Camping at Pole Mountain

IMG_0400After heading out from the Badlands, I made a quick stop in Rapid City to fill up on water and buy a few extra bits of food supplies. From there, I headed into Wyoming, towards the Pole Mountain area of Medicine Bow National Forest, between Laramie and Cheyenne.

The drive was largely uneventful, except for passing through a gorgeous area of the Black Hills in South Dakota and more gorgeous area in Wyoming before hooking up onto I-25. I followed that to Cheyenne, where I got off at Wyoming State Route 210, and followed that into Medicine Bow National Forest. There was some really terrible storms blowing through as I drove on 210, making me nervous about getting the camp spot I was hoping for. However, it had passed by the Pole Mountain area without significant effect, and the drive through that area was absolutely stunning.

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As I drove into the dirt roads of the National Forest to find a camp site, the sun was shining, and it was an enjoyable ride. There were a lot of people with trailers and RVs already camping in the area, so I picked out a spot a bit away from others. There was plenty of room all around for all of us, so it worked out well.

After setting up camp for a bit, I still had time to walk around the area and take in the scenes. I’m still upset that I only got to spend the one night here, following my plans. I was able to get some Verizon signal from the spot I picked out, but it was really inconsistent. Closer to the road, it seemed I could get really good 4G signal, so I will have to go back and spend some time there again, hopefully with time to do some hiking and backpacking in the backcountry up there.

IMG_0426The whole night I was staying there, I was watching some thunderstorms in the distance. They passed by my camp without a worry, but they did look mean. However, as the sun set over the mountains to the West, I had a really awesome view. The colors were magnificent, and even the ugly storms developing to the NorthEast looked gorgeous.

There were all kinds of cool birds, chipmunks, and other creatures roaming around. After speaking with a local, I learned that the bear threat for this area of the forest was pretty minimal–no one had seen a bear there in a long time. However, she informed me about deer, elk, and moose that often roam through that part of the forest. I had some excitement, hoping I might spot a moose, especially, but alas, none came through while I was there. Perhaps another time!

IMG_0642When the sun was finally down, I lied around, watching the storm continuing to brew in the distance. Lightning continuously lit up the massive cloud formations, providing something of a firework display for me to enjoy. As much as I’ve taken to falling asleep looking at the stars every night, I made an exception; this time, I fell asleep watching the lightning display. It was stunning and gorgeous!

Waking up, I packed up my bags and headed to the next location: Utah!

Here’s some more pictures I took as I wandered around the area on my night spent there:

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