My Last Search in YNP…

SUBMITTED August 2017
by CAROLYN Powers

 

 

I searched today for the last time in Yellowstone. My beginning was Madison Junction, where warm waters halt. Canyon down was Firehole river canyon because it is down when looking on a map. Home of Brown was the Brown Spouter in the Black Sand Basin.

The location I thought it might be, you can see it from the road and I know Forrest didn’t hide it where people could see him from the road. You would also have to cross the Iron Spring Creek, which similar to the iron fire escape slide Forrest would slide down at school, that would make his pant seat brown.  The end of the poem wouldn’t really fit in as well as I think Forrest says it should so I am now writing off Yellowstone. However, I still think it is very close to Yellowstone, either near Jackson Wyoming or in Montana. Those two locations are where I will now concentrate.

Biscuit Basin Fishing

Mountain Goat Family

Mysterious Hanging Box

Cave at Red Canyon

Also on this trip we went up to Hebgen Lake by the dam where we fished and saw the Mountain Goat families and the mysterious hanging box, up the Red Canyon and found a cave, and no it wasn’t in there.

Nothing in the Cave

Creek in Red Canyon

Grebe Lake

We went up to Quake Lake and Grebe Lake.  I found out that when you are at Grebe Lake there is an Observation Building at the top of the Mountain (Observation Peak) which overlooks the lake.  We went down the road to 9 Quarter Circle Ranch, which I mistook as a different ranch which is where we saw the honey badger.  The owner of Pine Shadows Motel, Chad, told us about an area close to West Yellowstone where you can see moose, where we saw a momma moose and her baby.

 

Moose Mom and Baby

Mountain Man Rendezvous in West Yellowstone

The last day there we were fortunate that the Mountain Man Rendezvous was taking place.  Also, for those that like to visit the places where Forrest has been, the Bud Lilly fly shop is no more. Bud Lilly died this winter and the name has been changed. Sorry. There are still a couple of things in the shop that are for sale that say Bud Lilly on it so hurry if u want to buy some. I believe that this might have been posted about already, but just in case it hasn’t here it is.

Momma and Baby Deer

Old Tree Cut Down in Red Canyon

Big Dandelions at Red Canyon

Best of luck to all the searchers out there and stay safe and use the good sense that God gave you.

Carolyn Powers-

X Marks the Spot…

SUBMITTED AUGUST 2015

CAROLYN

 

X Marks The Spot?

Our adventure takes place in Wyoming so if you don’t want to hear about Wyoming then stop reading now.  My husband and I started out on our trip July 9th and wanted to stop by and visit with Forrest on the way, but he and Peggy weren’t feeling well, so we skipped it and were going to try to stop by on the way back.  By that time we were exhausted and decided to skip it all together for now.  We spent the night in Amarillo the first night.  The next day we stopped in to see Geydelkon (who is also in the Chase) and his wife in Colorado Springs for lunch.  They are great people; if you are around that area, try to get in touch with them and talk about the Chase.

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Carolyn, her husband Scott, Geydelkon, and his wife, Annette

We ate supper at a great restaurant in Steamboat Springs, but the name of it escapes me right now.  That evening we made it to Dixon, WY.  The plan was to go to Savery the next morning, which is like 10 miles away, but they don’t have any hotels.  Baggs, Dixon, and Savery Wyoming are 3 very small towns right in a row.  Apparently around this time of the year is rodeo season there and Savery was having a rodeo so we almost didn’t get a room.  We stayed at the Dixon Motel.  The reason we were headed to Savery is because they have a museum there called the Little Snake River Museum where the Brown house is located.  Thomas Brown Vernon built the house in Baggs, WY.

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After all of the pictures of the old buildings we decided to go to Medicine Bow to hike and fish.  We were looking for Baby Lakes, but didn’t find it.  We were on a trail to it we thought along Bottle Creek, but after a mile or so of up and down hiking, we decided to turn around because we didn’t think that Forrest could do all of that, and we were having a struggle as well.  I would like to stress the effects of high altitude for those who are not used to it, like us Texans.  We rested often and sat down for about 15 minutes on an aspen tree that had fallen and carved our initials in it as others had done.  There were a lot of carvings all along that trail.  When we finally made it out we went back to Baggs and refueled and took a short (relatively) drive into the Red Desert where we would be searching the next day.  We went to where I thought the treasure may be hidden.  It wasn’t there, but there is one there now because I had put together my own small treasure and placed it in one of the many, many caves of the red desert.

