Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Survived Vacation and The Bears !

I arrived back home in Nebraska on Monday after 11 days of wilderness camping in the beautiful state of Wyoming. Bears? Well this year, there were none to be found around our camp. How lucky can I be? Maybe they just didn't like the smell of this granny genealogist!

Our vacation was awesome. The weather was mostly nice and sunny with a couple afternoon rain showers and about 75-80 degrees each day. It did get down to 30 one night in the high Medicine Bows, telling us that winter would soon show its face. YGGG #2 never left the camp site for the whole time except for our daily wildlife drives and exploring of the countryside. My time was spent preparing food, cooking, feeding the campfire or reading. For some unknown reason, I did not get in as much reading and study as I had hoped, but I did spend some quality time with my Swedish books and documents. The quiet time to study was nice-- no phone, tv, computer, knocking at the door or other such intrusions! We were 50 miles from the nearest town and 40 miles just to get cell service. Go Hubby did make the town trip a couple times for ice, adult beverages, checking on work and to check in with and report to YGGG #1. The latter was recovering from her knee surgery while I was out vacationing. We had to keep tabs on her health and, she, being a "town" girl would not have survived the 11 days of no internet anyway! She did say she missed me and our several a day communications while I was gone. Getting back home and to my computer, I had some juicy tidbits of genealogy information from her and others while I was gone. I must have missed that computer more than I thought!

We saw several moose and other wildlife on our daily jaunts into the back country. The highlight of our days were our back country drives and hikes. One of the other neat discoveries was several very old hand hewn log cabins that were scattered throughout many stream bottoms and valleys. I took lots of photos of these and of course we scouted around them all. Most were built in the late 1800's and some into the early 1900's. We assume that most were early claims along the creeks seeking gold and probably many were used for trapping also, as there were and still are lots of beaver etc., in the area. There are old trash piles around nearly every cabin. We turned up broken pieces of pottery, glass, cans, square nails, an old copper boiler and even the front off of a cast iron stove. We couldn't help but to ponder the lives of those early settlers and what they must have gone through to survive in such wilderness. It is still remote and wild and one can only imagine what it was like to try and survive there well over a hundred years ago. Several of the sites are still fairly undisturbed which is amazing. Were there many women, and what about children? I found a tiny "blue willow" lid from a childs dishes set in one remote cabin spot and it was unbroken in the dump area. It is so hard to envision a child in what must have been harsh living conditions.(This area gets way below zero much of the winter, with up to 8 feet of snow at times.) Did these people even winter in the mountains? They must have in order to make a living. I have a new mystery to solve now, as I intend to dig into some records and find more information about the people who once settled this remote area. A genealogist's dream-- as if I didn't already have enough of my own family to find !!!!

The trip overall was great, the guys played horseshoes, we all had fun, ate like kings, read books for a week, and relaxed.

One small glitch in the whole trip--. We have a large sharpei/chow mix dog, Misty, which made the trip this year with us for the first time. She did pretty well as a traveler, and had a good time with us. She is ,however, afraid of the dark and shook each night when the coyotes started to howl. Go Hubby had to use the "Coleman lantern" for her before bed outings as she was afraid of the shadows that the ordinary flashlite made. Our last night there was unsettled as she had a diarrhea problem and on the way home we had to make a stop along the interstate to again get her outside. I am sure we were a funny site to the passers-by. I had to clean her up with the baby wipes as vehicles whizzed by before she could get back in the car. She adores YGGG#1 and should have stayed in North Platte with her and helped her on her way to recovery. They could have "babysat" one another. She for one was glad to be home and has slept the day away today!

The You Go Genealogy Girls now have a whole year of travel and fun together before YGGG #2 returns again to the wilderness.....with the bears!

You Go Genealogy Girls #2, Cheri

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