"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Boots and Choo Choos - Cheyenne, WY

Cheyenne, Wyoming
Curt Gowdy State Park

After our quick visit to Laramie we were off to Cheyenne. We weren't going to be stopping here originally but we got a call from our nephew in Virginia that he'd be doing some work in Fort Collins and so we made some quick changes and stopped by in Cheyenne.
I was able to get a few days in Curt Gowdy State Park which worked out perfectly. Water and Electric for $35.  Most sites are right on the water or have great views.
This is one of the non-electric.  Many of these line the banks of the lake.
Here's our site.  Nice cement pad with a picnic table and fire ring surrounded with grass.

There are hiking trails that go around the lake.

Very pretty lake surrounded by grassy hills and rocky pine mountains.
These were my favorite sites near the dam for some great fishing and protected from the winds.
There are some gorgeous boulder studded areas all around Medicine Bow National Forest.  If we had more time and it was warmer, we would've done more hiking here.  There is a great waterfall trail but the water was running high and I'm not sure you'd be able to ford the stream to get to the waterfall.

We had quick storms that would roll in and then just as quickly roll back out.
We did manage a couple of fires which was nice.
They have a small interpretive center which has a nice display of Curt Gowdy and his life.
We took Saturday to spend time in the city of Cheyenne.  It is the state capitol of Wyoming and has a population of just over 60,000 making it the most populated city as well.  The capitol building was finished building in 1890.  They were doing some remodeling to it while we were there.

The Cheyenne-Ft. Laramie-Deadwood Trail starts here and runs 88 miles to Ft. Laramie.
We drove around the cute downtown.  Some comic book festival was going on and we just happened to be passing by a store with Star Wars characters outside.  A Jawa waved to us.
In the Cheyenne Depot Plaza there is a lot happening.  We caught the end of the Farmers Market and bought some Buffalo Jerky.  You'll see many of the "Big Boots" here.  There are 19 of them around the historic downtown. They are 8 feet tall and painted by local artists.  Really cool.
The iconic Red Brick Wrangler Building selling everything Western.
On the other side of the plaza is the beautiful train depot.  The Cheyenne Union Pacific Depot was built in 1887 from red and buff colored sandstone quarried near Fort Collins, CO. It's a small but interesting museum on one side and a brewery on the other.

 The cornerstone.
Promontory Summit is where the Golden Spike (the final connection point) was put in connecting the Central Pacific Railroad from Sacramento, California and the Union Pacific Railroad from Omaha, Nebraska.  This formed the first transcontinental railroad service in the United States.  I wish I could've fit the entire map made onto the floor in one photo.  It showed all the stops and dates along the way.
They had first class food service.  The china was very pretty.
There was a creepy, but interesting, exhibit about Hobo/Tramp Life.

What was fun was that you poured your own samples.  They give you a card that keeps track of how much beer you pour from the Beer Shrine.
I would pick out some of the beer for Steve.

We also had a delicious Prosciutto and Arugula Thin Crust Pizza while we chatted with the folks next to us.  He was a native and gave us a lot of history of the area.  You can also eat out on the back patio and watch the trains rumble by.
Two historic steam locomotives, Big Boy No. 4014 and Living Legend No. 844, had just departed Cheyenne a couple of hours ago for a recreation of the famous photo taken May 10, 1869, when the last spike was put into place at Promontory Summit, Utah.  Union Pacific’s celebratory event marks the transcontinental railroad’s 150th anniversary.

The Big Boy’s return took more than two years of restoration. Of the eight still in existence, No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy locomotive.  It left Cheyenne May, 4 following a 9:30 a.m. christening ceremony at the historic Cheyenne Depot.  I can't believe we just missed it. That would've sure been something to see!
After all that walking around we went to a park with lots of green grass so Hurley could run around a bit.  He was a very happy guy chasing sticks and squirrels.
My "guys" resting.
One of the Big Boys also at the park.
And last but not least.  We took our nephew out for an early birthday dinner.  He was here for a couple weeks from Virginia.  We planned to meet up after he got off work at the Senator's Steakhouse near the Colorado border.  It's part of Terry's Bison Ranch and they use their own.  We wanted Michael to try his first buffalo steak.  As it turned out they were having a wedding that evening and that wasn't so great for the rest of the customers.  We were seated outside on an enclosed porch without much heat and no windows.  No ambiance at all.  The young waitress didn't know much about the menu or preparation.  She messed up just about everything we ordered and how we wanted our steaks cooked. We were trying to be understanding since I'm sure the wedding took up much of their attention.  The food wasn't very good either.  We wouldn't recommend this place.  It was great to see Michael again!
 Another great place we'll come back to.


  1. Wow....that would be something to see a Big Boy locomotive in action, Debbie. I was right next to the tracks when the Freedom Train went by in 1976, and I could feel the amount of power that thing had. Nothing quite like steam!

    1. I'll bet that was awesome to feel the Freedom Train go by! I can't believe we missed it by just a couple hours. I didn't see anything about it while looking for things to do. Oh well. We sure enjoyed all things train while we visited.

  2. Noticed what I think is a cell signal buster on your flag pole. Are you just running the wire through at the slide seal?

    1. If we were going to be somewhere longer, like two plus weeks?, we'd run the booster cable through the slide. Mostly we just run it out of the slide side window. The screen can be opened. We open it a little bit. It does leave a small gap. If there are bugs or extreme weather I just put a small strip of blue painters tape to cover the gap. It's not very sticky and comes off easily. I don't really like to take the chance of cutting the seal with the end of the cable, however slim that might be.

  3. That hobo certainly was creepy! Those boots are a lot like the buffalo here in Custer, I don't know how many there are but there are colorfully decorated ones on many of the street corners making for a cool tourist attraction.

    1. What was funny was you walked around a corner and the hobo was right in your face in a little nook. Yikes. I love how different cities/towns have a mascot on each corner like the boots in Cheyenne or the buffalo in Custer. In our town of Placerville it's the wheelbarrow invented by Studabaker during the Gold Rush.

  4. Boots, Cows, Bison...lots of towns getting in on the act, always enjoy seeing them. Curt Gowdy SP has been on our radar before but never made it, looks like a great campground.

    1. I like all the boots, etc that the towns are doing also. You'll like the campground.


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