Don’t forget to look around while driving

If you take the time to stop and look around while you’re traveling from one corner of the state to the other, you can see some new and interesting stuff.

Next time you travel across Wyoming, take it slow and easy. Watch the scenery as you move along, instead of just focusing on getting to your destination.

On a trip from Cheyenne to Riverton several years ago, I found myself getting in a hurry. My youngest son was a year old at the time, and he was throwing a fit back behind me in his car seat. I just wanted to get to my folks’ house and get the heck out of the truck for a while.

During one of Logan’s extremely short naps, I slowed down and took a closer look at what I was passing. There was quite a bit of snow on the prairie, and the sagebrush sticking out of the blanket of white made for some really pretty scenery. I passed more herds of antelope than I could count, and I even went by three or four bunches of deer.

Logan took four or five little naps along the way, and none of them was longer than 10 or 15 minutes. But some of those brief quiet periods came at opportune times.

Out on the Interstate, after I’d rolled through Laramie, I saw the first of the three deer herds I spotted that day. I pulled off into the barrow ditch and put the binoculars on the deer. There was one buck in the group, and he was pretty sizeable. He was no record-book trophy, but he had a respectable, four-point rack. It was neat just to see him and his harem out there in the sagebrush, trying to scratch out a living.

Somewhere near Muddy Gap, I saw four turkey vultures picking on a coyote carcass. They were right on the side of a dirt road that branched off the highway. Instead of just driving past, I turned onto the road and stopped. I pulled out the camera and snapped a few close-ups of the birds with the long lens. Then, instead of getting right back on the highway, I drove down the dirt road for a ways. I ran into a couple of guys hunting rabbits. They’d done well, and they said there were still plenty more rabbits out there.

So if you take the time to stop and explore a little, you might find a new place to hunt, like I did. At the very least, you’ll probably see something interesting.