Category Archives: Wyoming

Wyoming Part III: Cody

It wasn’t too windy on our drive between Casper and Cody, for which we were grateful. We skipped the interstate and took State Highway 20 Northwest to Shoshoni and due north to Thermopolis, then Highway 120 into Cody. It was a two-lane highway for most of the drive, but the lanes and shoulders were wide, and passing lanes were established on sections where we climbed in elevation. We were able to drive at our own pace and not worry about any traffic congestion. I wasn’t too much of a Nervous Nellie on this trip (Mike would probably argue that), but I did get a little hyped up when we drove through several tunnels cut out of mountain sides.

Our camp spot was located west of town at the Buffalo Bill State Park on the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. We were there for two weeks, and we only had electric and water hook-ups, so we had to move the rig to the dump station mid-way through our stay. The chore was only a slight inconvenience compared to the enjoyment we got out of our views and the area in general.

Cody is the most “western” town we have visited to date. I guess that makes sense because it was established by Buffalo Bill himself. I dare say the little town has as much character as the legend possessed back in his day. There are restaurants, shops, galleries, and museums to visit in town. Many ranches offer trail rides and other cowboy activities on the outskirts of the community. And of course, there was Yellowstone National Park. The campground where we stayed was fifty minutes from the East Entrance into YNP. This stop on our tour was most definitely the best time we spent in Wyoming (although, I should confess, shopping at the Sierra Trading Company Outlet and Distribution Center in Cheyenne was almost as thrilling)!

We had lots of good luck at this stop, and it started the minute we pulled up to the front gate.  Mike had made reservations for us in spot #1 starting on Sunday, May 15th. However, we arrived the Thursday prior to that. The thinking was that we would take any open spot they had and then move to our reserved spot on the day our reservation started. When we got there, it just so happened that spot #1 was the only spot available! All the others with water and electric hook-ups were already taken. We got ourselves parked and situated, and never looked back!

When we went to Yellowstone our target destination was, of course, Old Faithful. Yellowstone is laid out in a Figure 8 pattern with entrances at the north, south, east and west ends. We came in from the East and drove the bottom circle of the 8 pattern that day. By the time we reached the big geyser it was about 1:00 PM. The dogs had to wait in the car, so we found a shady spot where we could park and roll the windows down. We weren’t on any sort of schedule that day, so there was no sense of urgency as we meandered through the cars to what looked like a big open area. As we got to the edge of the lot we saw THOUSANDS of tourists all standing at attention around Old Faithful. It was like church. Everything was hushed. People stood like statues with their phones lifted up, ready to capture the perfect picture when the time was right. We stepped up our pace at that point and found a small space in the crowd where we could see the action that was to come. I realized that the geyser must not go off at random, but on some sort of geological schedule. We stared at Old Faithful for a few minutes and I was wondering what was going on. Nothing was happening, so I asked the lady next to me how long they had been waiting there to see the eruption. She said they had been there an hour and forty minutes. WHAT??? I didn’t plan on standing there for THAT long! Then she said the park ranger sign said it was due to go off 15 minutes ago. Since Old Faithful was taking its own sweet time to peform, we arrived at the perfect moment! If it had gone off when they expected, we would have missed it… and I doubt we would have had the patience to stick around for the next “show”.

We left the interstate to get from Cody to Casper. Our route took us on State Highways 20 to 120 and it was a gorgeous drive. The best part was the Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway between Shoshoni and Thermopolis.

We left the interstate to get from Cody to Casper. Our route took us on State Highways 20 to 120 and it was a gorgeous drive. The best part was the Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway between Shoshoni and Thermopolis.

A taste of what my views out the passenger side window looked like as we drove from Casper to Cody.

A taste of what my views out the passenger side window looked like as we drove from Casper to Cody.

Another shot of the scenery in Wind River Canyon.

Another shot of the scenery in Wind River Canyon.

This was our first view of Buffalo Bill Reservoir west of Cody. We emerged from yet another tunnel to see this!

This was our first view of Buffalo Bill Reservoir west of Cody. We emerged from yet another tunnel to see this!

The view from my desk for two weeks.

The view from my desk for two weeks.

Spot #1 at Buffalo Bill State Park.

Spot #1 at Buffalo Bill State Park.

Mike's view from his fishing spot.

Mike’s view from his fishing spot.

