* Introduction * Wheels in the Garden * Wheels Outside the Garden * Foothills TOT * The western South Prairie section of the trail begins with a large wetlands area. Jordan takes a break in one of several observation cutouts.
An offshoot of the trail, a narrow, paved penninsula, takes you right into the middle of the water.At the tip, an interpretative area explains the ecosystem of the wetland.An interpretative area explains the ecosystem of the wetland.
Before long, we cross a former railroad bridge over the Carbon River. Fed by the Carbon Glacier, this rocky river is milky from the rock ground up by the moving ice. I have found numerous pieces of petrified wood in the river, but it gets its name from the coal deposits in the area.
Looking upstream on the Carbon River bridge.
A few hundred feed down the rail is another railroad bridge. This one, crossing the highway, is supported by huge girders under the deck rather than steel trusses over it. Just past this bridge is a large gravel parking area for those who want to begin riding here. An REI donated picnic area before and after the 2008 flood
"What is this strange animal? Oh, a recumbent rider."
Shortly after passing the parking area, you will notice an emu farm on the right. These large, flightless Australian birds are sometimes curious when riders stop to gawk. Jordan's Tri-sled trike from down under thought it was back home.
A small herd of less sociable bison make incongruous pasture-mates.