Wednesday, August 15, 2012

US Hwy 30: Laramie, Wyoming

I had a nice, easy drive north from Fort Collins to rejoin US Hwy 30, then a short stint west to Laramie, Wyoming. I'm on the "high plains" now, for which wide open prairies and strong gusting winds are the two most prominent features. Laramie is a truly "old west" town that claims to have some thirty thousand residents, though it is also a college town so those ranks must swell during the academic year.

Upon arrival yesterday, I walked around the "old town" for a bit, then took advantage of the typical college town breadth of offerings to have a surprisingly excellent Thai food lunch. I also visited the local plains museum, which was good but a little repetitious for me at this point in my westward migration. I capped off my evening with a trip to the local movie house to see the new Bourne movie which I enjoyed very much.

I did some more exploring of the area today, and while there isn't a lot to see I found the well restored old Territorial Prison to be a treat.

The prison dates back to 1872 and was expanded over time to hold as many as 170 of the "most violent and desperate outlaws during Wyoming's territorial days and early statehood." One of the most famous inmates was Butch Cassidy, though one learns that was not his real name and the movie about him is almost entirely fiction. As the exhibits put it, there is a big difference between "real life and reel life!"

The interior of the prison is very well restored, and the various rooms -- cells, kitchen, dining hall, infirmary, workshop, etc. -- are all set up in period-authentic conditions. The facility is worth a visit, even if you're just passing through the area.

I'm going to head farther west through Wyoming tomorrow, but don't yet know how far… Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

No comments: