What I Loved || Wyoming Edition
This is the second part in a new series, “What I Loved” where I jot down some of the best things about the many places I’ve gotten to experience first-hand, as a Touristy Semi-Local. (Is that a thing? Well if it is, I would be it!) Keep your eyes peeled for more!
The very word brings absolute peace and tranquility to my soul. I had the privilege of getting to live in Wyoming, two separate times at opposite ends of the state. If I could pick a place to live and stay, Wyoming is at the top of my list. Why? Don’t panic. I’m going to tell you!
So pure, fresh and clean. I’m sure that is in large part due to the wind. Which ties in directly to my next point:
I loved the wind. It blew the random passerby right through. Flying kites in the park was an exhilarating experience. It blew the mosquitoes away. The snow blew away. I adored the bright and sunny hurricanes of Wyoming.
The towns have a relaxed golden quality. Even in the metropolitan shadow of White Hall, the tallest building in Wyoming (its a 12-story dorm on the University of Wyoming campus) things are relaxed. Yes, while we were driving faster because there was a lot more space to be covered in a lot less time, we drove faster, slower. Figure that one out.
There really isn’t any explanation necessary for the people who know. Let it be sufficient to say, Taco Bell will never be enough.
There is a wild and woolly quality to the landscape in Wyoming. The absolute emptiness, the no-feet-but-cow-feet feeling, that spreads out before you into the eternities is a phenomenon quite like none other. Wyoming also quickly became one of our favorite places based on the amount of public land available for dirt bikes, four wheeling and horseback-riding. We loved loading up for a weekend trail-ride! Pure bliss!
As long as you made sure you doused yourself in mosquito repellent, the city park systems are a lovely place to be. In our second Wyoming location, we lived just a short walk from a fantastic park that had a fishing pond, a disc golf course, and a wonderful playground. City budgets were used well and towards the end of our time there, we got to enjoy a wonderful splash pad and wading pool at other city parks.
One of the biggest complaints about Wyoming is the weather. Spring and summer are lovely, which un-coincidentally, are the times when people are traveling to visit the fair state. They see how beautiful it is and buy a house! Then they stay one winter and realize how barbaric it gets and immediately move. Here’s a little piece of insider advice, if you’re interested in buying a house in Wyoming start looking in the springtime! I guess I’m a weirdo because the weather in Wyoming is exactly my style. Cold, colder, and coldest. Hoodies year-round!
I’m prone to pretty terrible headaches and both times I lived in Wyoming, I never had a headache. Obvious positive there.
I loved the cowboy culture of Wyoming. I felt right at home with all the flatbeds, the wild rags, the stock trailers running down Main Street. Good horses everywhere you looked. The Cody Nite Rodeo for weeks on end in the summertime. The High School National Rodeo Finals. The ranches that actually ranched. Awesome. Plus, if you drove a pick-up, you got to participate in the Wyoming Wave. One hand on the top of the steering wheel, two fingers up in a wave at whomever you might pass.
If you have never had the chance to visit Yellowstone, you owe yourself the trip. The stunning vistas, the awe-inspiring anger of Old Faithful, the personal glimpses of beautiful animals in their natural habitats…the chance to step away and completely immerse yourself in God’s creations. We were so fortunate to have lived just a stone’s throw away from one of the park’s gates.
Some other must-see’s if ever in Wide, Wonderful Wyoming (and you’re looking to do more than hunt, fish, and enjoy the great outdoors):
- Jackson Hole (obviously). You could spend the rest of your life, your savings, and your inheritance here.
- The Irma Hotel in Cody where you can sit at the famed cherry-wood bar that was a gift from Queen Victoria and stuff your face with prime rib.
- The DMV in Cody. (It is one of the happiest, most pleasant places I’ve ever been. Which is odd for the place that it is. I suppose that’s why it made the list.)
- The Olive Garden in Cheyenne (hopefully their cook never retires)
- The Franny Tack Shop where you will find everything you never knew you needed for your horse, whilst breathing in the smell of all smells: horses mixed with oiled leather.
- The Big Horn Mountains were the site of many exciting moose-sightings, and day trips on the four-wheelers. The Big Horns are great for any kind of camping, hiking and general adventuring, if you’re wanting to be a little more removed from the tourist centers.
- The Territorial State Prison in Laramie (or as my kids lovingly refer to it as “The Gingerbread House.”
- Heart Mountain, the site of a WWII internment camp
- The Buffalo Bill Center of the West
- The Cody Murals Chapel which has LDS church history laid right before your eyes on a free tour. If you’re curious in learning more about the intricate irrigation systems that were engineered to coax the high deserts into fruitful land, you can learn more about that at this chapel as well.
- And don’t forget! JCPenny started out in Kemmerer, Wyoming!
Click here to read What I Loved about Utah!
Do you live in Wyoming? Have you visited Wyoming? What did you love? Let me know in the comments!