On the last day of Kali's and my July sojourn in the interior West (versus San Diego on the West Coast, which is where we flew the next day), we completed a 3-mile circuit hike on the Turtle Rock Trail at Vedauwoo (pronounced VEE-da-voo), 20 miles east of Laramie, Wyoming.
This 10 square mile area of imposing rock formation is an eastern outlier of the Wind River-Proutt National Forest surrounding Pole Mountain on the Wyoming plains. Vedauwoo is an Arapaho word meaning "earth born;" ancient Indians believed that these magnificent rock formations were created by playful spirits. The area was considered a sacred place where young Native American men went on vision quests - perfect for such purposes (especially if hallucinogenic concoctions were involved) because the oddly jumbled rocks resemble myriad shapes.
Vedauwoo is well-known as one of the premier rock climbing and bouldering sites in the West. As I waited while Kali used the restroom, I spoke with a climber from Moab, Utah who said she comes to Vedauwoo (a long day's drive) because "it's not crowded, it's cool, and it's beautiful." But there are also camping sites, picnic areas, and trails through and around the rocks, which is why we visited.
Most of the Turtle Rock Trail is out in full sun, but portions are in shady aspen groves.
|Turtle Rock Trail|
|A composite with a moth (I don't know my western wildflowers -yet)|
|Kali, who rarely uses the camera, snatched it out of my hand to make this image|
|Between a rock and a hard place|
|I'm glad there was no earthquake while I was standing here!|
|A view eastward|
|A wooden bison skull|
|Kali on the sunny trail|
|More rocks, viewed across a beaver meadow|
|A study in orange|
|Nearing the end of the trail circuit|
|Some of the most imposing pylons, near trail's end|
|Bidding us adieu just short of the parking lot|