This was once a coal mine.
My stay in Rapid City, SD., was very good but it was time to move on and on July 26, I left and went west. My trip took me through the Custer State Park. This park is beautiful located in the Black Hills and I saw a turkey family crossing the road with mom leading the babies. Pronghorn antelope and mule deer were all over the place. Leaving the high country, I dropped down into the prairie of Wyoming where the hills were low and rolling. Very few trees except where there might be a water source. I crossed the Thunder Basin National Grassland on a small secondary road. Soon after passing through the little town of Wright, I ran right through a huge coal mine where there were multiple train tracks with several trains stacked up both full and empty.
This is one of the largest coal mines in the world with 18-20 trains made up of 120 to 150 cars each are loaded and shipped each day with this low sulfur coal. They have 5 huge drag lines and many more huge trucks than the mines I saw in North Dakota. This mine supplies over 5% of the fuel of the nation’s electric power. Miles of this land has been reclaimed and you would never know the land had been mined. Found the Powder River RV Park in Kaycee, WY. With no problem and what a dump it is. The rains had made it quite muddy and the sited were not very well defined. The good part was it was inexpensive.
Hole in the Wall
One evening I walked across the street and attended the Friday night local rodeo which was fun. All of the young men in the events were named Cody, Ty or Clint.
We had some heavy rain during the rodeo and it was funny to see the bronc and bull riders hit the mud. The arena was a mud pit.
Hole in the Wall
On the 28th, I did one of the more interesting day trips I have had. Near Kaycee, WY. is the
Hole In The Wall area where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were reported to hole up while on the lam from the authorities. The ride out was beautiful going along what is called the red wall which is a long bluff of red rock. The road went from paved to dirt to a rain damaged track that required 4x4. Ranches out here in the back country are huge with the one I traversed over 50,000 acres. Eventually I came to a picnic/tent camping area called the Outlaw Cave. The area was very rough with volcanic rock all over the ground and everything had been burned to a crisp from a recent forest fire. Parked close to the only other car out there and found a young lady tent camping with her dog. She was very interesting to talk to as she worked with several backcountry companies in Montana. Later she hiked down into the canyon on a trail I would never attempt. Walked out to the edge and found a spectacular view of a deep canyon with a river running through it. Way down at the bottom was signs of the caves where the outlaws were reported to have stayed in. This was a beautiful spot, a mini Grand Canyon.