Thursday, October 19, 2006

Boulder to Saratoga, Wyoming

On Monday we dropped our daughter off at Boulder and then started our journey to Jackson Hole. Our plan was to make it about half way or a little more to Rock Spring. We got off to a late start out of Boulder. Before we reached Fort Collins my wife realized that she left her fleece coat in Niwot. Without a coat she was going to be in trouble in Jackson Hole as the weather wass turning cold. We stopped in Fort Collins and replaced the missing coat. We then continued into Wyoming taking a back road to Laramie. From Laramie we took a mountain pass road called the Snowy Mountain Pass with great views of Medicine Bow. The name of the pass held true. When we reached the 11000' peak the windy mountain road turned snow covered and icy. The drive became very slow. It was 6:15 and getting dark by the time we reached the base in the tiny town of Satatoga.
Saratoga is an old western cowbow town that hasn't changed much in over 100 years. The town's claim to fame is a thermal hot spring that has been turned into a municpal pool open 24 hours. I stopped by, but the bathers looked rather shady. Reading the local paper, I later learned that some of the local teens entertained themselves, when not at the pool, by dousing a passed out drunken kid with gasoline and trying to set him on fire. They were arrested. Even though some of the locals aren't charming, the local hotel, the Wolf Hotel is charming. It is a classic western hotel, originally openned in 1892. The current owners, who bought it 30 years ago, restored it to it's original splendor. There is a long wooden bar in the saloon, with swinging doors and mounted trophies hanging on the walls. The restaurant features steaks from the local ranches.

Our room was a two room suite, with a comfortable bed and period antiques. I felt like I was sleeping in Deadwood. Prices were from another era too. The spacious two bedroom suite was $79.
Before leaving town the next morning we stopped at the Donut Ranch for breakfast. This was the elderly local hangout. This is where people meet and swap stories over coffee and breakfast. Kids stopped by on their way to school for donuts. We sat down for a full breakfast. The coffee was good. I had hotcakes and eggs, while my wife had the french toast. The food was excellent and extremely filling.
On the drive to Saratoga we did see some wild life. We saw a heard of antelope and got very close to some mule ear deer.
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