Wednesday, October 9, 2013


What a surprise.  Had no expectation of something like this to drop into my trip to the Northwest.

 The day before, on June 30th, my grandson Dyllon and I left Omaha.  We went 600 miles to Casper, Wyoming.  The goal of the next day was to reach Yellowstone NP, about 300 miles, while stopping right outside of Cody to go to the Buffalo Bill Dam, which is really amazing.  I wanted Dyllon to see things and enjoy his day, especially when reaching the Yellowstone.

Leaving Casper, I went on a side highway that I'd never been on any other time while in Wyoming.  The area was high, was dry, somewhat rocky, few towns.  I was going as reasonably quickly as possible; had my hours to get to the National Park in my brain.  Then I suddenly saw a sign that said, "Devil's Kitchen"...and I thought, "WHAT?? A terrible restaurant!"   THEN, suddenly, and quickly, I saw a sign that said "Hell's Half Acre" and, when I glanced, I saw a side section with cars, a bus, and lots of people and a big fence.  No one was behind me, so I hit the brake, turned left and found a place to park.

I jumped out of the car with my cameras, of course.  Dyllon, for some reason, just shook his head and stayed in the car.  I walked around and about, saw the caves, the ravines, rock formations.  Now, I'd been at a number of places similar to this in Utah and Arizona.  The difference was that there was no way to walk out very far.  There was a large fence, the kind you see at jail or prison or lack-of-exit/entry places.  I gradually began to understand that the reason was because people had fallen off, or the stairs and openings had been broken down.  I wouldn't have wanted to walk too close to the edge, any time. I'm an anti-fall person.

About 20 minutes later I went to the car and told Dyllon that he really needed to see this.  So, he came out, and walked around and really liked it, and then he surprised me.

I had noticed, while walking around, that there was one place where a entry hole had been dug under the fence.  Well, I sure wouldn't have crawled under.  And, I didn't notice a lady was out there, but HE did.  So, when she came back, he said he wanted to go.  I just shrugged; figured he'd only go out there if he felt safe.  When he slid under the fence, I forced him to take my camera.  He walked quite a way to the "seeing" portion of the rocky area.  And took many photos from my camera and his phone.  Another guy, much larger, seeing him, crawled under the fence.  They both had a good time.

When he was coming back, I told him to give me my camera FIRST, and I would be taking a picture of him sliding under the fence.

So, he did and I did.

We left very shortly after that.  And stopped a number of other times to see areas... huge lakes by dams, for instance.  He went down long stretches of hills, and rocks.  I took photos, but I couldn't risk falling.

Our day was filled with activity.  We got to Cody, went to the dam, went to Yellowstone, reached our motel HOURS later than I had anticipated.  But we did have a goooood day.

And, Hell's Half Acre was one of the most amazing.

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