Wyoming

Zeb here with my last post of our recent road trip.  Just want to share a few observations about Wyoming.   I could not quickly describe Wyoming and I only saw the eastern part, north to south.  I saw so many different things there.

We entered Wyoming at Cheyenne.

Entering Wyoming

Entering Wyoming

Things were hilly with barren rock formations and outside of the city, lots of empty land.

Lonely highway

Lonely highway

Very few towns and very few people.  We did stop at a rest stop in Chugwater.  The signs said Chugwater was famous for chili.  It was pretty hot that day, so no chili for us.  But, let’s talk about the rest area.  The building utilized passive solar power.

Mom took some photos, but I think I should explain what goes on here.  There are solar panels on the south side and shutters that close at night.

Inside rest area building I am on stone wall with solar panels above

Inside rest area building I am on stone wall with solar panels above

There is a solar hot water storage tank also.  The building does have back up electric heaters in the cement floor and back up electric water heaters.  There is also earth berming on the north side of the building to reduce energy loss.

Solar panels at rest area

Solar panels at rest area

This seems like a very smart idea to this duck.

Most people have heard that Wyoming is very windy.  It is!  Here is a snow fence.

Snow fence

Snow fence

These snow fences do not stop the snow, but blowing snow usually will drift against the fences.  This reduces the size of snowdrifts on the highway or any other place the ranchers want to limit the snow drifts.

We passed Glendo Lake State Park.  This is a huge lake that is used for farm irrigation in multiple states.  It is also a recreation center, complete with camping, fishing and boating.  We saw this lake in late September, so the water level was fairly low. Winter snow and rain will fill it again so it will be ready next spring.

We continued on I-25 to Douglas.  We drove through and saw a real western looking bar and restaurant.  White Wolf Saloon has antlers on the front,

White Wolf Saloon in Douglas, Wyoming

White Wolf Saloon in Douglas, Wyoming

carved figures on the porch and lots of mounted animals inside.  WOW!!  This is real old western place.  I sat on each figure

I am helping my friend play cards

I am helping my friend play cards

and on the bar inside.

Lots of stuff inside White Wolf Saloon

Lots of stuff inside White Wolf Saloon

Another time lunch would be fun here.  But this trip, we had a destination and time constraints.  But what fun this is!

Leaving Newcastle and approaching the Black Hills, the landscape was hilly and wooded.  Very pretty.  The Black Hills are mostly in South Dakota, but part of them is in Wyoming.

 Black Hills landscape

Black Hills landscape

This looks very different from the land between Cheyenne and Wheatland.

North of Newcastle is Devils Tower

Devils Tower

Devils Tower

and Black Hills scenery.  See my report on Devils Tower a few days ago.  To get to Devils Tower, we left I-25 at Douglas at took highway 59 to Gillette.  On this road, we saw more antelope,

Herd of antelope

Herd of antelope

more horses,

Many horses

Many horses

more sheep, more cows,

Lots of cows

Lots of cows

more oil wells pumping,

Working oil well

Working oil well

coal mining, wind

Wind turbines

Wind turbines

turbines, hay fields

Hay fields

Hay fields

and a herd of buffalo.

Old and young buffalo in herd

Old and young buffalo in herd

When were near Sheridan, on I-90 we could see the Rocky Mountains.

Beautiful mountains

Beautiful mountains

They look so majestic, just like they do in Colorado.  On this trip we did not go to them, but western Wyoming is home to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.  I, Zeb, just wanted you to know that Wyoming has a little of everything.

We will return to Wyoming

We will return to Wyoming

This state is close to my home near Denver, so I hope mom and I will explore of wonderful Wyoming.  Let me know what parts of Wyoming you like best.

Nederland, Colorado with Zeb

Zeb visits a mountain town

 Quaint and quirky describe Nederland.  Now adored by tourists, humans and ducks, Nederland was just a tiny mountain mining town; then in the ‘60s it became popular with the hippies.  Now Nederland is a popular mountain town near Boulder, Colorado.

We visited the Nederland Visitors Center, located across from the Blue Moon Bakery, one of my favorite stops.  We didn’t enter the souvenir shops today, but we have other times.  I like the shops.  We entered the pedestrian bridge,

View of river from bridge

View of river from bridge

crossed the river and continued to the Carousel of Happiness.

Entrance to Carousel of Happiness

Entrance to Carousel of Happiness

It was a lot of work restoring the antique carousel.  All the animals were hand-carved by Nederland resident Scott Harrison.

A rabbit on carousel sign

A rabbit on carousel sign

Everyone has fun here.  Ducks, too.

We had mini donuts at Buffalo Bill’s Coffee and Confections.

Up ramp to train car and a snack

Up ramp to train car and a snack

This snack shop is in train cars that have been adapted for customers.  My first time in a train car.  Other train cars are also used.  The donuts were very tasty.  We had the ones with cinnamon and sugar.  Yum!!  Is all food from train cars this good?  While eating we chatted with a few people.  Everyone seemed happy.  Definitely not a complaining group.  We enjoyed the stop.

Other side of Buffalo Bill's Coffee and Confections

Other side of Buffalo Bill’s Coffee and Confections

When we left it was raining.  With a longing look at the Alpaca store, we headed back to our car.  I love the rain, but mom prefers dry days to wander around towns.  Back through the pedestrian bridge, which really is a covered bridge over the creek.

Covered bridge over Boulder Creek in Nederland

Covered bridge over Boulder Creek in Nederland

Nederland has several festivals, including High Peaks Arts Festival the last weekend of June, Miner’s Days the third weekend of July, Nedfest Music & Art Festival the last weekend of August and Holiday Mountain Market the first weekend of December.  But the most famous is Frozen Dead Guy Days the second weekend of March.  I’m looking forward to this one, but only with mom’s protection.  I don’t want to be frozen or dead.  You will enjoy the many activities and festivals of Nederland.

I like Nederland and you will too.  It is in a beautiful location in the Rocky Mountains, has shops, a variety of restaurants, even a few featuring food from the Himalayas and outdoor activities for all seasons.

We visited Nederland last week, before the flooding arrived in the area.  We went on a road trip this week, so I will tell you about it on Monday.  Nederland is a wonderful town and you will enjoy your time here.  Please check the road conditions before you go.  It is still raining as mom types this, so all damage is not yet known.  Go in a few weeks and you will have a great time.  Look for me Monday and see where we went.