Friday, August 7, 2009

Sun, Aug 2: Saratoga, WY

Another beautiful morning greets us. Our first thought is to have a quiet day by the river but by early afternoon Dick has cabin fever. We decide to go to the store for a few items then drive to Battle Pass, the site of Battle Township, one of a string of small towns along the Continental Divide in the early 1900's, when there was gold to be mined in the Sierra Madre. It is maybe 30 miles to the west. Sounds good, right?

We get the things we need and head to the pass. It is a nice drive. The land is rolling hills and has a wild look to it and is mostly range land untill we climb the pass where we get back in the mountain woodlands again. Actually the west side looks very nice.We see a dirt county road, Deep Creek Road, on the map that will take us back to Saratoga through the National Forest along Deep Creek and Jack’s Creek. Well, that sounds good too, right!? So off we go. When we get to the cut off, the gravel road looks very good and well traveled so we commit.
The first few miles are through an Aspen Glenand the trees have formed a tunnel effect along the road.After about fifteen or twenty miles, we reach the turn for Saratoga. It is well marked and the road is still good. Then we come to several cut offs that are not so well marked and we are ‘kinda" guessing at which to take. We do finally pick up the road that actually runs along Jack's Creek with several camp grounds along the way. We come to another cross roads that is poorly marked, so we just pick one.
The road then gets worse and then Dick feels he may have a flat. We stop at the top of a hill and sure enough we have a very torn up right rear tire. Now the fun really begins. Getting the spare out is a real pain and the way we are sitting on the gravel road makes everything harder and dangerous. Carolyn searches for rocks to block the car and Dick fights with the tire. It takes about 45 minutes to get the deed done and we are off again. The only problem is the spare is almost as flat as the flat tire and the air compressor is with the rig! Lesson learned: Check the spare tire for air pressure!

We drive slowly, hoping for the best, through cattle pastures and starkly pretty countryside for a tense 45 minutes until we get back to the campgrounds. Needless to say we have a stiff drink, an easy supper of garlic spaghetti and call it a day ---after airing up the tire, of course!

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