Thursday, August 16:
We left Gros Ventre campground about 9:30 taking US 26/89 south. There are faster and shorter ways to CO but we had never been this way. Whenever possible, we opt for roads we've never traveled. We stayed in the USFS East Table campground which is just off US 89. It's primarily a campground for people rafting the Snake River but makes for a very convenient overnight stop. There are several large pull-through sites.
The smoke from the dozen, or so, ID wildfires is still thick. We had planned on spending more time in this part of WY but the smell of the smoke was just too much.
The plan was to spend the night at the Cokeville City Park. (42.08499 -110.95979). Turns out the park is just a few feet from a very active BNSF RR line. Can't imagine we would have gotten much sleep.
Cokeville is much like dozens of other very small towns we've passed through. Seen better days. Lots of stores boarded up, no restaurants that we saw except for the Flying J. A group of young mothers were having a picnic at the city park. Some baby's being held, some young ones playing in the park. Mostly teenager Moms we guessed. I suspect the people who were born and raised in Cokeville know just about everyone, and their business as well and don't have a lot of social, educational or employment options.
We're back on parts of the Oregon Trail. Specifically the Lander Cutoff.
The smoke is still everywhere so we continued to Kemmerer. It was still smokey so we decided to just call it a driving day and head to I-80. Tonight we're "camped" at the Little America truck stop/restaurant/motel. This is probably the best overnight option along this stretch of I-80. The RV parking area is well away from the truck area and is next to a nice, grassy walking area. There is a free dump station and potable water fill, as well as a restaurant, snack bar, gas station and propane fill.
We drove to the Foote Fishing Access Area (free camping) which is just north of Saratoga off WY 130. (41.50791 -106.83832). We're camped on the bank of the North Fork of the Platt River. Once again, it's just the three of us. This site has everything we look for in a camping area so we're just going to stay put for the rest of the week, or until we run out of water. Fortunately, I dumped the tanks and topped off the water at Little America and restocked the larder in Rock Springs.
On the occasion a fisherman stops by or someone rafting down the river. Late in the day, five Harleys pulled in. It was a group of guys from Denver that were on a motorcycle/fishing trip. The fisherman here, and at Gros Ventre, said the water is so warm, the fish are scarce. They go wherever it is fish go when it gets hot. Of course, fisherman are like bowlers, golfers, and such, in that they seem to have an unlimited number of reasons why things aren't going their way.
The weather forecast for the upcoming week is about perfect. High's in the mid-70's, low's in the mid-40's.