A panorama of the campground entrance (wish we had discovered this photo feature earlier in our trip)!

A panorama of the campground entrance (wish we had discovered this photo feature earlier in our trip)!

One of the rare days that the sky was blue during our two weeks in Cody.

One of the rare days that the sky was blue during our two weeks in Cody.

The furry duo checking out their human's catch of the day. They insist on inspecting the bucket each time he returns to camp.

The furry duo checking out their human’s catch of the day. They insist on inspecting the bucket each time he returns to camp.

This trout turned out to have pink meat, which made us think he had caught a salmon. After asking around and looking online we discovered wild trout can have pink meat because of their diet. Tastes just as delicious.

This trout turned out to have pink meat, which made us think he had caught a salmon. After asking around and looking online we discovered wild trout can have pink meat because of their diet. Tastes just as delicious.

The Carter mountains on the south side of the reservoir.

The Carter mountains on the south side of the reservoir.

We set the alarm for 5AM to make our first trip into Yellowstone. When that sounded, we turned it off and went back to sleep. Our original idea was to drive in at sunrise to see as many animals as possible (like we did at Teddy Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND), but when the time came we weren't as gung-ho. We finally got on the road about 8:30, but Mike still hadn't had enough coffee to be excited.

We set the alarm for 5AM to make our first trip into Yellowstone. When that sounded, we turned it off and went back to sleep. Our original idea was to drive in at sunrise to see as many animals as possible (like we did at Teddy Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND), but when the time came we weren’t as gung-ho. We finally got on the road about 8:30, but Mike still hadn’t had enough coffee to be excited.

A beautiful Wyoming farm on the way to Yellowstone.

A beautiful Wyoming farm on the way to Yellowstone.

The east entrance road into Yellowstone National Park.

The east entrance road into Yellowstone National Park.

Some sections of the park looked to be decimated by fire, but other parts of the park that had recovered after past fires were lush with new growth. It was interesting to see all stages of the full cycle.

Some sections of the park looked to be decimated by fire, but other parts of the park that had recovered after past fires were lush with new growth. It was interesting to see all stages of the full cycle.

Yellowstone Lake is the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet in North America. It covers 136 square miles and has 110 miles of shoreline. The average depth is 139 feet, but scientists have noted that the floor has been rising in recent history, which indicates geologic activity.

Yellowstone Lake is the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet in North America. It covers 136 square miles and has 110 miles of shoreline. The average depth is 139 feet, but scientists have noted that the floor has been rising in recent history, which indicates geologic activity.

Yellowstone National Park is so interesting because there are millions of acres of valleys and meadows and mountains... and then at random, there are these bubbling cauldrons of hot liquids and gases simmering at the earth's surface.

Yellowstone National Park is so interesting because there are millions of acres of valleys and meadows and mountains… and then at random, there are these bubbling cauldrons of hot liquids and gases simmering at the earth’s surface.

This is where the Yellowstone River empties into Yellowstone Lake.

This is where the Yellowstone Lake empties into Yellowstone River. The river runs north.

Elk cow.

Elk cow.

The photo album for the Martin's American Adventure would not be complete without a selfie in front of Old Faithful (just wish I had thought to wear makeup that day)!

The photo album for the Martin’s American Adventure would not be complete without a selfie in front of Old Faithful (just wish I had thought to wear makeup that day)!

Waiting for Old Faithful to erupt.

Waiting for Old Faithful to erupt.

There she blows!

There she blows!

We stopped for a picnic about midway through our driving tour of Yellowstone National Park. This was our view from the picnic table. Not sure what I liked better... the view or the sound.

We stopped for a picnic about midway through our driving tour of Yellowstone National Park. This was our view from the picnic table. Not sure what I liked better… the view or the sound.

The Gibbon River below the falls.

The Gibbon River below the Gibbon Falls.

King of the Road.

King of the Road.

We slowed waaay down to see these two bison face off.

We slowed waaay down to see these two bison face off.

We had a lengthy debate as to whether this was a moose or a horse beside the ranger residence at the east entrance. I said moose. Mike said horse (but I think that is just because I spotted it first and he didn't want to admit he had missed it).

We had a lengthy debate as to whether this was a moose or a horse beside the ranger residence at the east entrance. I said moose. Mike said horse (but I think that is just because I spotted it first and he didn’t want to admit he had missed it).

