My friend Julie and I met for Easter Lunch, and then she suggested we take a little drive. OK. Actually, that sounded so much like what my family used to do when I was a kid…take a Sunday drive. It was a beautiful day, so it seemed like a great idea.
On the way, Julie asked if I’d consider taking a side road, driving out to Bonneville. Hmmm. Hadn’t been there since I was in grade school. It’s basically a train stop (in the middle of nowhere), and “back in the day” you could ride a passenger train from Bonneville, north through Wind River Canyon to Thermopolis; that train ride was our class trip. In recent years it’s become a place where soda ash is loaded onto rail cars and transported…somewhere. (This spot was named after Capt. Benjamin L.E. de Bonneville, who led an expedition along the Platte River.)
When we arrived at Bonneville, it wasn’t what I expected. There was no longer a train station, only five giant silos near the tracks, used to store and load soda ash on to rail cars. Nothing scenic, interesting, or attractive. Didn’t reach for the camera. There were a few homes in the vicinity. On our way out, I saw one noteworthy picture as I passed it. Since there was no traffic, it was no problem backing the car up and snapping a photo. How about this abandoned cabin with a new grill out front, ready for a spring bar-be-que?
Soon we were back on the highway. Not long thereafter, we were passing Boysen Dam and driving through 3 tunnels at the opening of Wind River Canyon.
This river flows north through the canyon. It really appears to flow uphill. Crazy. It was pretty cool to see the train coming toward us too. Luckily, it was traveling rather slowly, so I had plenty of time to get a picture.
After we got through the canyon, Julie had another suggestion: "How about taking this other side road" (that neither of us had traveled before)…"I think it would take us all the way to Lysite" (another place that’s in the middle of nowhere). I suggested we look at a map, and we found one in the glove box. It indicated that the road was dirt all the way , with a section several miles long that was questionable (broken lines on the map). If we were in a 4-wheel drive pick-up, no problem, but we weren’t. Julie noted that the map I had was dated 1975… and maybe the road was in a little better shape today than when the map was printed..??? LOL! Whew. We had to collect ourselves after laughing ourselves silly.
Well, all we had was time…and it was a nice day for a drive…why not give it a try? We could always turn around…