electrical hook-ups fora fee and is operated by the Town of Saratoga at 326-8335.

Shively Field 

Saratoga also has an airport with an 8,400 ft paved and lighted runway, with a rotating beacon, tie downs for small aircraft and parking for others. Saratoga Aviation is the fixed base operator and can supply jet A and 100 low lead aviation fuels. Car rentals are available from the FBO.

Platte Valley Community Center

The Platte Valley’s home for art shows, wedding receptions, presentations, performing art, workshops, meeting spaces, educational enrichment and cultural experiences. 210 W. Elm Ave. Saratoga, WY • (307) 326-7822 Visit Website

Saratoga Fish Hatchery

The Saratoga National Fish Hatchery is operated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service is located 4 miles northeast of Saratoga Wyoming off State Highway 130. The hatchery present dates back to 1915 and raises rainbow, brook, Snake River cutthroat, Colorado River cutthroat, and the endangered Greenback cutthroat for stocking. 

Adult cutthroat, brown and lake trout are kept there for breeding. Visitors are welcome to visit the display room, tank room, rearing ponds and raceways. Trout eggs produced from the broodstock are shipped to other federal and state hatcheries nationwide where they are raised for stocking. In 1995 and 1996 the hatchery underwent extensive renovations including the addition of new concrete raceways for the fish. Admission is Free. Visit Website

Saratoga Museum

The Saratoga Museum is housed in what was originally the railroad depot for the town, which was moved to the south hill across from the airport several years ago. Since then the complex has grown to include a caboose, boxcar and other exhibits as well as an extensive guide to the past of Saratoga and the Platte Valley. 

Archeology exhibits, regional railroad display, Bison diorama, history of the local Episcopal Church, several hands-on displays and a summer concert series all make it worth your while to stop at the museum. Local volunteers are very knowledgeable and the museum is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 1 to 5 pm. In the off season tours can be easily scheduled. Visit Website

Medicine Bow National Forest

Medicine Bow National Forest Like those distance days, the mountain peaks of Medicine Bow National Forest are a welcoming sight. Besides the promise of relief from summer heat, these mountains offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities. Rock-climbing, rafting, boating, fishing, and trails, available for foot, motorized and stock, are some of the activities enjoyed in the Forest. A number of developed camping locations, located close to recreational activities, offer a convenient place for an overnight stay as well as longer visits.  Visit Website

The Red Sage Spa Located in downtown Saratoga, the Red Sage Spa offers Massage, Body Treatments including mud wraps and body polishes as well as traditional treatments like facials, pedicures and manicures.  307-326-8066 

Saratoga Hot Springs Resort  Indulge in some much-needed ‘me’ time with pampering spa treatments designed to relax the mind, body and spirit through the nurturing, health-healing touch of our skilled therapists. The Saratoga Hot Springs Resort occupies the original State Bath House, which was built in 1902. 

Ideally located at the back of the mineral hot spring courtyard, the Spa offers a welcoming and relaxing environment for treatments and services. Plus a fine selection of retail products including Phytomer Skincare-the latest in marine biotechnology, swimsuits, jewelry, Farm House Fresh soaks and scrubs and Naturopathica body oils. Open daily from 9am to 7pm and by appointment at 307-326-5261, ext. 208. Learn more at: http://saratogahotspringsresort.com

Saratoga Hot Springs Resort Golf Course and Pro Shop Opened for play since the 1950s, this scenic 3,580-yard, 9-hole course is well known for its cliff-top tee, three over river shots and wildlife rich setting. It offers challenge to golfers of all levels and abilities with excellently conditioned fairways and greens that straddle the North Platte River. It’s the type of course you will enjoy playing again and again.

Stop by the Pro Shop and visit with Matt Daubner, PGA Head Golf Professional. Matt offers private lessons, which is the fastest way to learn. The Pro Shop has everything you need to improve your game including accessories, rental clubs, equipment, and golf apparel. Learn more at: http://saratogahotspringsresort.com

Welcome Carbon County Visitor Council: ‘Folks, it’s time to get your West on!”

in Column/Bill Sniffin
3568

By Bill Sniffin, publisher of Cowboy State Daily

Today we welcome the Carbon County Visitors Council as a new sponsor for Cowboy State Daily. 

Carbon County is one of my favorite places. Here is a story that I wrote last fall about one of the more unique places in their county: Battle Mountain, small towns, and Edison’s favorite fishing hole

If you blast through Carbon County on Interstate 80, you begin to think that all there is to see is high desert and the towering Elk Mountain.

But that part of Wyoming offers so much more.

Last fall, I fulfilled a bucket list item by driving State Highway 70 over Battle Mountain Pass for the first time.  Wow, what a gorgeous trip!

