We left Prune Creek and made our way a few miles down the road to Sibley Lake. Another Forest Service campground, this time instead of the sound of gentle flowing water from the creek, we had a beautiful alpine lake to hike around and nordic ski trails to follow up into the mountains. At almost 3 miles to cover the perimeter of lake, my daily walk took me through little inlets filled with head high willows. I stopped and listen every 100 yards or so to make sure there are no moose sleeping or grazing. I have only seen a few signs. Their massive footprints in the deep mud and skat laying on the trail. After our experience at Prune Creek I am always on the lookout for signs of recent activity.
The water is deep blue, and so shallow near the edge that you can see the tiny fish glistening in the sun. There are signs of beavers everywhere - you can’t go 10 feet without seeing a tree that has been gnawed through and left to fall into the water. No signs of a dam anywhere. There is a beautiful dock they have built on the southern perimeter of the lake that extends for hundreds of feet. Set up for fishing, benches and overhangs with holes to hold the rods and carved every few inches with names, dates and promises of everlasting love.
The weather has been beautiful and cool, and even brought us a surprise snow shower one morning, in August! At 8500 ft, the local host at the campground told us that it is not unusual to have snow every month of the year in the Bighorns.
We have filled our days wandering around the countryside checking out hikes and looking for wildlife. One day we spent on the road to Shell Falls and Dinosaur Tracks. While the tracks were not as impressive, to us, as the ones we saw outside Escalante in Utah, it was a beautiful drive and the wildlife on the hillsides were abundant.
We stopped at a local tavern in Shell, pop. 88, just because their hand carved sign was calling us, and Bob realized after we were sitting outside having a cold beer that he had been through here before on one of his motorcycle journeys with the boys. Small world, and sometimes on the bike I think so much of it goes by really...really fast.
We have been back to Prune Creek in search of moose a few times, but have not seen any. I am just so thankful that we were fortunate to have the "Moose Experience" while we were there. Such massive creatures, Bob is great as my lookout as I tried to get closer to get a good shot. Perhaps it is time to get a larger lens.
We have mule deer right in the campground, and of course scores of chipmunks that love to hop up on the table and see if Bob left them any treats.
When not hiking or exploring, our days are spent just hanging around camp reading.
The only thing we could possibly find as a negative in this whole area has been the lack of "connectivity" to the outside world.
The only thing we could possibly find as a positive in this whole area has been the lack of "connectivity" to the outside world.
Next year I will have my kayak with me. I will float out into the middle of the lake and gaze at the Bighorn mountains off in the distance. I can't think of a prettier place to be in August, then here in Wyoming.