Wamsutter/Saratoga, Wyoming Report for 2004
August 28-29, 2004

by Eldon Hunewell


Bob Loeffler and yours truly left Friday evening about 8 p.m. or so in driving rain part of the way on August 27th and arrived a little after midnight at Wamsutter where we discovered the motel that Bob inquired about on the internet was perhaps a "roach motel" as it was very dilapidated and in need of much paint and appeared to be abandoned at first glimpse, then we saw a sign saying "open"... we decided to pass on this one and go up the road to another... which was only somewhat better. Wamsutter is a VERY busy place for a place in the middle of nowhere with huge trucks coming and going at all hours... many oil fields are nearby.

The next morning, I got up and opened the door and there was an antelope strolling down the broken asphalt street... which made me smile. While the town is very unattractive, the open country near there is fabulously beautiful and desolate in its own way with much eagles, rabbits and antelope.

We met Don and Gail Beamer and Tim and Jeanie Arnett, who arrived by meeting time at the truck stop and since no one else was on the sign up sheet who did not cancel ahead of time, we proceeded to Delaney's rim for "turritilla agate". After loading up on it (very easy to find) we proceeded southwest to the special wood place I had found so long ago. We climbed some new roads in hope of avoiding the 4x4 rut and it led us too far from where I wanted to collect so we went back to the rut and all made it (somehow) to the site. Wood was abundant and we could afford to be picky. A few found some reeds and cane and all found nice Palm (root, casts and other odd shapes). We found some "rounds" that resemble Eden Valley and ALL the wood there seems to be dense coal black inside, but takes a good polish... very carbonaceous material but is also very hard! We also found other types of wood, some with knot holes and stubs of tiny limbs coming out that evidently had broken off sometime in the erosion process. We were tired by five p.m. from climbing and walking all around a sizable butte and went to town for dinner and a motel since we had found so much and not taken the time to put it all away properly, it meant that we would have to spend a lot of time organizing and we simply did not want to do that any more that day.

We found a motel in Saratoga and the next morning we went to another wood place north of Saratoga and found a lot of dendritic and mossy type wind blown (ventifacts) wood but most were small and resembled Montana agate when cut. We dug for awhile and left about one PM for the long ride home through the Snowy Range Road and Medicine Bow Peak.

It was probably too far for a weekend trip (put more than 700 miles round trip on my truck) but what we found we really liked and the scenery and wildlife was really great.

eldon hunewell