The primary thing that Mike wanted to see during our Yellowstone tour was elk. We drove ALL DAY for MANY miles, and what do you think we found about 4 miles from our campground as we returned home in the evening? A heard of elk in our "back yard". Could have saved lots of gas!

The primary thing that Mike wanted to see during our Yellowstone tour was elk. We drove ALL DAY for MANY miles, and what do you think we found about 4 miles from our campground as we returned home in the evening? A heard of elk in our “back yard”. Could have saved lots of gas!

We had no sewer connection, so had to move the rig to the dump station at the end of our first week. I waited with Piper and Cessna while Mike handled the dirty work.

We had no sewer connection, so had to move the rig to the dump station at the end of our first week. I waited with Piper and Cessna while Mike handled the dirty work.

Cedar Mountain, originally called Spirit Mountain by the Native Americans. There is great controversy as to whether Buffalo Bill Cody is buried somewhere on this mountain, or in Denver. If you look carefully at where the water touches the surface on the right side of this photo you might see a section of yellow rock (to the right of the red section of rock). This is a geothermal spot. Geothermal activity reaches from Yellowstone all the way to Cody.

Cedar Mountain, originally called Spirit Mountain by the Native Americans. There is great controversy as to whether Buffalo Bill Cody is buried somewhere on this mountain, or in Denver. If you look carefully at where the water touches the surface on the right side of this photo you might see a section of yellow rock (to the right of the red section of rock). This is a geothermal spot. Geothermal activity reaches from Yellowstone all the way to Cody.

The famous Irma Hotel in Cody. Doesn't get any more nostalgic than this!

The famous Irma Hotel in Cody. Doesn’t get any more nostalgic than this!

The City of Cody has placed statues of bison at various points along the community's sidewalks and parks. Each one is individually painted by local artists. This guy's theme was "respect the earth".

The City of Cody has placed statues of bison at various points along the community’s sidewalks and parks. Each one is individually painted by local artists. This guy’s theme was “respect the earth”.

Do you think that small tree stopped the boulder from rolling down the rest of the hill? Or do you think the little tree just grew around the giant rock. I like to think that little tree is a brave hero!

Do you think that small tree stopped the boulder from rolling down the rest of the hill? Or do you think the little tree just grew around the giant rock. I like to think that little tree is a brave hero!

Some décor in the dining room of the Irma Hotel. We had the prime rib buffet on a Friday night and it was wonderful.

Some décor in the dining room of the Irma Hotel. We had the prime rib buffet on a Friday night and it was wonderful.

The hallway in the Irma Hotel.

The hallway in the Irma Hotel.

Irma selfie (had to at least post one when I has some makeup on)!

Irma selfie (had to at least post one when I had some makeup on)!

Live music at the Irma Saloon. It was kind of like Cowboy Karaoke, except the wife controlled the machine and no members of the audience were invited to participate.

Live music at the Irma Saloon. It was kind of like Cowboy Karaoke, except the wife controlled the machine and no members of the audience were invited to participate.

The City of Cody has about 35 deer that live in town. They like to do their civic duty by helping with the landscape.

The City of Cody has about 35 deer that live in town. They like to do their civic duty by helping with the landscape.

A Bill Cody hologram at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This was an amazing museum with five different sections of outstanding collections. It was like visiting five world class museums in one building. The collections included the Plains Indian Museum, the Buffalo Bill Museum, The Draper Natural History Museum, The Whitney Art Museum and the Cody Firearms Museum. The $20 price of admission was worth every penny. There was so much to see we had to take a break in the snack bar between galleries. Mike refreshed himself with a beer while I scarfed down an ice cream cone. That gave us enough energy to get through to the end!

A Bill Cody hologram at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This was an amazing museum with five different sections of outstanding collections. It was like visiting five world class museums in one building. The collections included the Plains Indian Museum, the Buffalo Bill Museum, The Draper Natural History Museum, The Whitney Art Museum and the Cody Firearms Museum. The $20 price of admission was worth every penny. There was so much to see we had to take a break in the snack bar between galleries. Mike refreshed himself with a beer while I scarfed down an ice cream cone. That gave us enough energy to get through to the end!

A golden eagle was hit by a car and rehabilitated by staff at the Draper Natural History Museum. He can't fly anymore, so now he helps educate patrons about wildlife. They also had a vulture and another smaller hawk on display during their program.

