Monday, June 29, 2009

Memories, both Old and New at Keyhole State Park

Every morning we are awakened by a Western Meadowlark. He sits, perched upon a small ponderosa pine and sings his morning song. It takes me back to when I was a child, traveling to West Union and visiting my grandparents and great grandparents graves. It was always a fun trip as while our parents would stand in silent thought we would check out the cannonball stacks and read the inscriptions on the other gravestones.
Afterwards we then went to a Brackin family reunion on the Gehring farm, where almost all of the thirteen brothers and sisters and ninety six cousins would show up and make our greetings before racing off to evoke terror in all the livestock.
The boys would all end up having a corncob fight and being one of the younger ones we were eventually trapped in the top of the corn crib.
Before long Uncle Dick would come to our rescue and help us chase the older ones away, at which time we headed up to the farmhouse for the meal. Maybe thats why camping at Keyhole is one of my favorite places, as listening to the meadowlark always takes me back in time.
We arrived at Keyhole State Park, in Wyoming, and set up at site 17 in Tatanka campground. Its our home base for two weeks and lets me visit the doctor for my yearly tests and prescription renewals. We have a lot of friends in Gillette and so our time here involves too many trips to town, along with biking, hiking, canoeing and fishing at the park.
The second day Renita and I took off and did a short ride, 6.5 miles. Most was on a bike path but some was off into the woods on a soft forest and prairie trail. We didn't see anything special, bird wise, just the usual white pelicans, western meadowlarks, and mountain bluebirds. It was nice to be here and rest after our long eastern loop.
I tried some bouldering on the soft sandstone spires that line Cottonwood bay and the rock felt good, as it always does to an old rock climber. Having running shoes on I didn't try anything difficult, but it felt still was good.
Fishing from shore here is always tough and this time has been no exception. I tried top walking lures for bass and northern. I also threw out minnows for catfish and walleye. In desperation I even thought about buying some worms but didn't go that far, yet.......
We were the only ones in the campground until later in the week, when it filled with the pre fourth of July crowd, and so we have been reading and walking and visiting friends. Nothing special, but its so nice to relax. Clear skies.

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