Thursday, May 2
We ended up getting out a day later than we had originally planned because the weather was a little ugly leaving Utah and getting into Cheyenne, Wyoming. We left on a good day – nice temperatures, clear skies, and all of us were feeling good.
The few people we talked to that had been to Cheyenne didn’t have much good to say about it. What we had looked up about the city also seemed consistent with their judgments, but still, we were exciting for our cross country trek. The landscape was mostly pretty boring, but we still really enjoyed it because it was all new to us. I had never been out that direction and Amy hadn’t travelled that way either, so we took it all in. Snow was still very much present, and as we arrived in Cheyenne, the city was very much still in winter.
The first thing we wanted to see were the painted cowboy boot statues around town since that was all we had really heard about Cheyenne. That determination of ours ended up taking us over to downtown Cheyenne near the train museum. We took some pictures and video and then decided to pop into the Wrangler store just because the building looked kind of interesting and it was someplace warm.
The store turned out to be amazing and really turned us onto Cheyenne. It was filled with cowboy-ware; big expensive belt buckles, a huge display of cowboy/cowgirl boots and even little cowpolk boots, and other such things. The highlight of the store was talking to one of the workers. He was the perfect representation of a modern day cowboy stereotype. He had the cowboy drawl, showed us the residual damage of an injury he sustained while participating in a rodeo, and topped off with his ghost stories about the local area. We just loved him. He was the exact right person to talk to if you wanted a fledgling interest to grow into a full-blown one for Cheyenne. On his recommendation we ended up heading over to Pioneer Park and saw the stadium that served as the site where Lane Frost (of the movie 8 seconds) died in the arena and where a statue was dedicated to him. He also suggested we head over to try some bison meat and see the “Big Boy” locomotive that is on display.
The best obviously was his telling about the ghost of Tom Horn that haunts the Wrangler store because that building was formerly the holding area where condemned prisoners spent their last days and hours. Additionally, the bride ghost also walked those halls and our cowboy salesman shared with us that he had observed some of the paranormal activity he had seen. If we had any doubt, then his brother with the sixth sense had verified it with him one time when he wanted to see what kind of spirits resided in that building. I just loved that guy.
My favorite thing about Cheyenne is that it really is such frontier territory. Apparently with the execution of Tom Horn, that served as the end marker of the frontier days in the West and the United States, but the town still has such a great heritage of cowboy culture that it hangs onto, most obviously with the boots around town, but also in the annual rodeo that had made its annual appearance in July, since 1897. Cheyenne was great and I’d loved to pass through again someday. Definitely the last two weeks of July to hit up that rodeo.