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On Page 130 in the Too Far to Walk book, there is a faint map that you can see.  In the word “New Mexico” the “X” is over the location where I thought it may be located.  It is down one of the branches of the Red Creek.  I would also like to stress how horrible the roads are in the red desert, if you want to call them roads.  Some that are labeled as a 4×4 road or more like an overgrown dirt trail and if it rains, you definitely will get stuck.  We were in our faithful Jeep, so no problem until the next day.

So we hunted all around the area and in all the caves and on all the rocky outcrops with about a million rabbits.  Those rabbits could climb the rocks and scatter into caves faster than anything.  There were also pronghorn everywhere; kind of like buffalo (bison) in Yellowstone.  After our search and our planting of our treasure we drove back to Baggs and spent the night at the Cowboy Inn.  It rained that night.  By the way, this whole area is BLM area and you definitely will be alone in this area of the Red Desert.  Make sure you have a full tank of gas going in and plenty of water.  I would also have a GPS and several paper maps.  We used our Garmin that we have for the car, the Wyoming Gazetteer, and a handheld Garmin Rhino 650.  These 3 things were invaluable to us and we only became lost a couple of times.

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They are short on signs in this area too.  This area is so much larger than you think by looking at the map and the fact that you have to drive slow compounds it.  It took us at one point to drive 40 miles in 7 hours, which was on the Shell Creek Trail Road.  It starts off as Sandcreek road and turns into Shell Creek Trail Road.  Of course, we stopped at several locations.  On this road we saw a coyote momma and her two pups, a band of wild horses and a couple of wild horses that were in a bachelor’s group, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, rabbits, pronghorn, elk, grouse, magpie, and 2 rattlesnakes.  We were trying to reach Adobe Town, but were unable to due to the fact that the road was getting continually worse until it dead ended into the dry creek.  Had the dry creek not been so far down, we would have tried to cross it, but there was no way and we were forced to go South down a different road.  We took this road over to another road called Cherokee Trail Road, which was another 4×4 road, but not as bad.  We took it about 30 minutes and decided to stop and camp for the night so we would have time to set up before dark.  We got everything set up and built a small fire, ate supper, and sat in our chairs to observe the wildlife on the ridge and in the valleys around us.  We could watch the elk and horses graze.  It was nice.

We decided that in the morning we would go back out to the main paved road (789) and go north to I-80 and go into Adobe Town from the North instead.  In the morning after we got everything packed up and ready to get back on the road, Scott opened up the hood of the Jeep to check fluids, etc and a packrat ran out.  He apparently thought the warm engine would make a nice place for his new home.  He had drug up small branches and things in there during the night and was all set up.  We cleaned out everything and set out.  As we were coming down Bitter Creek Rd (19) from I-80 heading south toward Adobe Town, there were more people and the road was a little better.  We saw a badger, unfortunately he ran too quickly for us to get a picture of him.  By the time we finally reached Adobe Town Rim, the Check Engine light came on and we decided not to turn the car off and to just look around for a bit.  After looking around briefly, we left disappointedly and headed to Rock Springs to find a parts store.  That was the closest big enough town to get things like parts.  It turned out to be the alternator so Scott changed it and we decided to forget about Adobe Town.  It seemed like we weren’t supposed to be there; like something was trying to keep us from going.

It was getting to be evening time so we found a hotel, fortunately.  As I mentioned before, it must be rodeo season there because Rock Springs was having a national rodeo there.  We ate supper and went to the rodeo to check it out where there were rabbits and prairie dogs there as well.  We didn’t stay the whole time and went back to hotel for the night.  The next morning we headed out for Killpecker Sand Dunes, which was north.  We hiked a little bit around and headed further North to the Wind River area.  Scott wanted to fish in some glacier lakes.  We went to the Wind River Casino that is run by the Northern Arapaho who are very, very nice people.  I love that place.  We were fortunate enough to be there on a Tuesday when they have their dances.  It’s like a small Pow Wow.  It was truly awesome!  I met a guy there who makes the headdresses for the group and is going to make one for my grandson.  We left the casino the next morning and headed to Lander and then took Louis Lake Rd (131) to Sinks Canyon State Park.  Went and saw the rise and fall and then to Fiddler’s Lake.  Caught some fish, saw a baby bird sitting on a log while hiking, and tried to hike to Christina Lake to catch Golden trout, but it was a 5 mile hike and we didn’t have it in us due to the elevation.

We hiked back to the car and went to Louis Lake and fished and caught more trout.  By the time the day was over with the fishing, we decided to head for home.  We went down through Colorado briefly and over to Kansas and spent the night in Salina and then down through Oklahoma and stopped at an animal safari place and then across the Red River to Texas; home sweet home.  Another 4 hours and we were at home with the weekend to recuperate.

