Named for Major General Frederick Steele, 20th U.S. Infantry, a Civil War hero, Fort Fred Steele is located on the west bank of the North Platte River. It was occupied until August 7, 1886 by soldiers who were sent by the U.S. Government to guard the construction of the transcontinental railroad against attack from Indians.
Unfortunately, many structures in the fort have suffered from repeated fires after being abandoned in 1886. In 1969 it was place on the National Register of Historic Places and is managed by the state.
This site is off the interstate near a rest area so it is easy to find. The interpretive center shows how the fort was built and objects found around the fort from that time. My favorite is the masonry detail.
This stop was not on the official list for my State Parks adventure. I have read about these kilns and quickly realized that Piedmont was only 10 miles south of I-80 . So, I made a detour in-between parks and traveled down a long gravel road to check it out.
These kilns are the remnants of a charcoal- making industry in Southwest Wyoming. They were built in 1869 by Moses Byrne to supply charcoal to pioneer iron smelters in the Utah Valley.
They were built out of sandstone and limestone- all local material- and are about 30ft in circumference and about 30ft high. Each kiln has a large doorway and a window placed high on the backside for loading cord-wood. Vent holes are around the bottom so that charcoal makers could adjust airflow. Once workers filled the kilns with logs, metal coverings were mortared in place over the doorway and window to seal before firing.
The making of charcoal stopped in the early 1900’s when the Union Pacific rail line was rerouted north of Piedmont. This left Byrne with no economical means of transporting his product to market. Therefore, the town died leaving a ghost town just up the road from the kilns.
These structures are obviously unsafe so I kept my distance as best as I could. But I did take a quick peek inside. 🙂
Took this image as the sun was rising above the hill.
This is the herd bull. He’s an older fella…just look at the size of his head!!!
And here I am squatting right at the rear of the herd bull. All I can say is these guys are fed well and comfortable around people or else I would not have gone in there. It was quite an experience!
Happy Tilda Tuesday everyone!
We’re not the only ones that love to watch the sun set. Tilly loves her summer evenings on the deck. I don’t normally let her sit on the picnic table but for portrait purposes, I let it slide this time. 🙂
He’s a young one, but a handsome one.
Bear River State Park was my first stop. I drove through what felt like a million miles of desert to get almost to the Utah border. This was a small but lovely park with a few miles of nature trails, plenty of wildlife, and great attendance from the surrounding city. I saw two bull moose in the first 4 hours I was there. Pretty amazing.
I have been overworking and underposting and well, I’ve missed you. But it’s for a good cause.
I have the good fortune to be on the road photographing State Parks around Wonderful Wyoming. Tough life, right? Yeah, well, it is A LOT of time on interstates and back roads and a lot of hard work. But I am having great fun and making friends around the state is definitely a plus. In just seven days of shooting, my lens and I have captured bull elk, bull moose, rock chucks, a herd of bison, big horn sheep, pelicans, charcoal kilns, a ghost town and plenty of antelope and bunnies. I’ve been to prison ( 😉 ), historic forts, and have dodged rattlesnakes and skunks. I’ve even helped to herd cattle off of a park nature trail back to their ranch ground. I had a close call in my Honda with a herd of cow elk and their calves. I was in such shock that I couldn’t get my camera and myself out of the car quick enough to get their portraits. Phew! I’m outta breath.
Anyway, I plan to share bits of this project here when I can. I’ll be heading back out in a couple of days for several more stops but for now, I will be in my office backing up my work in 3 different places for safe-keeping. I have a couple more projects on the burner that need my attention as well. That’s how it is during the warmer months in Wyoming; you gotta get it all done before the hot summer turns to a chilled winter.
I’ll be in touch my friends. xo
Ugh. As they say in the restaurant business, I’m in the weeds. I’m trying to find some balance in all this busyness so you know what that means? It’s time to step away from it all for a few moments. And that’s what Matilda and I did this morning. We stepped outside for some fresh air and I decided I’d try the multiple exposure function on my Canon 70D. I was encouraged to try this from my friend Tracie over HERE. I’ve done some double exposures in Photoshop by layering but this is the first time I’ve tried this function in camera. I obviously need more practice. In this image, one shot is of sagebrush and a bald sky. The other is of Tilda but because of the bald sky, there isn’t any detail for her upper half. But I like the stripes and curl of her tail. 🙂
Our little walk made it all better. Happy Tilda Tuesday everyone!
I took a drive over to Guernsey, WY this weekend for an evening walk around the park with a local botanist. We hiked around the beautiful grasslands and learned about native and non-native grasses and flowers. It was a beautiful evening and a real treat to learn about plants that inhabit the Wyoming wild-lands. And yes, I asked her about my Bouquet of Poison and she confirmed, like most of you all, that it is indeed Yarrow. Phew! What a relief. 🙂 Happy Monday folks!
I picked a bouquet of beautiful wildflowers while working on a project for a client this past weekend. I came home and Googled these wildflowers and realized that 90% of what I picked were poisonous to livestock and humans. But only if you ingest them of course. So here we have a ladybug hanging on Poisonous Hemlock. Hemlock was used in ancient Greece to poison condemned prisoners. It is said that Socrates was given this after being condemned to death for impiety.
I still have the bouquet on my porch. Patrick has been real nice to me lately. Probably out of fear that I may boil hemlock in his tea. I would NEVER….or would I? (Que dramatic Law & Order chime and spooky laugh) 🙂
Happy Hump Day folks!
Looks like Tilly is digging for nose goblins. 🙂
Not really, I just caught her during bath time. Happy Tilda Tuesday everyone!
This big fella followed me down the road during a photo shoot this weekend. He blended into the rock path quite well but those eyes were strikingly aqua. He was either eating an ant or one was crawling on him. I don’t know, he didn’t stay long.
Hope you had a nice weekend!
Milkweed in the evening light.
My little pumpkin sunshine of love crouches in a warm window sill to watch me work in the yard. 🙂
Happy Tilda Tuesday my friends!