22 June 2009

Cottonwood Creek Road

During our respite from taking care of my wife's mother, we decided to drive north on WY-120 and explore Cottonwood Creek Road until we reached Winchester at US-20. Here is the route we took.

This is not the most scenic of drives, but it's a road we had never taken. After turning off of WY-120, this is the view below. The sign on the right reads, COTTONWOOD CR RD; SAND DRAW RD - 5 km, 3 mi; HIGHWAY 20 - 24 km, 15 mi.

We stopped below to look for flowers and unusual plants.

Here are three examples of what we found:

The mailboxes and the blanket of flowers below provided another opportunity to stop and look. By the way, the barrels on which the mailboxes rest have square holes cut out so that the mail carrier can place packages in them.

Here is one of the small tributaries which feeds Cottonwood Creek. This is the view from the road.

The next two shots I include because they are typical of the drive. All the sandstone formations along the north side of the road present great hiking opportunities.

The trees are usually all along the bank of the creek. The one below is unusual.

Below is a dry creek bed. All the smooth stones tell how rocky the soil is. Where I come from, people would pay good money for them to be used on the exterior of their homes.

Eventually you come to the end of Hot Springs County and enter Washakie County (Washakie County Road 16). This is looking east.

Looking west at the same signpost, you can see that we were on Hot Springs County Road 13.

Further down the road we stopped to see the blooming milkweeds (the next two shots).

With a bit of hunting, I also found this plant:

There are only a handful of homes and ranches along the way.

Eventually Cottonwood Creek Road took us up over the crest of some hills where I took the shot below of the valley (looking south).

Before returning to Thermopolis, we drove through Winchester once again to see the differences the warmth and rain have made to the area since part 1 of that series. Compare the shot below to the third photograph from the end in part 1 of Winchester.

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