Tisdale Divide

This is one divide that is not mentioned in Howard Spraque's book "The Great Gates". The reason is obvious. This is not a great gate. But at the top of this shallow divide in the basin on the east side of the Bighorn Mountains, stands a sign, telling the interesting story of how the divide got its name. Besides - it's a great bike ride, even without shoulder, and it's still high enough for some interesting views.

1.(mile00.0,4770ft)START-END SOUTH: low point on Wy196 at Crazy Woman Creek crossing.
2.(mile13.3,5320ft)TOP: Tisdale Divide
3.(mile21.4,4650ft)START-END NORTH: downtown Buffalo


From South.
Coming down from Crazy Woman Creek, turning onto Wy196, this is just a shallow 550ft climb to the top. At the top Wy196 crosses a low part in Kingsbury Ridge, a sort of fold that runs perpendicular to the Bighorn Escarpment. A note: there seems to be a mountain bikable route over the higher part of this ridge, unless it's on private land.

From North. (described downards) Buffalo appears in the far distance, at the end of a horizon, sloping downwards ever so slightly. The best views of the Bighorn Mountains, remind me of many a ride along the Front Range in Colorado. The best views appear on the last rise before the last descent into Buffalo.

A ride with this point as intermediate summit is on page: Powder River Pass Rd eastern summit s(u)


On top of this divide stands the following sign:

Wyoming in the 1880s was an open range controlled by cattle king. Some of the powerful stockgrowers thought rustling was problem. But others were just as concerned about the influx of small operators who used government land grants which threatened the open range. John A Tisdale, one of the small operators, was dry gulched in a gully just north and east of this spot as he returned home from a shopping trip to Buffalo in late November, 1981. Locals were outraged by the killing of this respected family man.

Fran Canton, a former Johnson County sheriff was accused of the the murder. But he was never brought to trial. Stock detectives such as Canton, were hired by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association to protect their large herds and to intimidate would-be ranchers.

This incident coupled with the murder of Orley E Jones a few days earlier, set the stage for the infamous invasion of Johnson County in April 1892.
... so - now I finally know what "to dry-gulch" means.