A golden eagle was hit by a car and rehabilitated by staff at the Draper Natural History Museum. He can’t fly anymore, so now he helps educate patrons about wildlife. They also had a vulture and another smaller hawk on display during their program.

Old Trail Town is the original town site of Cody. It is just a couple of miles west of today's Main Street. A collection of authentic structures and furnishings have been acquired from different areas of the western frontier and relocated to the outdoor museum. A couple of the cabins are notable because they were used by the notorious outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Old Trail Town is the original town site of Cody. It is just a couple of miles west of today’s Main Street. A collection of authentic structures and furnishings have been acquired from different areas of the western frontier and relocated to the outdoor museum. A couple of the cabins are notable because they were used by the notorious outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

I love these antler "trees" that randomly appear around town or on ranches.

I love these antler “trees” that randomly appear around town or on ranches.

Looks pretty cozy to me!

Looks pretty cozy to me!

Upper Falls in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

Upper Falls in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

Lower Falls.

Lower Falls.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

You probably know I'm not a big fan of heights. I don't like to say I'm acrophobic, but I am. We walked on a small ridge trail between the Upper Falls and Lower Falls, and when I saw these tree roots that had the earth literally fall out from under them I was slightly uncomfortable. I kept thinking about how un-fun it would be if the mountain slid out from underneath us. With all the bubbling earth around us, it wasn't too hard to fathom.

You probably know I’m not a big fan of heights. I don’t like to say I’m acrophobic, but I am. We walked on a small ridge trail between the Upper Falls and Lower Falls, and when I saw these tree roots that had the earth literally fall out from under them I was slightly uncomfortable. I kept thinking about how un-fun it would be if the mountain slid out from underneath us. With all the bubbling earth around us, it wasn’t too hard to fathom.

We actually didn't stop to see the Upper and Lower Falls on our first drive into Yellowstone. When we toured the Whitney Western Art Museum I kept seeing all these fabulous paintings from Yellowstone's Artist Point. I was bummed we had missed the opportunity to see the spot for ourselves. When Mike suggested we make another drive into the park, I eagerly agreed. It was just as magnificent in person as it was in all those paintings!

We actually didn’t stop to see the Upper and Lower Falls on our first drive into Yellowstone. When we toured the Whitney Western Art Museum I kept seeing all these fabulous paintings from Yellowstone’s Artist Point. I was bummed we had missed the opportunity to see the spot for ourselves. When Mike suggested we make another drive into the park, I eagerly agreed. It was just as magnificent in person as it was in all those paintings!

We spotted these Bighorn Sheep on our second trip into Yellowstone. They were in the same general area on our way in as they were when we left.

We spotted these Bighorn Sheep on our second trip into Yellowstone. They were in the same general area on our way in as they were when we left.

We brake for deer.

We brake for deer.

This the kookiest house I've seen since we started our trip. Actually... ever. Sorry the picture is dark. It was on the road to Yellowstone and it was always cloudy when we passed by.

This is the kookiest house I’ve seen since we started our trip. Actually… ever. Sorry the picture is dark. It was on the road to Yellowstone and it was always cloudy when we passed by.

Our last Wyoming campfire.

Our last Wyoming campfire.

Cessna enjoyed the view from our front window as much as we did. Do you see how the trees are blowing sideways and the lake has white caps on it? It was super windy most of the time we were there.

Cessna enjoyed the view from our front window as much as we did. Do you see how the trees are blowing sideways and the lake has white caps on it? It was super windy most of the time we were there.

Wyoming Part II: Casper

Casper was an easy drive over the rolling plains north on I-25. We got lucky and traveled on a day that wasn’t too windy, and we were thankful for that. When Mike was researching campgrounds in Casper, he selected two other options before making reservations at the Fort Caspar Campground. The other two choices had full occupancy, so we went with Plan C. The campground wasn’t much to talk about, just a gravel lot with hook-ups spaced out on a tight grid. But it was on the North Platte River (which meant Mike could fish), and it was in a convenient location, so we didn’t have too many complaints. Sometimes we get lucky and stay in really nice places, and sometimes we get the basics.