Near the top of the pass, almost 10,000 feet, is a prominent plaque placed where the famous inventor Thomas Edison went fishing and reportedly came up with the idea for filament to use in the invention of the light bulb. It occurred while he was messing with flies during a wonderful fishing trip. That very impressive plaque was mounted on a big brick podium back in 1949 by a statewide historical group.  More on that later.

There are massive groves of mature Aspen trees all along the way and I kept looking for the famous Aspen Alley.  This is a narrow road cut through a mighty grove of Aspens that shimmers like gold in the fall. Famed Wyoming photographer Randy Wagner of Cheyenne has the best image I have ever seen of that site.

On this day, I missed it because it is a few miles down WYO 71, which goes north from Battle Mountain Pass all the way to Rawlins. Hopefully next time.

The name Battle Mountain Pass came from a famous fight between Indians and some trappers on Aug 21, 1841. Mountain Man Jim Baker, just 21 at the time, had to lead his men after Captain Henry Frapp was killed. After a six-day fight, the trappers left. However, the formerly named Bastion Mountain has been re-named Battle Mountain for the past 178 years. Baker went on to become one of the more famous mountain men exploring Wyoming mountain ranges.

To get to this famous pass, we drove south from Interstate 80 to Saratoga and briefly visited with Joe Glode. He is an extraordinary community leader for that area. We were going to eat some of the best prime rib in Wyoming at Doug and Kathleen Campbell’s Wolf Hotel, but they were not open yet. We had to get to our granddaughter’s wedding celebration in Montrose, CO, so we soldiered on.

After passing through the beautiful towns of Encampment and Riverside, we climbed up the Sierra Madre Mountains.  I can only imagine how that area must look in the fall.  All those Aspen trees must make the place look like it is on fire.

Cody’s Rev. Warren Murphy’s first assignment was Dixon and Baggs.  He writes about the area: “Route 70 is indeed one of the most amazing and unknown highways in the state. Especially in mid- September when the golden aspen leaves fall. They cover the highway and when driving along you are riding on a carpet of gold. There is so little traffic. Aspen Alley is a unique piece of ground but sadly the alley trees are aging out. However, the young ones are growing fast.”

John Davis of Worland tells this story about his early experience on Battle Pass: “When I was first married, Celia and traveled to the Sierra Madres to hunt deer.  We didn’t get any deer, but proceeded toward Baggs and Savery.  Celia got worried about the amount of gas we had, but I wasn’t worried, because most Chevrolet vehicles (we were traveling in a 1955 Chevrolet sedan) still had 5 gallons when showing empty. 

“Well, this one didn’t, and just before the pass, it coughed and died.  We caught a ride down the mountain, got some gas, returned to the vehicle, and proceeded home. 

“But this incident had long term consequences.  Ever since, Celia gets nervous whenever the gas gauge in one of our cars is just a little past half full.  We never again ran out of gas as we did on Battle Mountain Pass, but I’ve heard complaints about getting gas about a hundred times since.”

After enjoying the beauty of the Aspen-covered Pass, Nancy and I started our way down the mountain. We drove through Savery and Dixon, two pleasant little towns.

My friend radio station owner Joe Kenney said his dad grew up in Encampment and his mom, Maudie Lake, grew up in Savery. He recalls visiting those towns as a little kid and marveling at how high the snow was.  When I asked him how his dad and mom got together, since the highway was closed all winter, he said, “they always met up in Rawlins.” 

In my case, I grew up in a very small town and these small Carbon County towns reminded me of home. My wife calls these little towns “peek and plumb towns.” She says, “you peek around the corner and you’re plumb out of town!”

I always said my hometown was so small that both “resume speed” signs are on the same post — just on opposite sides.

Growing up in my little town, we had a public restroom, which was an outhouse.  The toilet tissue consisted of the town’s yellow pages. Unfortunately, the yellow pages only consisted of one page.

In Carbon County, we always like getting to Baggs. This is a pretty little town with a great museum along the Little Snake River. Again, the roads north and south of Baggs go through high desert country, which lack scenery. But Baggs area residents have a lot of fun places to visit in their little bit of heaven, especially over Battle Mountain.

Rocky’s Quick Stop is a wonderful convenience store which has a fine restaurant attached to it at the north edge of Baggs.

This is just one story about how unique Carbon County is when a person thinks about visiting interesting places in Wyoming.

Welcome to Carbon County ‘Get Your West On!’

in Tourism
3911

Carbon County is 7,897 square miles from the mountains to the deserts. It is known for its rich natural resources, gorgeous mountains, scenic vistas and pristine rivers and streams.

There is a lot of ground to cover to take advantage of all the exciting and authentic experiences here.