No gold, but with treasures none the less and ideas about the future searches.  I’m still not convinced that it’s not around the Red Desert area somewhere.  It’s a cold desert and in the bottom half, you would be going in alone.  There are several canyons and the Little Snake River runs through it as well as several creeks.  Still so much more to learn.

Carolyn

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS CLICK HERE

 

 

A Visit to Yellowstone…

SUBMITTED JULY 2014
BY CAROLYN

 

Day 1

Scott and my flight was this morning at 6 am and we had to get up at 3:30.  And yes that sucks.  We flew in from Texas n arrived at West Yellowstone at noon. We got our rental car and ate lunch at the Geyser Grill. Then we drove to the Firehole and stopped along the way twice by the Madison, once for 2 male elks on this small island on the Madison, we took pictures. The second time was for bison, which I like to call buffalo.  There were probably 4 or 5 adults and a couple babies.  We got out and took more pictures. I also found some buffalo hair or fur on several trees and yes, I kept it and then I found a Buffalo backbone disc and yes I kept it too until our last day and then I put it back out in the wood. It’s what I do.  Then we turned and went down the Firehole River. We got out at the canyon and checked it out and I took pictures then we went further down the Firehole and saw more buffalo and I took pictures. We stopped at the Grand Prismatic Geyser and took pictures, but we couldn’t see it very good because there was a lot of wind and the temperature was cooler.  We saw an osprey and swallows and a bluebird. Beautiful. Then we went to Old Faithful and it was and we filmed it and also took a picture of a little ground squirrel (chipmunk).   I also saw a regular squirrel earlier and I took pictures of it too because it was different than our squirrels. After Old Faithful we went back to our hotel at the Pine Shadows Hotel.  Scott jumped in the shower and then we went to get some dinner at Pete’s Pizza, delicious. Afterward we walked around the square to see the old buildings then went back to the hotel to get to bed early for a long day the next day.

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Elk on the Madison

 

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Buffalo on the Madison

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Firehole Falls

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Cave near Firehole Falls

Day 2

We ate breakfast at the 3 Bears restaurant then went to the Madison Junction where Scott fished and caught his first brown trout and it was really pretty. I walked down the Firehole from the Junction to see if I could find a place worthy of the Fenn chest but couldn’t. I was also looking for other treasures that I found some of. I saw and took pictures of a squirrel, a ground squirrel and I saw a small brown bird that wouldn’t or couldn’t fly and I was gonna pick him up to give to the ranger but I couldn’t get him. He went around this tree and disappeared. He had gone into this little tunnel made of pine needles so I figured it was his home and left him there. I saw several different pretty flowers. I have also been taking pictures of the painted buffalo in town made of ceramic or cement or something. After the Firehole we went to Nez Perce Creek and went on the best hike we had yet. We saw our own geyser and I saw a rock in it and got it out and kept it. I have also quite a collection of Buffalo’s hair now so I am done collecting it.  We saw several places with very old trash, they were old campsites.  I found an old glass bottle and kept it. We then went to Old Faithful to eat lunch then to Ojo Caliente and I had my swimsuit on and got in the Firehole and went to where Ojo came out. Scott was fishing so I got out and walked on the meadow trail and came back then down the Firehole towards Madison and back to the parking lot and took off my shoes cause my feet were hurting.  Scott came to the car and his feet were hurting too so we decided to go on down to the West Thumb area and stopped at the Continental Divide and took pictures and took pictures of me and the snow that was melting.  The Continental Divide was a cool place. Then went around Yellowstone Lake and stopped and took pictures of the Tetons and we saw 2 Bald Eagles and a family of beavers. We also found another geyser and close to it was a sound coming from the ground and I dug up a geyser and set it free.  Then we went on to Canyon then Norris then Madison taking pictures all along the way of the elk and bison. The valleys were so beautiful then we finally saw 2 herds of buffalo, which was awesome and one walked right in front of our car. They make a sound when they walk, a grunting snorting sound. We looked for bears and moose but couldn’t find any. When we were between Norris and Madison we saw a pine marten on the side of the road and Scott took the picture but it was blurry.  It was so cute. Then we went on and made it back to West Yellowstone by 8 pm and ate dinner at the Canyon Grill Cafe. It was like a 1950s diner. I asked the lady checking us out if bears ever come into town. She said a ranger told her today that a mother bear and her two cubs have been coming into town at night looking for food, poor things. A park ranger at the Madison Junction told us today that there have been a lot of bear sightings all over because they are hungry. I feel really sorry for them.