The weather was gloomy for most of the week we were in Casper, so we didn’t get a chance to enjoy too many outdoor activities. I had researched some nice hiking trails on Casper Mountain, but the wet weather prohibited us from ever making it up there. We made an outing to the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center and learned about the western migration of settlers along the Mormon, Oregon, and California Trails  – as well as the Pony Express Trail. When the sun came out on another day we drove southwest on State Highway 220 to Independence Rock, which was a prominent landmark on the trails before they separated so travelers could chase gold, religion, or land.

We ate out a couple of times, ran our basic errands, and waited for breaks in the rain so we could get the dogs their daily walk. I got to downtown on our last full day and shopped in some of the local stores for a couple of hours. All in all, Casper was pretty low key. I would l have liked to have been there when the weather was better so we could have taken advantage of more outside activities.

We stayed at the Fort Caspar Campground, it was our third choice for parks in the area. The first two choices were booked and this one stayed pretty full for the week we were there.

We stayed at the Fort Caspar Campground, it was our third choice for parks in the area. The first two choices were booked and this one stayed pretty full for the week we were there.

The campground was primarily inhabited by long term residents who were in town for construction and other temporary jobs. The spots were tight and there wasn't much to look at.

The campground was primarily inhabited by long term residents who were in town for construction and other temporary jobs. The spots were tight and there wasn’t much to look at.

The campground was located on the North Platte River, so there were some trails down by the water where I could walk the dogs in the morning. That was a nice perk.

The campground was located on the North Platte River, so there were some trails down by the water where I could walk the dogs in the morning. That was a nice perk.

It rained much of the time we were in Casper, so Mike only got to go fishing once during our stay.

It rained much of the time we were in Casper, so Mike only got to go fishing once during our stay.

Casper Mountain, on the south side of town.

Casper Mountain, on the south side of town.

Fort Caspar was a military post of the U.S. Army. It was established in 1859 as a trading post and a toll bridge on the Oregon Trail. The Army eventually took it over and made it a post to protect emigrants and the telegraph line against raids from the Lakota and Cheyenne Indians.

Fort Caspar was a military post of the U.S. Army. It was established in 1859 as a trading post and a toll bridge on the Oregon Trail. The Army eventually took it over and made it a post to protect emigrants and the telegraph line against raids from the Lakota and Cheyenne Indians.

The City of Casper had a nice trail system through town along the North Platte River. Even though it rained almost every day we were in town, we did manage to find a daily break in the weather and get the dogs a proper walk.

The City of Casper had a nice trail system through town along the North Platte River. Even though it rained almost every day we were in town, we did manage to find a daily break in the weather and get the dogs a proper walk.

The North Platte River with Mount Casper in the background (to the south).

The North Platte River with Mount Casper in the background (to the south).

A covered wagon and a Pony Express Station outside the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center.

A covered wagon and a Pony Express Station outside the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center.

The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center was created in 2002. The building itself is set up on a bluff with expansive views of Casper. The design of the building honors the regional climate and is set into the side of a bluff to protect it and its visitors from the usual unrelenting Wyoming wind. The museum does a wonderful job of explaining the geographical obstacles and personal motivations for those early settlers that traveled the Oregon, Mormon, California and Pony Express Trails.

The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center was created in 2002. The building itself is set up on a bluff with expansive views of Casper. The design of the building honors the regional climate and is set into the side of a bluff to protect it and its visitors from the usual unrelenting Wyoming wind. The museum does a wonderful job of explaining the geographical obstacles and personal motivations for those early settlers that traveled the Oregon, Mormon, California and Pony Express Trails.

I hope this is not how Mike and I feel as we make our way through the rest of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington before we reach Oregon!

I hope this is not how Mike and I feel as we make our way through the rest of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington before we reach Oregon!

One of the interactive exhibits in the museum was this simulated river crossing. The screen out the front of the covered wagon was of cowboys guiding our wagon through the rough water. The wagon itself swayed and jolted as if the whole scene was real. It was very interesting, and I had motion sickness at the end. Guess I wouldn't have been too great of an adventurous western settler if I had to ride in the "economy coach" section on the trail!

One of the interactive exhibits in the museum was this simulated river crossing. The screen out the front of the covered wagon was of cowboys guiding our wagon through the rough water. The wagon itself swayed and jolted as if the whole scene was real. It was very interesting, and I had motion sickness at the end. Guess I wouldn’t have been too great of an adventurous western settler if I had to ride in the “economy coach” section on the trail!

