Ok, I admit it… I loved the ride through the Bighorns so much that I had to do it again. Twice. My roommate, Tracy Bader (who is the sweetest and most genuine woman alive), and I rode back through Shell Canyon and down to Sheridan, Wyoming for lunch. We stopped about halfway at the Burgess Junction Welcome Center for some water and to cause a stir on our pink decorated bikes. The area that surrounds the welcome center is like a fairytale land you read about to your 4-year-old little girl. The purple and yellow flowers grow wild in fields that reach all the way to the horizon and it smells like pine trees and sweet summer blooms. The air is cooler and the sun shines brighter (not hotter). It just feels like a magical place.
We passed through a small town called Dayton (population 800) on our way to lunch. Low and behold, there was the perfect place for us ladies to stop if we wanted a cold one. Unfortunately, we were on the bikes so we had to pass it by, and instead I took only a photo of the Crazy Woman Saloon. Once we arrived in Sheridan, we stopped for a delicious lunch at a local café. The annual rodeo was going on just down the street and downtown was packed with day-visitors. You could hear live music coming from a bar on Main Street and an atmosphere of hustle and bustle enveloped us. The town was truly hoppin’.
On our way back to Shell Canyon, we stopped at nearly all of the “scenic view” pull-off areas there were. I have never been to a place that had so many of these little blue signs and places from which to take in the remarkable vistas. I was happily surprised by the sheer size and power of Shell Falls, which is hidden from view until you are completely off the road. I was very glad we stopped to listen to the water crashing into the creek below and contemplate our life in the countryside for the next few days. Our last stop was at Dirty Annie’s Country Store, which is a playground all itself with trinkets, cold beverages, fuel, and even a to-die-for menu of made-from-scratch home cookin’ wonderfulness.
Wyoming is a very special place where all of your wildest (and when I say wild, I do mean WILD) dreams truly can come true. No offense to Disney World, but Mickey Mouse ain’t got nothin’ on that.