06 July 2009

Upper Nowood Road and Nowater Trail

To celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary, we left early to catch the morning sunlight on the cliffs we originally photographed in Ten Sleep and Big Trails. The shot below is on the west side of Ten Sleep, just as you drive down the hill into the valley where this town is located.

As we drove into town, we passed a small cattle drive. It wasn't the right place to stop, so I took several shots as I drove. This was the only descent one.

We had my wife's mother with us along with her dog, so we stopped at the city park for a break and to use the restrooms.

The building below is the actual one room school house used years ago in Big Trails.

Here are some of the flowers in the park:

Also in the park is this old bridge which crosses over Ten Sleep Creek.

Then we traveled south to Big Trails.

The shots below are south of Big Trails where the paved road turns into gravel.

Because of all the rain, there is a whole lot of grass and a whole lot of grasshoppers.

There are a few ranches along the way but not many.

Nowood Road passes through a beautiful small canyon. Click here if you wish to see the shot below from the perspective of a satellite.

I think the sculpture below is a buffalo.

Just as you are driving out of the canyon, there is this rock overhang:

Here is a close-up of the above rock which informs the traveler how far it is to Lost Cabin, Lysite, and Moneta.

You can see the view below immediately after driving past the rock in the above photograph.

This is the most protected mailbox I have yet to encounter here in Wyoming:

The sign below reads, "NOWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT." Not all international airports have such a great location.

At one time No Wood, Wyoming must have been on the map, but no longer. Here is what appears to be the old school house along with its outhouse.

This is a shot of a field owned by the ranch there at No Wood.
If we had been by ourselves, this would have been a great place (below) to get out and explore the canyon to the right of the tree.

Just past the above canyon is this sign. Since we had made the trip to Moneta along this road back in June, we decided to drive the 47 miles to Worland by following Nowater Trail road.

I would not recommend going on to Moneta or Worland along either of these roads because it is not as scenic south or west of here. Returning to Ten Sleep and enjoying the scenery a second time is a far better experience. But Nowater Trail does have its own beauty, and here are some of the pictures I took.

Note the white-capped mountains in the distant background:

Forty-seven miles is a long way on a back road like this. If you click on the picture below to enlarge it, you can see how the road fades off to the left. And it keeps on going and going.

Here is a prairie dog who kept his eye on us long enough to take this shot:

There are only two ranches we saw along the 47 miles, and below is one of them. It is desolate country (we didn't see anyone), and I am glad we didn't choose a hot day. We brought along extra water and things just in case our car broke down.
We found the road names interesting, and we wondered about the experiences of people long ago who named them.

Just a few days ago, before today's excursion, someone drove this road during one of the downpours we've had. Wyoming dirt is hard when dry but turns to muddy, sticky clay when wet, and with a four wheel drive the ruts can get very deep in an effort to climb up the hills.

For about half of the 47 miles we had to go no more than 15 miles per hour in order to navigate the ruts. No wonder the sign above says, "AVOID USING WHEN WET OR MUDDY."

Above and below is East Fork Nowater Creek. The road is paved in this one spot where the creek flows over it when there is a rain.

If you decide to make this trip, I strongly suggest that you purchase Wyoming Road & Recreation Atlas which includes detailed backroads. I purchased mine at Canyon Sporting Goods, 903 Shoshoni, here in Thermop.

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