Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 4 - Ogallala, Nebraska to Casper, Wyoming. Miles ridden today - 332. Total Miles From Indianapolis - 1341.

As soon as the guys departed Ogallala they followed the Oregon Trail.

What a beautiful day!

While meandering along the Oregon Trail they happened upon Chimney Rock National Historic Site.

Chimney Rock, the most famous landmark on the Oregon Trail.

Of course the guys, along with their iron horses,  had to "have their likeness made" with 
Chimney Rock in the background.

Nothing creepier than a sign warning of the creepy crawlers.  Poisonous ones at that!
That sign didn't make the fellas feel too welcome so they loaded up on their bikes.

Mikey says, " Snakes, I'm outta here!"

Moseying on down the road.


 Still following The Oregon Trail, they came upon Scotts Bluff.
Chock full of so much history.


Stu and Mike at the entrance to Scotts Bluff National Monument, 
which is operated by the National Park Service.

Try to imagine how difficult traveling in a covered wagon through this rough country would have been. 
Those brave pioneers heading west for free farm land, better health or to escape problems back east got more of an adventure than most of them expected.

All of your possessions packed into that wagon, your spouse, children, meager furnishings, cooking utensils and provisions that were expected to last along the trail. 
 That team of oxen was mighty valuable to those pioneers.

Stu's trying his hand at being Trail Boss.

David is checking out this covered wagon.

RP better stick to that motorcycle for transportation.  This wagon lost its cover and oxen.

Joe, Stu, Mike and David walking along a portion of  The Oregon Trail.
Think those covered wagons were slow?  Most of the pioneers chose to walk along the trail because the wagons were so miserable to ride in.  Bumpy, bumpy, bumpy...

 Granite monument marking where The Oregon Trail enters into Wyoming.

Joe, Stu, Fred, David and Ron have now crossed over into Wyoming.
At this point, Mike broke off from the group.  
He was going to meet his daughter Chris and grandson Oliver for a visit.

Chris and Oliver met Mike at Ayres Natural Bridge Park.
Ollie got to "drive" the tractor at the playground.

Chris, Oliver and Mike.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group had stopped for lunch and was back on the road heading towards Casper.
They passed the most interesting thing.  They turned around and headed back, hoping to get a better look.

He looks pretty comfortable.

This is what they turned around to see,  Dinklage Custom Feeding in Torrington, Wyoming.
Having dabbled in cattle on a small scale this operation was of great interest to Ron.  
He was really hoping that he would be able to have a tour of this facility.

They happened to meet this gentleman, Dale, who was on his way out of the feed lot as the boys were on their way in.  It turns out that Dale was a partner in this operation.  When the guys explained where they were from, where they were going and that they'd love to arrange a tour, they could've been turned away or tossed out on their ears.  But no, Dale was happy to tell them a little bit about Dinklage Custom Feeding and give them a brief tour.  He did ask them to go slowly, on those bikes,  as to keep the cattle mellow and not get 'em all riled up.

Uh oh, we've got a couple of lookers, that Angus type seems a little skittish. 
 Probably never saw horns on a motorcycle before.

They really shouldn't be all that eager to belly up to the bar.
This isn't going to end all that well for them, if you know what I mean.

There were approximately 10 miles of roads in and around this feed lot.  
At present there are 24,000 head of cattle in the lot.  They turn cattle three times a year.
That means that this facility handles 75,000 head of cattle per year.
They bring the calves in around 500 pounds and finish them to 1,250 pounds or so.  If they are shipping overseas they bump that finish weight up to about 1,700 - 1,800 pounds per animal.
There are eight cow/calf operation ranches in and around  Wyoming that supply calves for Dinklage.
One of those ranches has 18,000 brood cows on it.  That's a lot of mamas.
Dinklage Custom Feeding raises their own crops for grain and silage. 
 They do have to purchase some of their hay.

Dale, thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy day to show these nosey guys around.
They really appreciate the education, as well as, your time.  And, so will our readers.  
This has been extremely interesting.

And so, the guys have ended their day in Casper, Wyoming.  Mike has returned to the group.
They are ready for dinner, a good night's sleep and tomorrow's adventure.

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