Cowboying up in the Cowboy State

Trip Start Jun 14, 2009
Trip End Jul 31, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Sunday, July 12, 2009

   After making it into Evanston, Wyoming Saturday night (just over the border), we spent Sunday through Wednesday in the state that is rumored to have more cows than people and verified to have given women the right to vote before any other state!

    Sunday morning, we headed east on I-80 with intentions to visit and camp in Flaming Gorge National Park, but we got a bit side-tracked when we spied a sign for the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop just outside of Green River. Stephanie had read about this loop in a guidebook we had picked up, which claimed that drivers on this route were "sure to spy wild horses." We got on the dirt road that led us up into the hills and 45 minutes later when we had finished the "loop" we had spied plenty of scenic overlooks, but alas no wild horses. We didn't see any domesticated ones either. Perhaps wild horses take Sundays off. We then stopped in Rock Springs, which had several bronze signs claiming to be "Home of 56 Nationalities," which led us to wonder, what happens if a nationality comes or leaves? Must the sign be changed? Or perhaps they have capped the number of different nationalities to 56. By the time we left Rock Springs, it was late afternoon and we decided to continue heading east a bit and wait to camp the next day in Medicine Bow National Forest, between Laramie and Cheyenne.

    Sunday evening we made it into Rawlins in time to have some dinner at Sanfords, a pub/grill with various sports memorabilia on the wall and locations in a few towns in the area. The next morning we headed out to our Monday destination: Laramie. Home to the University of Wyoming (the state's only 4-year higher ed institution), Laramie is a town of about 28,000 people, with several little shops and restaurants and a distinctive college-town feel. We spent part of the afternoon walking around the rather historic downtown area, grabbing lunch at a small diner and dropping in at small bookstores and gift shops. Most windows downtown were adorned with "Warning: Poke Pride on Premises" signs -- an homage to the university of course.

    We spent a bit of time checking out the university campus and visited the American Heritage Center and University of Wyoming Art Museum. The American Heritage Center is mainly a resource for anyone (students, scholars, or the public) researching Western history or general American culture. We checked out the current display, jackets made by textile students at the university, as well as the more permanent displays that they have which feature resources found in their research library. The art museum featured several exhibits, most notably one on Native American regalia and another of images from the artist Thomas Moran, a 19th Century artist who specialized in etchings of the American West many of which were published in magazines like Harper's Weekly.
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