Page 18i . .

Ogden, UT to Fort Collins, CO

We make a planned stop in Fort Collins, CO to visit Dan's brother Dale.

Friday was another travel day with an opportunity to take a couple side trips to see the sights. Our first side trip was to Fort Bridger in southwest Wyoming (Item B on map above). We had noticed the signs for the I-80 Loop and decided to give it a try on our return trip. We were surprised to find an actual fort in the town of Fort Bridger. It was open for viewing but all the displays were closed for the season. We learned that this was an early fort in the area that supplied not only the fur traders, but later on the settlers moving west. The picture below shows a creek that runs through the fort area near the parade grounds.

Creek at Fort Bridger.

Most of the buildings and displays had signs to tell us what each of the buildings were and this one was the new guardhouse. The original guardhouse was also on the grounds.

Fort Bridger new guardhouse

Located on the grounds, and in a bad position for pictures in the morning, is a replica of the original Fort Bridger. The picture below shows one side of it and the back side of a cabin. Others pictures were not possible due to the bad lighting.

Original Fort Bridger.

There were two wood frame houses on the property, this one was labeled as the Commander's residence. The other house was not identified but was of similiar style and construction.

Fort Bridger Commander's Residence

This statue was near the front gate on a stone foundation. As we drove through town we noticed many businesses carrying his name as well.

Jim Bridger statue

We found the Fort Bridger loop an interesting drive through the Wyoming terrain, although the view from this road was not substantially different than from the interstate. Our next departure from I-80 was the Flaming Gorge area (Item C on map above). We knew we would not have enough time to cover the entire route (Wyoming down through northern Utah and back up to I-80). So after stopping at an information center we took a short drive south on Highway 530, but were unable to see anything that would cause us to drive towards the gorge. All the access roads were dirt roads and since it appeared that the gorge wasn't what we anticipated we returned to I-80. In reading about it after our visit we find that this is a man made reservoir and is a very popular fishing and boating attraction. We did cross this small creek, known as Blacks Forest Creek, which we assume joines the Green River that feeds this large reservoir.

Blacks Forest Creek

As we retraced our route from the week before our eye was again drawn to Elk Mountain, this time viewed from the west. We had heard of snow storms in this area earlier in the week and it was evident that a lot of the snow remianed in the sheltered and higher elevations.

Elk Mountain

As we approached Laramie, Wyoming we decided to take the US Highway 287 down to Fort Collins. This is a two-lane road that is heavily traveled but also a beautiful drive. We took this route the last time we traveled out west and wanted to take it again, hoping for some fall color. It is amazing how the terrain changes from the Wyoming scrub brush to dark boulders and evergreen trees within a few miles. The picture below was taken near the Virginia Dale area in northern Colorado.

Virginia Dale area

Then a few short miles along this route the rocks turn red and present beautiful contrasts in color to the cottonwood trees.

Red rock cliffs along Highway 287

The picture above was taken on the northeast side of the road and the picture below was taken immediately acorss the road. You can see the beautiful fall color and some of the front range of the Rocky Mountains further west.

Fall color against the front range

The highway entered Fort Collins on the north side of town and became Shields Street. We spotted this pond and pulled off the busy street for a picture, again the fall color was at its height.

North Shields Pond

Follow the links below to view the remainder of our trip.

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