Following a beautiful, yet wide-open plains travel into Wyoming as we traveled toward the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, we welcomed a respite in Lander. One could naturally feel the pioneer and western spirit.
While Lander is a stopping point, it is also a beginning point for those desiring to explore the mountains or the desert. It is surely a welcomed site for bicyclists and hikers. In 1906, Chicago and North Western Transportation made Lander the end point of its “Cowboy Line” railway and the town earned the slogan “Where the rails end and the trails begin.” The Cowboy Line ran from 1906 to 1972. (Lander Chamber of Commerce)
Lander was named for transcontinental explorer Frederick W. Lander and is located in central Wyoming, along the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River. It is just south of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Population is around 7,500. (Wikipedia)
The Wind River Indian Reservation is quite stunning. I can see why travelers would consider settling there, albeit the winters can be quite brutal. I can see also why the Indians fought so valiantly to retain their dwelling and hunting land. Still, with the news of opportunity in the west continuing to bombard those in the east, it was inevitable that travelers would come.
“For 19th century prospectors and miners in the rich gold fields of South Pass, the crimson mouth of Red Canyon meant a change in diet. From the wind-swept sagebrush prairie, they could descend nearly 2,000 feet down a steep wagon road to the fruit orchards and vegetable gardens in the warm valley below where they purchased fresh produce – a welcome switch from wild game meat.” https://windriver.org/destinations/lander/
Since we had been traveling for a few hours along the Chief Washakie Trail, lunch was calling. We traveled through Lander and located a local, nice place to eat – Gannett Grill.
The menu was enticing as we examined something different. That’s one of the interesting and fun parts of travel, getting to try things different than our normal routine. The food was excellent and we enjoyed sitting outside, relaxing from the drive.
Before leaving Lander, we wanted to check out some authentic Native American gift items and stopped at the Indian Territory gift shop.
I liked Lander. The people were friendly. The town wasn’t large, but it had about all the conveniences you need.
Time didn’t permit stopping at the western museum but it is worth a stop if you’re in the area. Here is some of their information. http://museumoftheamericanwest.com/#first-row
The pioneer village at the museum provides excellent insight to life as a western pioneer back in the late 1800s and early 1900s. http://museumoftheamericanwest.com/index.php/pioneer-village/
Blessings along the Way!