Plan to spend at least five days in Wyoming’s Carbon County, even longer if you can!

To help make the most of your time here, we have included multi-day itineraries that will allow you to soak in mineral hot springs, visit museums and historic sites, fish, golf, hike, take scenic drives, see wildlife and more.

Come to Carbon County and leave the crowds behind. More info at Wyomingcarboncounty.com

Couple embracing outside of tent at dusk

SNOWY RANGE SCENIC BYWAY

Length: 29 miles via Highway 130

Open Memorial Day through October, weather permitting

This high altitude drive showcases some of the most spectacular and easily accessible peaks in Medicine Bow National Forest. Highway 130 runs between the Highway 130/230 junction (8 miles south of Saratoga) and Centennial.

After crossing the North Platte River, it ascends to it’s highest point at 10,847 feet before meandering toward Centennial. Picnic areas, campgrounds, alpine lakes, a network of hiking trails and several scenic overlooks are accessible from the Highway–plus unforgettable views and plenty of wildlife sightings. Highlights include:

• Medicine Bow Peak, 12,013 ft: the highest peak in southern Wyoming. A 5.5-mile hike to the top features switch-backs, rock crossings and amazing views. See page 12 for more details.

• Lake Marie: popular lake named after Mary (Marie) Bellamy who led a suffrage drive for the adoption of 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote.

• Libby Flats Observation Point: the highest point on the Highway.

• P. O. W. Camp at the Ryan Park Campground: originally a Civilian Conservation Corps camp, it later served as a P.O.W. Camp for German and Italian soldiers during WWII. 

Wyoming Autumn Bucket List: Driving Through Carbon County Over Battle Mountain

in Column/Bill Sniffin
1978

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By Bill Sniffin, Cowboy State Daily

If you blast through Carbon County on Interstate 80, you begin to think that all there is to see is high desert and the towering Elk Mountain.

But that part of Wyoming offers so much more.

Last week, I fulfilled a bucket list item by driving State Highway 70 over Battle Mountain Pass for the first time.  Wow, what a gorgeous trip!

Thomas Edison plaque
This 1949 plaque recognizes the place where Thomas Edison went fishing on Battle Mountain in Carbon County.

Near the top of the pass, almost 10,000 feet, is a prominent plaque placed where the famous inventor Thomas Edison went fishing and reportedly came up with the idea for filament to use in the invention of the light bulb. It occurred while he was messing with flies during a wonderful fishing trip. That very impressive plaque was mounted on a big brick podium back in 1949 by a statewide historical group.  More on that later.

There are massive groves of mature aspen trees all along the way and I kept looking for the famous Aspen Alley.  This is a narrow road cut through a mighty grove of aspens that shimmers like gold in the fall. Famed Wyoming photographer Randy Wagner of Cheyenne has the best image I have ever seen of that site.

The famous Aspen Alley is a narrow road off WYO 71 from Battle Mountain Pass. This photo was taken during the height of the fall colors of the Aspen Trees. Photo credit: Randy Wagner of Cheyenne.
The famous Aspen Alley is a narrow road off WYO 71 from Battle Mountain Pass. This photo was taken during the height of the fall colors of the Aspen Trees. Photo credit: Randy Wagner of Cheyenne.

On this day, I missed it because it is a few miles down WYO 71, which goes north from Battle Mountain Pass all the way to Rawlins. Hopefully next time.

The name Battle Mountain Pass came from a famous fight between Indians and some trappers on Aug 21, 1841. Mountain Man Jim Baker, just 21 at the time, had to lead his men after Captain Henry Frapp was killed. After a six-day fight, the trappers left. However the formerly named Bastion Mountain has been re-named Battle Mountain for the past 178 years. Baker went on to become one of the more famous mountain men exploring Wyoming mountain ranges.

To get to this famous pass, we drove south from Interstate 80 to Saratoga and briefly visited with Joe Glode. He is an extraordinary community leader for that area. We were going to eat some of the best prime rib in Wyoming at Doug and Kathleen Campbell’s Wolf Hotel, but they were not open yet. We had to get to our granddaughter’s wedding celebration in Montrose, Colorado, so we soldiered on.

After passing through the beautiful towns of Encampment and Riverside, we climbed up the Sierra Madre Mountains.  I can only imagine how that area must look in the fall.  All those aspen trees must make the place look like it is on fire.

Cody’s Rev. Warren Murphy’s first assignment was Dixon and Baggs.  He writes about the area: “Route 70 is indeed one of the most amazing and unknown highways in the state. Especially in mid- September when the golden aspen leaves fall. They cover the highway and when driving along you are riding on a carpet of gold. There is so little traffic. Aspen Alley is a unique piece of ground but sadly the alley trees are aging out. However, the young ones are growing fast.”

