Monday, October 14, 2019

If you plan it they will come... day eighteen

Monday October 14th

Monday morning moon-rise over the Rocky Mountains.

Part of our original plan for today was to leave the RV at Bass Pro and take a run up Pikes Peak which would have taken about four hours. This has been on my bucket list for quite some time. But.... we learned from Stewart yesterday that due to construction of a new visitor center at the top the road was open only part way up and you had to take a shuttle from that point on. So with that in mind and considering that the car wasn't running that well we decided not to go and came up with a new plan. 

First things first... we went for breakfast at a great little place called C&C Coffee Kitchen not too far from our overnight spot. The place was clean, the staff cheery and helpful and the food was very good; highly recommended!

Our breakfast provider..

Breakfast done, we refuelled the vehicles and headed north to Denver. Our destination, Hammond's Candies. Hammond's started as a small family business about 100 years ago  with a loyal local following, it has now grown into an iconic brand with international distribution. We arrived about ten minutes before one of their scheduled tours which we joined. Learned about the history of the company, watched candy being made, watched it being packaged, then received a sample as we exited the tour into the gift shop! 
At Hammond's Candies.

Some of Hammond's Candies....

We continued northward on I-25 stopping in Loveland CO to pick up groceries and gas. Andrew had to slow his pace in the RV a bit because this stretch of highway was very windy.
Our stop at the Southeast Wyoming Welcome Centre just south of Cheyenne WY was a welcome stretch of legs and quick check on e-mail etc. 

Phyllis braving the wind at the Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center
We turned off the interstate just north of Cheyenne WY to make our way to the Fort Laramie National Historic Site. The same weather system that brought the cooler temperatures had dumped quite a bit of snow here a few days earlier. It was a bit of surprise to still see some of that snow on the side of the road! 

Fort Laramie was originally established as a private fur trading fort in 1834, which evolved into the largest and best known military post on the Northern Plains. It was abandoned in 1890 and nearly succumbed to the ravages of time. In 1938 it became part of the National Park Service and restoration projects have been going on since.

At Fort Laramie
Sharon, Andrew and Phyllis enjoying a windy lunch.
After a picnic lunch we took a walk around the buildings, some of which have been restored, others left mere shells of their original. One building that really portrayed the life of the soldiers that were stationed here was the Cavalry Barracks. Rows of single beds lined the outside walls of the upper floor either side of the central stairwell. There was no privacy and very little space for personal items, just a simple box at the foot of each bed and a couple of hooks to hang coats and guns!

Upper floor of the Cavalry Barracks... not much in the way of privacy.
Cavalry Barracks at Fort Laramie.

We headed west to rejoin the interstate then headed north to our next overnight at the KOA in Buffalo WY. It was still fairly windy so that held Andrew up a bit. The Festiva continues to have a miss but we are still maintaining highway speeds.

Heading north
We arrived at the campground just after dark, made our supper then went over our plans for the next day, which was going to be a long one!

Approximate route for today's drive.

Thanks for following along! Please let us know your favorite things about Wyoming in the comments section below.

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