After driving through Wind River Canyon on Tuesday I continued north on Highway 20 towards the little town of Thermopolis. Shortly after getting out of the Canyon I saw signs for a parking area called “Wedding of the Waters”. Curious sort that I am I stopped to take a look:
This is basically a boat launch where one may unload a small boat into the Big Horn River. Now I know what you’re probably thinking… JohnBoy, I thought you said that the river which created the Wind River Canyon was the Wind River. Well, that’s true. This is the same river but here it is called the Big Horn River (having come south from the Bighorn mountains near Sheridan, WY, north of here). Just south of this boat launch is the “wedding of the waters” where the river changes names, one of the few places in the world where this occurs.
There was a family of a father and two sons just getting ready to unload their boats into the river. I walked out on the adjacent pier and asked if it was ok to take their picture for the blog. Before doing that I looked to the left and saw a few folks fishing downstream:
And to my right were the guys launching their boats:
And I say boats because in addition to the small boat you see in the photo above there was also a blue kayak which was on the other side of their truck from this vantage point. By the time I walked up to get a photo of it from the other side the father pulled the truck into the parking area so I walked with him back down to the pier and the kids had moved the kayak to the shoreline near the other boat:
There were also two young ladies and their little dog waiting their turn to carry their kayaks down to the river (and the dog had the cutest little kayak!…. Just kidding).
As I left the boat launch to continue north there was some beautiful, lush farmland on both sides of the river:
I finally made it to Thermopolis, a cute little town with a population of about 2,800.
There were lots of small shops and eating establishments:
As I drove into town I noticed this unusual pair off to the left of the road:
Apparently this area is big on dinosaurs. Downtown there was this statue:
And just outside of town is this establishment:
I didn’t go there this trip but after reading the reviews on TripAdvisor and checking to see if I get a AAA discount (I don’t) I will definitely stop when I pass through town later this month on my way up to Cody. You will be hearing more about dinosaurs after one of the daytrips I will be taking with my brother and sister-in-law (and maybe Sam, too) one day this coming weekend.
As I was taking the photo of the first pair of dinosaurs the ladies in the car parked next to me told me to be sure to check out the horse statue downtown. Sure enough, there it was, in the center of the main shopping district:
On both sides of the statue were the “brands” of various Wyoming ranches. These represent the names of the ranches and are burned into the sides of their cattle. There were roughly 200 on each side and I won’t show them all but here is a sampling:
And don’t bother looking for the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. It’s in Montana, silly!