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Posts Tagged ‘Hawk Springs WY’

LaGrange and Hawk Springs, Wyoming

Posted by graywacke on December 30, 2015

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-three-or-four days blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landin above.

Landing number 2236; A Landing A Day blog post number 664.

Dan:  Yet another new state since I revised my random lat/long landing procedure . . . WY.  My Score has dropped from 1203 to 1139.  Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

Here’s a local streams-only map, showing that I landed very close to Bear Ck, which flows into Horse Ck, and on to the North Platte River (31st hit). 

landing 3a


Zooming back:

landing 3b

The North Platte makes its way to the Platte (68th hit); to the Missouri (403rd hit); and, of course (although not shown) on to the MM (874 hits).

Time for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in to SE WY.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, and then hit the back button.

It turns out I have excellent GE Street View coverage.  I expanded the map a little so you could get a good look at the bluffs east and north of my landing (more about them later):

GE sv landing map

Zooming in, note the tree:

GE sv landing map (2)

And here’s what the orange guy sees (with my landing spot very precisely located):

GE sv landing

I also checked out Bear Ck on Street View, and was able to get this lovely shot of my watershed creek about a mile upstream of my landing:

GE SV bear ck

As mentioned earlier, Bear Ck flows to Horse Ck.  Here’s a GE Panoramio shot by GilmoreGirlz of Horse Creek down near LaGrange:

pano horse creek gilmoregirlz

Speaking of LaGrange, it’s time for me to head east to check out this teeny town (pop 450).  Here’s a cool poem written by Betty Jo Mathis and posted prominently on the home page of the town’s website:

LaGrange is a village on the Wyoming plains
(A state that’s free with its wind but not with its rains.)

We’re surrounded by ranches where cowboys you’ll meet,
And farms with vast acreages and great strips of wheat.

To the west – Bear Mountain, to the North, ‘Sixty-Six’
And folks in our town are an interesting mix.

We have contractors, plumbers, guys who dig trenches,
Realtors and teachers and mechanics with wrenches.

There are guys who climb windmills and preachers – a score!
(There Is a Bible school here with students galore.)

A maintenance man sees that our town’s trim and neat,
And the clerk’s at the hall where the town fathers meet.

There’s an athletic field and a rodeo ground
And our Mini Fair is known for miles all around.

Churches, library and a post office, of course,
A nice senior center and a bar – the “Dead Horse”.

There’s a grocery store here with caf in the back
Where the hamburgers and fries are better’n Big Mac

There’s an elevator here to handle our grain
And they send out a truck to deliver Propane.

Our fire trucks, they are manned by some great volunteers
And we have trained EMTs who quiet our fears.

We have a busy tree farm and two new gas pumps.
We’re a great little town – and we’ve only two grumps!

We’re on Road 151 out here on the range
So stop in to see us – we will show you LaGrange!

I noted: “Bear Mountain to the West, to the North, Sixtysix,” and wonder what the heck Sixtysix was.  It certainly isn’t Route 66 . . .

Well, Bear Mountain was easy, as you can see it plain as day on my local landing map.  Here’s a picture of the Bear Mountain area (the bluffs to the north and east of my landing as noted earlier; (GE Panoramio shot by OEWL):

pano OEWL bear mountain-ish

After some sleuthing, I figured out that Sixtysix is also a mountain, and found it on GE:

GE mountains

I found out how Sixtysix mountain got its name.  One of two choices (from WyomingPlaces.com):

  1.  Dater and Co. owned a ranch near Horse Creek Mountainand their brand was 66.  Gradually, the name of the mountain switched from Horse Creek to SixtySix.
  2. Another story as to the origin of the name is that sixty six emigrants were trapped by Indians on the north side of the hill. All were killed but Ed Stemler. Mr. Stemler had red hair and because the Indians believed red hair was a sign from the gods he was allowed to escape.

Choice #2 is pretty damn grizzly.  It seems to me that the killing of 66 emigrants would have enough historical significance that — if it actually happened — the naming of the mountain would be confirmed.  In spite of the interesting detail about Ed Stemler, the ALAD Truth Patrol gives option 1 a 95% chance of being true . . . 

Here’s a picture of Sixtysix mountain (also from Wyoming Places):

Sixtysix Mountain

By the way, if you’re a long-time regular reader of this blog, these mountains (especially Bear Mountain) might look familiar.  That’s because of my numerous landings in western Nebraska (not at all far from here) that featured similar-looking landmark rocks like Scott’s Bluff and Chimney Rock.

Before I leave LaGrange and head north to Hawk Springs, here’s a shot of the town, on the Tentmakers Bible Mission website:

LaGrange Header tentmakers bible mission

About Hawk Springs, from Wyoming Tourism:

Located south of Torrington in Goshen County, Hawk Springs was named after saloon keeper “Black” Hawk.

Of more interest is this from Motorcycle-USA.com  “On the Road to Sturgis II” by Bryan Harley:

We stop for a quick photo shoot and encounter the self-appointed historian of a tiny town in Wyoming when we park the Victory 8-Ball in front of the Hawk Springs Trading Post, one of only three buildings in the town.

She is a sprite elderly lady in her paint-stained pants and floppy hat who was mowing dead grass in a makeshift park across the street. She lets us know that the building was once a fire department before it was a trading post, but now “some guy just lives there.” The worn-down building next to it was a movie house in the ‘20s too, she continues.

Going back to her task of mowing the sparse weathered grass, Eric, my traveling partner and Motorcycle USA’s videographer, walks into the park to ask her the population of the town and almost steps on a bull snake while wearing flip flops. She takes up arms, grabbing a spade to kill the snake in defense of “the bikers who might stop in the park.”

“Rattlesnakes are bad, too this year,” she continues, and in five minutes Eric and I have been made honorary citizens of Hawk Springs by this friendly old lady.

Here’s a picture of the Victory 8-Ball in front of the Hawk Springs Trading post:

motorcycle-usa hawk springs

The trading post is one of the three buildings in downtown Hawk Springs (photo from mapio.net):



I don’t think anything’s open.  Also from mapio.net is this shot:


I wonder if the shot with the car was taken after the shot without the car?

As is my wont, it’s time for some local Pano shots.  I found two by GilmoreGirlz taken about three miles east of my landing.  First this one, of cows doing a so-so job of actually staying in the shade:

pano gilmoregirlz 2

I’ll close with this lovely pastoral scene . . .

pano gilmoregirlz

That’ll do it . . .




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