Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Freedom Arms

Yesterday we had the privilege of visiting Freedom Arms which is a Freedom, Wyoming-based firearm manufacturing company, known for producing powerful single-action revolvers.  It is just down the road from where we are staying and we felt so fortunate to be able to visit.

The door was locked for security purposes when we arrived so we rang the buzzer and were admitted by Linda who was very welcoming and also, as it turned out, very knowledgeable about firearms.

First thing that I noticed were all the trophies covering the walls.  I felt like I was in the wilds!
The lobby was a small room with a TV where we watched a video (click here to go to the You Tube video) about the company and the production of their firearms.  Each firearm that they manufacture is done completely by hand and takes seven months to complete.  When they are finished they are not only beautiful but unbelievably accurate!

Then it was “hands on”!  Kirby was in heaven as he checked out the .500 caliber, the .260 Single Shot and the large .454 magnum.  Me?  Well, I held a couple but I prefer my camera! 

If you want to know more about this amazing company you can visit their website by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Simplot Phosphate Mine and Giant Tonka Toys!

We were fortunate enough today to be included in a wonderful open house at the local Simplot Phosphate Mine.  It was a rainy and cloudy morning when we woke but we decided to take a chance and try to find our way to the mine.  Our GPS didn’t recognize the address so we were sort of on our own for finding our way up the mountain.

I am not sure how we did it, but after 20 – 30 minutes of driving through rain on dirt roads we saw the sign for Simplot.  Yea!  We actually found the place.  We didn’t know what to expect when we got there but there was a big tent and a lot of people.  We found our way to the big tent and it was full of people eating burgers and wandering around.

By this time the rain had gone but the mud was very present.  We “muddled” through it and enjoyed the display of huge, huge heavy equipment that is used in the mining of the phosphate.  This equipment was larger than any I have ever seen before.  One tire was 9 feet, 5,500 pounds and $30,000!

We were disappointed that we didn’t get to see the actual mining but it was a really fun interesting outing!  Thank you, Simplot!!

Star Valley Day Trippin'

We took a drive into the mountains at Bridger National Forest near where we are staying.  We packed a lunch and took the dog and headed out.  The beginning of the outing took us through the beautiful valley that I am coming to love so much!

 Once we got off the paved road and into the NF all the people went away and we even found a couple of campgrounds.  We are thinking of giving one of them a try.  It sure would be quiet at night.  There was no one there at all and nice new picnic tables….
 The route we were on took us to Afton, Wy which is a very nice small western town.
We are loving all these day trips!  Stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Montana to Wyoming

From Montana to Wyoming - all you see is beauty!  I wouldn't want to be here in the winter but right now - I am in love!  

One of our day trips in Montana took us to the old town of Anaconda and to Lost Creek State Park.  Anaconda didn't have much to see but we did find the fish hatchery there.  These beautiful trout were on display in front of the building.  What a nice safe life they have!

Lost Creek State Park
Lost Creek State Park was quite a surprise.  We only visited because it was in the general area of where we were.  Near the waterfall and granite cliffs there are small camping sites.  Made us wish we had a smaller camper.  We had packed a lunch so we found a nice shady picnic area and enjoyed the quiet.
Our next outing was to Phillipsburg, Montana.  We had heard that it was a cute little town and were not disappointed.  On the drive there we made a couple of stops at Georgetown Lake.  It was early in the day and the wind was yet to come up.  I fell in love and now I want a house on that lake.
Phillipsburg Brewery was in the building on the right.  Loved the colorful motif!
Then it was on to P-Burg - as we learned the locals call it.  What a charming little town with cute shops and a local brewery which of course we checked out.  We enjoyed the friendly locals so much - a man who spent his life making custom saddles, a quilter with a large store where all the quilts were made by her and her friend and a young man at the bar of the brewery who had fought in Afghanistan and returned to work in the mines.
Everyone needs a bear.

On our way to Jackson, Wyoming we entered Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, then left it and drove into southern Montana and stayed in West Yellowstone at a Federal Campground.  This picture is of Lake Hebgen which was just a few hundred feet from our camping site.
And when you can have this kind of beauty around you AND get to spend time with friends, it is even better.  Susan and Paul were already on vacation in Wyoming when we decided to try to get together.  They were able to get a camping site very close to ours.  It rained a lot of the time but we didn't mind - we just got out the umbrellas and continued to enjoy our fire.  But when my food started getting wet, I got a little frustrated!
Kirby, Susan and Paul plus their 2 dogs.
We spent some time enjoying Yellowstone together but the crowds really got to us.  The parking lots were full and required waiting in a long line to get a spot and heaven forbid you need a restroom.  Too many people for us so we only did a bit of it as we had been there before.
We did enjoy some of the geysers and a drive through Fire Hole canyon.  There is so much beauty in this part of the country.  It seems that no matter which way you look, you get to go "Ooooo, Ahhhh!" all the time!

Then it was on to Jackson Hole and the Tetons.  My sister and her family have lived in Jackson for over 40 years and I have visited probably 20 times.  I never tire of it!!  Just look at those mountains - aren't they magnificent?
Horses are everywhere.  This must be horse lover heaven!
While in Jackson we celebrated our 14th anniversary with a day in town.  After walking the boardwalks and browsing the cute shops we had to go to the Cowboy Bar and sit in the saddles.  But, getting up into that saddle was not as easy as it looked.  I had everyone laughing with me as I tried to get my leg up and over it!  And - it was not comfortable to sit like that at all!  But we made some new friends so it was worth it!
Our 14th wedding anniversary at the Cowboy Bar in Jackson, WY
Kirby, Paulette and Jim - our new best friends! They own and publish the Wrangler Horse and Rodeo News.
We are now in a resort called Star Valley which is just south of Jackson by about an hour.  It is absolutely gorgeous here with the big valley and the mountains rising all around us.  A few days ago we took a day trip to Caribou City which is an old mining town about 20 miles up in the mountains on a dirt road.  We pretended our truck was a jeep and off we went.
This was our first stop on a bluff overlooking the Salt River.  There is a camping spot right where I took this picture - next year....... Can you imagine waking up each morning to that view??
We finally made it up to Caribou City and found that there is not much left of the original town which boasted 1500 people in the late 1800's.
On the way back out we came upon this man who was just trying to get some free firewood and felled a dead fell the wrong way.  He was working to get it off the road when we arrived.  Then is chain broke.  Luckily he was able to replace it quickly and in about 10 minutes we were on our way again.
I don't think that I ever saw a beaver dam before!