John Davis of Worland tells this story about his early experience on Battle Pass: “When I was first married, Celia and traveled to the Sierra Madres to hunt deer.  We didn’t get any deer, but proceeded toward Baggs and Savery.  Celia got worried about the amount of gas we had, but I wasn’t worried, because most Chevrolet vehicles (we were traveling in a 1955 Chevrolet sedan) still had 5 gallons when showing empty. 

“Well, this one didn’t, and just before the pass, it coughed and died.  We caught a ride down the mountain, got some gas, returned to the vehicle, and proceeded home. 

“But this incident had long term consequences.  Ever since, Celia gets nervous whenever the gas gauge in one of our cars is just a little past half full.  We never again ran out of gas as we did on Battle Mountain Pass, but I’ve heard complaints about getting gas about a hundred times since.”

After enjoying the beauty of the aspen-covered pass, Nancy and I started our way down the mountain. We drove through Savery and Dixon, two pleasant little towns.

My friend radio station owner Joe Kenney said his dad grew up in Encampment and his mom, Maudie Lake, grew up in Savery. He recalls visiting those towns as a little kid and marveling at how high the snow was.  When I asked him how his dad and mom got together, since the highway was closed all winter, he said, “they always met up in Rawlins.” 

I grew up in a very small town and these towns reminded me of home. My wife calls these little towns “peek and plumb towns.” She says, “you peek around the corner and you’re plumb out of town!”

I always said my hometown was so small that both “resume speed” signs are on the same post, just on opposite sides.

Growing up in my little town, we had a public restroom, which was an outhouse.  The toilet tissue consisted of the town’s yellow pages. Unfortunately, the yellow pages only consisted of one page.

We always like getting to Baggs. This is a pretty little town with a great museum along the Little Snake River. Again, the roads north and south of Baggs go through high desert country, which lack scenery. But Baggs area residents have a lot of fun places to visit in their little bit of heaven.

Zane Bennett of Powell
Zane Bennett of Powell was riding his motorcycle from Wyoming to Colorado.’

Rocky’s Quick Stop is a wonderful convenience store which has a fine restaurant attached to it at the north edge of Baggs.

We should mention that our trip to Montrose was hot, hot, hot. We chatted with Zane Bennett of Powell at the motel in Montrose and he said he drove his motorcycle through a hailstorm south of Green River.

Oh yes, about Thomas Edison and how he discovered filament for light bulbs.

Historian and author Phil Roberts of Laramie says the story is a wonderful tale but is just not true. Edison was just 31 but already a famous inventor during his visit to Wyoming.

He joined a group that traveled to Wyoming by train in 1878 to watch a total eclipse of the sun.  Edison had a device that he wanted to use to measure temperatures during an eclipse, which did not work at all.

Edison had a great trip, killing elk and deer. Reportedly his fishing party caught 3,000 trout.

He returned to Menlo Park, New Jersey, rested and ready to invent. After experimenting with 6,000 different materials, he was able to get a filament to work in his light bulb.

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Carbon County – Get your West On

in Carbon County/Sponsored Content
4179

The Seminoe-Alcova Back Country Byway is located in South Central Wyoming.

The north end of the byway is in Alcova, a small settlement on WY 220 about 30 miles southwest of Casper, and the south end is in the small oil town of Sinclair, near Rawlins.

Here at the junction of WY 220 and Natrona County Road 603/407, the 73-mile route passes through antelope-grazed prairie and stark desert, and climbs over the rugged Seminoe Mountains.

The route has special attractions which include: the Alcova Reservoir, popular for fishing and boating; Pathfinder Reservior, a favorite of windsurfers; Fremont Canyon, known for fishing, rock climbing, and popular with experienced river-runners; Seminoe Reservoir, the Seminoe Mountains, the Pedro Mountains, and Seminoe State Park.

The road is in a remote area, but provides amazing landscape transformations while traversing through the Seminoe Mountains, the Pedro Mountains, and Fremont Canyon, that are worth making the back-country journey to view.

Length: 64 miles / 103 km 

Time to Allow: 2.5 hours

In the Platte Valley, ice fishing derby a community affair

in Uncategorized/Recreation
735
Video courtesy of Mike McCrimmon.

Ice anglers from several states are on Saratoga Lake this weekend for the annual Saratoga Lake Ice Fishing Derby. The weekend, always the third in January, includes a special Small Fry Derby for children under age 14.

Last weekend Platte Valley kids took to Treasure Island Pond on the Silver Spur Ranch to learn all the basics. And catch fish. Our report is from Cowboy State Daily videographer Mike McCrimmon.

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