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Laramie and Cheyenne WY

My next stop was actually Dinosaur National Monument, but I’m going to save that for later. Next I’ll share some impressions of towns in southeastern Wyoming.

Laramie as a town didn’t show me much of interest, but the surrounding area is emblematic of this plateau country. One interesting feature I couldn’t photograph was the constant winds, which were apparently so strong at times that there were miles of telephone poles pushed over about 25 degrees off perpendicular!

Laramie countryside offers gorgeous views of seasonal ponds, pastures and cattle framed by distant mountains

Laramie countryside offers gorgeous views of seasonal ponds, pastures and cattle framed by distant mountains

Pronghorn are abundant around Laramie

Pronghorn are abundant around Laramie

Cheyenne, the capital of Wyoming, has a central square for pride, tourism and celebrations. Named the Cheyenne Depot Plaza, it is centered on the old railroad station which has been spruced up and repurposed. A large plaza in front has been provided for performances and other gatherings, and on this day they were preparing for a weekend faire.

Cheyenne Depot Plaza

Cheyenne Depot Plaza

If you look closely at the above photo you will notice stone medallions inset in the columns. There were two versions of these medallions, as seen below.

Medallions at Cheyenne Depot Plaza

Medallions at Cheyenne Depot Plaza

Medallions at Cheyenne Depot Plaza

The Depot has been restored inside also and now includes the Visitor Center, a museum, gift shop, restaurant and bar. The restored light fixtures inside the depot offer a great Art Deco type look.

Lights in the restored Depot

Lights in the restored Depot

Once a year there is a city festival with trains, folk performances and tours of Warren AFB, a missile base on the NW side of town. Unfortunately I was 2 weeks ahead of this annual celebration, and I was repeatedly told that all the items I wanted to see in Cheyenne were only open during the annual event.

A prominent business on the perimeter of the Plaza is the Wrangler country clothing store. This establishment is the size of a department store in bigger cities and offers huge varieties of items any cowboy could desire. The western boots present a riot of colors and patterns in aisle after aisle of display space … both the men and women sections had 6-12 counters full of individual styles!

Western boots come in bright colors and patterns

Western boots come in bright colors and patterns

Of course hats were a big deal also, and the men’s hats had a room all to themselves!

Western Hats

Western Hats

Many old hotels have been saved and restored across the country, and they’ve banded together into an association called the Historic Hotels of America (http://www.historichotels.org/). The jewel in Cheyenne’s downtown is The Plains Hotel. This photo of the lobby gives the feeling of years gone by, complete with buffalo chandelier and oil paintings, and the restaurant through the doors to the right offers good meals.

Lobby of the Historic Plains Hotel

Lobby of the Historic Plains Hotel

The State Capital building a few blocks from the Plaza is the typical rectangular structure with a large central dome. Flanking the entrance are two statues, one to a pioneer woman and the other to Chief Wishake.

Statue of Chief Wishake

Statue of Chief Wishake

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Mark Bobb

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