Wyoming from State Highway 220.

Wyoming from State Highway 220.

Lots of rabbits were living in the crevices of Independence Rock.

Lots of rabbits were living in the crevices of Independence Rock.

As travelers reached Independence Rock, one of the most famous landmarks on the Emigrant Trails, they carved their names in the smooth rocks. That is why is it also referred to as the "Great Register of the Desert".

As travelers reached Independence Rock, one of the most famous landmarks on the Emigrant Trails, they carved their names in the smooth rocks. That is why it is also referred to as the “Great Register of the Desert”.

The Rock is about 25 acres in mass and was a popular camping spot on the trail. Early settlers would have had views like these from their campsites.

The Rock is about 25 acres in area and was a popular camping spot on the trail. Early settlers would have had views like these from their campsites.

There is a trail around the base of the rock which is approximately one mile long.

There is a trail around the base of the rock which is approximately one mile long.

The rock is smooth and round, unlike other rocks of the surrounding landscape (which are sharp and jagged)... so it was easy to recognize. People said it looked like a huge whale coming out of the earth.

The rock is smooth and round, unlike other rocks of the surrounding landscape (which are sharp and jagged)… so it was easy to recognize. People said it looked like a huge whale coming out of the earth.

Downtown Casper was a fun place to explore.

Downtown Casper was a fun place to explore.

I was surprised by the quality of retail Casper had it its downtown. I visited several stores that had a great selection of high-end clothes, shoes and outdoor gear. This Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters store was enormous!

I was surprised by the quality of retail Casper had in its downtown. I visited several stores that had a great selection of high-end clothes, shoes and outdoor gear. This Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters store was enormous!

A nice metal sculpture in front of the public library in downtown Casper.

A nice metal sculpture in front of the public library in downtown Casper.

Wyoming Part I: Cheyenne

Including Wyoming, we have seven states remaining on the Lower 48 in 48 Tour. The others being Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada, in that order. We planned our first Wyoming stop in Cheyenne, and then we would follow I-25 north to Casper and Cody before continuing north to I-90 in Montana. (We actually plan to visit Jackson Hole when we get back down to the eastern side of Idaho). The trip from Park City to Cheyenne was going to be over six hours, which does not make for a fun and relaxing day. Of course, a six-hour road trip is totally doable, but we had no schedule and no one waiting for us, so we divided the trip in half. We drove from Park City, Utah to Rocksprings, Wyoming on the first day, and boon docked at a Wal-Mart just off the interstate. The next morning we drove the rest of the way to the KOA in Cheyenne, also just off the interstate…but with hook-ups.

We were in Cheyenne for about two weeks, from April 21st to May 4th. The weather was pretty awful for much of the time we were there. We knew bad weather was coming, so we spent our first two days outside at Curt Gowdy State Park, because we could. We had lots of indoor days because of rain, snow and a blustery unforgiving wind. We had dinner downtown a couple of times. We found out that the Rib & Chop house serves boiled crawfish on Sundays starting at 4:00, so of course we did that. We also had some great bar food at Sanford’s Pub & Grub. I also took advantage of the 102-mile proximity to Denver and drove down to visit my besties. I got to my friend Amy’s early in the afternoon on Sunday and drove back home Monday afternoon after lunch and shopping. We cooked a big dinner with my friend Janet on Sunday evening, and then met her downtown again on Monday for more food at lunch. It was a great quick visit.

Cheyenne is the Capital and most populous city in Wyoming. It is also home to Warren AFB and has a population of around 65,000 . The downtown area was built around the railroad industry and the history of the city is celebrated in grand style. The largest event all year is Cheyenne Frontier Days, which is a rodeo and western celebration that started in 1897. The event is enormous and draws about 200,000 people to town each July. It would be fun to come back and experience all the hoopla in person one day!

It didn't take long to find the windmill farms along I-80 as we traveled east.

It didn’t take long to find the windmill farms along I-80 as we traveled east.

The landscape changed a bit as the highway rolled along.

The landscape changed a bit as the highway rolled along.

Camping at Wal-Mart.

Camping at Wal-Mart.

There were still some patches of snow on the ground as we made our way to Cheyenne.

There were still some patches of snow on the ground as we made our way to Cheyenne.

