On our way to Casper for the eclipse with some time to spare, we stopped in Cheyenne the capitol of Wyoming. We stayed at Terry Bison Ranch which is listed first on the Visit Cheyenne website as things to do and see. As far as camping goes it was pretty tight and not much to rave about, but the other attractions must really pull folks in. They have a train ride you can take out to the Bison (buffalo) herd and for $2 more you can purchase Bison food and feed them. We skipped the ride, but bet it was fun!!
The front façade of their “trading post” (i.e. camp store and check in) had the old west look you see around here, not sure why they do it, but they do.
Although I only saw it running once, they had what appears to be a homemade amusement park. So glad that Daddy and Uncle John never decided to make their own rides. These look a little scary and I am not sure if there is any safety inspections, but apparently they work!!! I got a really big kick out of the rides, sorry so many pictures.
There was also a restaurant and saloon we had a good bison burger at the restaurant (pretty pricy, but good) with a couple that will be our hosts for the Wanderlodge Eclipse Rally in Casper. We did not know them, but Joe and Pat Garner are really great folks from Sedona, AZ. We kept running into them in Cheyenne so we just followed and camped together in Laramie the next week. Cheyenne is not a large town so we literally ran in to them each day at different tourist/historical attractions.
Of course, we did everything that was free. The state capitol building was not open, it was closed for renovations that will be going on for several years. They are stripping to the bare bones and redoing. The state museum around the corner was very well done and was free, learned a lot about Wyoming. There was also nice botanical garden, although we did not go in the greenhouses (Nellie was with us) we had a nice picnic and walk around the lake.
The old Governors Manson was very interesting and was open for free self-guided tours. It was built in 1905 and was remodeled in the 1930s and 1960s so it really had some furnishings and items that we could relate to. It is interesting that “old” things here are really not as old as things on the east coast dating from 1600 and 1700s… A lot of the house reminded me of Grandmother White’s.
Other items of interest were the old Union Pacific train depot. Had a large museum but was pricey and mostly about the railroad coming west. We had already learned about Cheyenne and Wyoming at the free state museum.
There are also Big Boots scattered around Cheyenne, I believe about 18. They were purchased and decorated by local groups to raise money for the train depot renovations. They are 8 feet tall, big shoes to fill. They treat it like a scavenger hunt to find them all, we did not participate, but saw several around town.
They also have the world’s largest steam locomotive No 4004 built in 1941. It was designed especially for use by the Union Pacific Railroad on its rugged Cheyenne to Ogden, UT run. It was retired from service in October 1958. Weight 1,208,750 Lbs, overall length 132 feet 9 ¾ inches, fuel capacity 28 tons, water capacity 25,000 gallons, original cost of the locomotive was $265,000 and it ran for 440,545 miles. Details mostly for Gibson, how does that compare to modern locomotives?? Trains were really big news out west, and improved not only accessibility to goods and services, but made human travel tremendously easier. Just think Oregon Trail vs rail from NY to San Francisco.
The Wyoming Hereford Ranch a working ranch since 1883 is still working. We did not see anyone, but drove the property anyway. Believe it is used for parties, weddings and other gatherings as well as being a ranch. There were cows, I assume Hereford cows???
Lastly, the Lincoln statue/monument. Between Cheyenne and Laramie WY on Interstate Hwy 80, it was once on Hwy 30 commemorating the highest point on the first coast to coast highway the Lincoln Highway at Sherman Summit 8,878 ft above sea level. It was moved to I80 at its completion in 1969. Although it is a rather odd (craggy) Lincoln bust it is worth a mention and side trip to see.
Just FYI, Wyoming is the second least populated state with 6 people per square mile, but they are the equality state and state of many firsts. The first National Park (Yellowstone), first National Monument (Devils Tower), first to allow women to vote in 1869 (50 years before everyone else), first female governor and there are a couple more I cant think of right now.
Peace and Love from Cheyenne, WY!!!