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Day 3

We headed to Yellowstone Lake after breakfast so Scott could fish. He has caught fish everywhere we have gone but most are small. I filmed a small geyser and then we headed over to Lamar valley to see all of the animals. The Hayden and Lamar valleys are beautiful! We saw our first grizzly bear, but you couldn’t see her very well because she was lying down and in the woods so you couldn’t get too close.  Then we moved on. We came across a mother black bear with her 2 cubs. They were adorable! One of the babies climbed a tree and the other one stood on his hind legs while mom was eating and looking for food.  We saw beautiful rock formations and waterfalls.  We came across Mount Washburn and decided to climb it and after we came down and drove on the other side at the bottom we saw that there was a road to drive up. Then we came across some pronghorns and while we were watching the pronghorns 3 wolves came out of the woods and were walking around.  A little further down the road I saw a rainbow against a mountain.  Then we saw buffalo crossing the road in front of us.

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Day 4

We decided to go to Mammoth then Gardiner.  When we arrived at Mammoth we found out that there had been a bad accident between there and Gardiner and they had the road closed. A car had flipped upside down and fell in the river. There were 4 young elk playing by our car so I filmed them.  We decided we would eat lunch to use some time wisely.  When we finished lunch the road was opened so we went to Gardiner. We were trying to get to Bear Creek to look for gold where Uncle Jim Brown had found it long ago. We didn’t make it there because we found the side of the hill we parked on filled with beautiful quartz and crystals and people had done a lot of work on cutting open huge boulders and there were parts with crystals all over the ground.  After rock collecting we headed to the Tom Miner Creek and campground to go to the petrified wood place. It was a long way on a bad road. We arrived and went out to explore. According to the sign the petrified wood was up and over a mountain. I wanted to see the caves so I pushed on. We were so high up and the trail got narrower and narrower and I got more afraid and more afraid till I told Scott I couldn’t continue. He went on ahead while I waited on the side of the mountain.  He looked in the caves that were more like indentions so we went back down. When we were low enough, I walked the creek bed and found a huge piece of banded agate.  We then went back to the hotel and ate dinner and went to bed.

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Day 5

We headed to Gardiner again after breakfast to get to get to the place that Scott and I thought the Fenn Chest was located. We crossed over Yellowstone River at Corwin Springs and headed down Old Yellowstone Trail, which was really cool.  We came to a trail by Yankee Jim Canyon and went up it and it happened to be where Yankee Jim’s tollbooth was. We explored it extensively for 4 hours. We found ice in a cave with icicles.  It was the coolest thing ever!  We thought that this might be the place where the treasure was. We still think it might be. We went and ate a very late dinner and I wanted to go to my other special place to look, but Scott wanted to fish the Gibbon river and it was getting late so I didn’t get to check my spot which is very disappointing. On our way back after fishing we saw another grizzly walking near the road and stopped to get pictures.  Scott fished the Gibbon briefly while I walked around and explored.

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Day 6

We slept later today because we knew that we would be leaving today and we couldn’t go too far.  We packed our bags and got ready for the day and left to eat breakfast and checked out of our hotel.  There is a place called Ernie’s that became our breakfast place.  Doc and Donna own it.  After breakfast we walked around town.  We visited the old railroad depot (now the museum), the place where the train riders ate, and different areas.  The 3 Bears Hotel was the first one built and it was right across the street from the depot.  It had 3 different owners I believe and burned 3 times.  It now has sprinklers.  We then went to get a few souvenirs.  Afterward, we went to Hebgen Lake Dam, just downstream from it, but before you get to the Ghost Village Rd.  Scott fished and caught a rainbow trout while I looked at rocks and in front of us was a high cliff and along the cliff with the Madison River between us were 9 white Mountain Goats including 2 babies.  They were adorable!  I was hoping that they would come down to the river to get some water, but they had some patches of snow up there still that they could use for water so I was doubtful that they would come.  I took pictures, but they were so far up the pictures didn’t come out that well.  A little further down the river there were 2 male mountain goats.  After an hour or so we had to leave to get back, get some lunch, and get to the airport in West Yellowstone to return the car and get on the plane.  Our 5-year-old grandson was sad that we didn’t find the treasure, but when he sees his presents, he’ll feel a little better about it and we will tell him all of the adventures that we had.  We got him 2 bear t-shirts, bear feet slippers, and a coon skin cap (not real fur).  There’s so much to see and do around Yellowstone that you will definitely need more than a week to do and see it all.  We never did see a moose, but there’s always next time.

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