We followed Joe and Pat to Laramie and stayed in the Albany County Fair Grounds. This was a first for us staying at a fairground, but have heard that in Raleigh, NC the fairgrounds are the bomb for camping. Our Casper (eclipse) reservations are at the fairgrounds so who knows. It was not too bad, the main complaint would be fresh animal waste in places, but they had just had the County Fair there the week before and their county fairs are not amusement rides and funnel cakes, they are animal judging and rodeo type activities. There was also rain most days which did not help the mud. Will checkout fair grounds in the future not a bad deal all the way around cheap and quiet.
We visited the Wyoming Territorial Prison the first federal prison in the west. It was used as a prison from 1872 until 1901 and was given to the University of Wyoming and converted in to stables and used for experimental livestock breeding (???). The facility was completely restored and opened to the public in 2004 and is quite a nice museum. Butch Cassidy was incarcerated here for a couple of years in the 1890s. The prison mad to pretty much pay their own way so inmates had to work. The prison had a broom factory. They made really nice brooms.
We also spent and afternoon on the campus of the University of Wyoming. The campus was really nice, full of sandstone block buildings and open spaces. It was really nice that they have several museum exhibits around campus that are open to the public for FREE!!!
We visited the conservatory and they had Venus Flytraps… All the way out here in Wyoming!!
They had a geology museum of dinosaur finds in Wyoming. The most interesting exhibit I did not photograph, but was a play box of sand about 3 ft square that when you moved the sand around it projected topographical images on the sand as it moved. You could make mountains or lakes as you see fit.
Of most interest was the entomology exhibit. Thanks Melissa Smith, bugs interest us now. They had live praying mantis’ and walls of dead bugs. Pretty as long as they are not creeping up on me or in my bed!!
They also had a great art museum on campus. An entire floor was devoted to the exhibits as well as a statue garden. Did I mention that all of these places on campus were FREE and open to the public? How great is that… They also had a planetarium.
One day we took the scenic by-way thru Snowy Mountain Range in the Medicine Bow National Forest directly west of Laramie. You could see the mountains from Laramie and there was still snow fields in August!!! This is a relatively small mountain range, about 100 miles north to south and 40 east to west, but it reached heights of 12,500 + well above the alpine and tree line level. Beautiful alpine lakes natural lakes not part of a river with dams.
In October of 1955 the worst aircraft accident to date occurred in the mountains. A plane flew directly into the mountain side without warning. All 66 people on board the plane died. There were numerous factors that contributed to the accident, weather, the need to fly low (the plane was not pressurized), the unusual height of the range in contrast to the surrounding landscape, etc.
Wyoming, not sure if I have mentioned that there are more cows in Wyoming than people. Well here is an example of a WY traffic jam…
On the east side of Laramie towards Cheyenne is another section of Medicine Bow National Forest. We visited this area a couple of times. The rock formations reminded us of Joshua Tree (kind of) just too many trees. The climbing area Vedauwoo was really cool enjoyed a walk and picnic with Nellie.
Finally, one of our quandaries in Wyoming has been these fences. We could not figure out what these things were for. They don’t hold anything in and they don’t keep anything out. Some are very long and some short. There are multiple ones or just a single row??? You would not believe the tells we told each other about what these fences are for. I hope you know and if not, maybe I will tell you later.
Peace and love!!!