Sunday, July 3, 2011

Camping in Wyoming

Mike and I just returned from an amazing camping trip in south-central Wyoming.

You might be thinking, gay and vegan in Wyoming?


Before I even begin, I must saw that we were completely surprised by how beautiful this particular national forest is. We knew we were in for a treat, but WOW. We highly recommend this area for either car camping or back country.

The east entrance is just west of Laramie (take exit 311 from I80 in Laramie and head west on state highway 130), starting out in this town of 100 called Centennial . The restaurant/bar here (on the left as you enter from the east and named the Beartree Tavern & Cafe) is one of the first buildings in town, you can't miss it. Plenty to eat as a vegan, including gazpacho! The veggie burger is NOT vegan, just so you know. Yet they have plenty of options.

We car camped this trip and found an incredible spot (#28) in North Fork campground about 10 minutes west from Centennial. Pass the Spruce Creek camping area and after a few miles look for a blue camping sign underneath a road sign on the right. Of course I can't remember the name of the road. Turn right here and you'll go up and see a sign that says North Fork CG, 1 mile.

For meals we rocked it. I am a big pancake guy while camping so we had pancakes both mornings. Vegan pancakes are so easy to make! Mike had found this new (to us) vegan sausage mix that we tried and we all loved it. The first night Jessie made dinner and it was rice, quinoa, black beans and lots of delish, organic veggies from her garden including kale! YUM! Then the second night we made sloppy Joe's, perfect for a night with friends by a campfire. Snacks throughout the trip included peanut butter sandwiches, chips, hummus and tabbouleh.

What was really shocking for me was that there were a ton of families there and we barely heard a word. After spending last summer camping in Colorado State Parks and dealing with a lot of noise, this was such a breath of fresh air. Suga enjoyed the couple of dogs that visited and especially enjoyed the other dogs camping with us: Trudy, Libby and Ben. The whole area was very dog friendly.

Once you get settled in, you can go back to Highway 130 and head west. In just a few minutes, your mind will be blown by the upcoming Snowy Range. I was so stoked, and surprised. There was so much snow (on July 2nd) that people were even skiing and going down the mountain on inner-tubes. There are trail heads here but all were snow-covered.

We continued west to check out Saratoga, WY, population 1,800. There is a hot springs here but it was closed due to the flooding. We went to Lollipop's for a coffee (they have soy milk) but at the last minute I changed my mind and ordered one of the most delicious limeades I have ever had.

This is a great place to add that Mike and I felt welcomed wherever we were. People didn't blink when I called him one of my terms of endearment or when we asked about veg items. One guy in Centennial, when we asked about veg items without cheese, asked us "oh, so are you vegan?". YEEHOO!

This blog is all about sharing our experiences as being gay and vegan in the west. We would love to know yours. We have received amazing feedback since starting this blog, and we are very grateful. Keep it coming.

If you are gay and vegan, there is a community for you! No matter where you are! One doesn't have to live in a big city or in a gay ghetto to find other gay folks who embrace a compassionate lifestyle.

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