After taking care of business this morning, including opening up registration for our 2014 RV-Dreams Spring Educational Rally, we drove to Sinks Canyon a few miles south of Lander.
We stopped in Lander 'cause it was about half-way between Rawlins and Grand Teton and because we thought the Sinks Canyon State Park would be a cool place to visit.
We arrived in the pretty canyon and stopped at the Visitors Center.
We went inside and watched the 15-minute movie about the canyon at the base of the Wind River Mountains. The most interesting aspect of the park is what they call the "Sinks" and "Rise".
The Popo Agie (prounounced "po-Po'-zya") River ....
disappears into a cave behind the Visitors Center.
This is known as the "Sinks". Linda took a video from the overlook.
Then we walked down to the mouth of the cave.
It's quite a bit of water that flows underground.
Linda took another video at the "Sinks".
Then we walked the quarter-mile paved trail ....
down to the "Rise" where the water that goes underground reappears.
The folks that study these things didn't know if the water from the "Sinks" was the same water flowing into the "Rise". So, they did a dye test.
The dye showed up in the "Rise" but not until two hours later, and it was almost four hours before all the volume of the dye appeared. No one knows where the water goes that takes it two hours to travel a quarter mile. Not only that, but they have proven that more water comes out in the "Rise" than goes in at the "Sinks", so there are additional underground water sources.
Water fills the pool at the "Rise" from several different inlets. And the pool is home to several huge Rainbow and Brown Trout.
The trout arrived naturally (the pool isn't stocked) and, since fishing isn't allowed in the "Rise", they keep growing. Some may be 10 - 12 pounds.
They can certainly exit at the other end of the "Rise" where the water flows out and the river resumes ....
but apparently, they are quite happy where they are. I'm sure it helps when tourists use their quarters in the machine at the "Rise" overlook to get food for the fish. :)
Linda took one last video to complete the tour.
As we departed, we noticed a box on the back of one of the buildings left over from when a hydroelectic plant operated at the "Rise". A sleepy squirrel poked its head out. :)
Note: Although we walked from the Visitors Center down to the "Rise" and back up, there is a parking area at the "Rise".
On our walk back, we took the very short "Overflow Loop".
At the height of the Spring run-off, more water comes down the Popo Agie than the "Sinks" can handle. The water backs up at the mouth of the cave, and then flows down to the rise via a rocky overflow channel.
It wasn't close to overflow stage today, so there was no water in the overflow. Still, the wildflowers were beautiful.
From the Visitors Center, we drove up-canyon and went through the park campground. The camphost site was very nice as were the tent sites on the river, but it's not really a big rig campground.
As we continued, we left the state park boundary and entered the Shoshone National Forest. There is a National Forest campground and then a couple of dispersed camping areas just beyond.
Then at the foot of some switchbacks, the road was closed and we couldn't proceed up into the mountains on "The Loop Road". Apparently, it's a very pretty drive and there is some nice hiking. But, once again, it appears we're here a little early in the season.
So we returned to the RV park where we stopped at the office to pay for another night. While talking to the owner, Phyllis, we chatted about her house that's on the property. It was a historical house that had been turned into apartments in town. She bought it for $10 and had the whole house moved here to the RV park.
In addition, she mentioned fishing and we asked her about good fishing spots in the area. Tomorrow, June 1, is Wyoming Free Fishing Day where everyone, residents and non-residents, can fish without a license.
While on the subject of fish, she said she orders salmon and halibut from Alaska each year. Well, she ordered too much and asked if we wanted any. Heck yeah! So we watched the office while she fetched some fish for us. Linda had to re-arrange the freezer in order to fit the huge salmon filet. :)
The wind had picked up during the afternoon, and after 4:00 it was terrible. Linda decided to do laundry, and spent the drying cycle in the laundry room which was more protected from the wind. :)
In the evening, we watched some TV, had chili for dinner and worked on month-end financials. I hope to get those posted in the next couple of days.
After dark the wind died down .... thankfully.
Tomorrow, we might fish or do the four-mile loop hiking trail in Sinks Canyon. Or we might just hang out at home. It's all good. :)