Since we planned to be at the Cheyenne KOA for a week or longer, I asked them to give us an end spot. It made things a little less chaotic as passing travelers arrived every evening and departed the following morning. We even got our own tree!

Since we planned to be at the Cheyenne KOA for a week or longer, I asked them to give us an end spot. It made things a little less chaotic as passing travelers arrived every evening and departed the following morning. We even got our own tree!

A rising moon over the grassy plains by our campground.

A rising moon over the grassy plains by our campground.

Antelope everywhere.

Antelope everywhere.

Granite Reservoir at Curt Gowdy State Park.

Granite Reservoir at Curt Gowdy State Park.

We knew bad weather was approaching, so we hurried to the State Park as soon as we arrived in Cheyenne. We wanted to spend as much time outdoors as we could while possible.

We knew bad weather was approaching, so we hurried to the State Park as soon as we arrived in Cheyenne. We wanted to spend as much time outdoors as we could while possible.

A "side lake" near the Granite Reservoir.

A “side lake” near the Granite Reservoir.

My afternoon tea table on Saturday afternoon.

My afternoon tea table on Saturday.

My tea server at the Nagle Warren Mansion took me on a little tour of the historic 1888 home. I loved seeing all the sections of the wonderful structure.

My tea server at the Nagle Warren Mansion took me on a little tour of the historic 1888 home. I loved seeing all the sections of the wonderful structure.

Afternoon tea at the Nagle Warren Mansion. The three ladies next to my table really did it up in style!

Afternoon tea at the Nagle Warren Mansion. The three ladies next to my table really did it up in style!

The historic 1888 Nagle Warren Mansion.

The historic 1888 Nagle Warren Mansion.

The Crystal Reservoir at Curt Gowdy State Park.

The Crystal Reservoir at Curt Gowdy State Park.

Piper, Cessna and I walked the trails at the park while Mike fished.

Piper, Cessna and I walked the trails at the park while Mike fished.

Curt Gowdy State Park stringer.

Curt Gowdy State Park stringer.

You can see why we wanted to spend as much time as possible outside when we got to Cheyenne. This is what I saw when I awoke on our third morning.

You can see why we wanted to spend as much time as possible outside when we got to Cheyenne. This is what I saw when I awoke on our third morning.

The rain- snow was gloppy, so we covered the floors with dog sheets to try and control the mess in the house. Piper and Cessna lounged while I worked on updating the blog.

The rain- snow was gloppy, so we covered the floors with dog sheets to try and control the mess in the house. Piper and Cessna lounged while I worked on updating the blog.

Is it raining or is it snowing?

Is it raining or is it snowing?

Last week of April, 2016.

Last week of April, 2016.

Piper loves his toys.

Piper loves his toys.

Some of Mike's fish. This batch was probably from somewhere in Utah.

Some of Mike’s fish. This batch was probably from somewhere in Utah.

What do you do if you visit on a Sunday? Cook a big Sunday dinner, of course!

What do you do if you visit on a Sunday? Cook a big Sunday dinner, of course!

Fondue anyone?

Fondue anyone?

The Downtown Cheyenne Boot.

The Downtown Cheyenne Boot.

I just loved this giant red and white building near the depot in downtown.

I just loved this giant red and white building near the depot in downtown.

The Cheyenne Depot building.

The Cheyenne Depot building (part of it).

stage mural

There were several murals in downtown Cheyenne, and this was my favorite – on the back of a hotel in an alley.

Rodeo Boot.

Rodeo Boot.

The Capitol Building was under construction, so I only took a photo of the dome.

The Capitol Building was under construction, so I only took a photo of the dome.

Selfie at Sanford's.

Selfie at Sanford’s.

Inside Sanford's in downtown Cheyenne. It is a small chain with other Wyoming and Montana locations. We had fun looking at all the STUFF everywhere!

Inside Sanford’s in downtown Cheyenne. It is a small chain with other Wyoming and Montana locations. We had fun looking at all the STUFF everywhere!

The wind died down on the last night we were in Cheyenne, so we decided to build a campfire for the evening. Mike had to hurry up and light it because Cessna started stealing all of the wood from the pit.

The wind died down on the last night we were in Cheyenne, so we decided to build a campfire for the evening. Mike had to hurry up and light it because Cessna started stealing all of the wood from the pit.

Big sunset dove.

Big sunset dove.