Relax, take it all in

Horse chill while enjoying the Wyoming landscape

New week begins, are you ready?

Relax! Enjoy the air, landscape, peace that awaits your pleasure.

Breath deep and see, observe beauty around you.

We have so much of creation that is still preserved in nature;

If we will see, and allow it to speak to us anew.

Horses roam the Wyoming landscape

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Road to somewhere

Traveling out west in Wyoming eases the soul and rests the mind. Just traveling the open roads without traffic congestion is a good stress relief.

All roads lead to somewhere and we’ll eventually get there. However, let’s relax and enjoy some of the beauty along the way.

Let’s not forget the simple wildlife too. These cute little prairie dogs were at the Sweetwater Rest Area. I had fun trying to sneak up on them to take their photos. Although they are a little camera shy I was able to snap a few while hiding behind a post. Sneaky, huh? Also, I guess the sign doesn’t apply to prairie dogs. 🙂

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Lander – on the way

Red rock formations near Lander and Dubois, Wyoming

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/

#LanderWyoming; #westernpioneers

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Iron Horse

Locomotive on display in Wyoming Welcome Center

Wheels roll, full steam ahead, though not too fast

Metal clanging, chugging, pulling struggles behind

The iron moves, clinging to track unfurled, whistles with blast

Past the horse, natural worker, attached by family, farm and beauty.

Now is beauty full of metal – stronger, no need to eat or rest

Only controlled by owner, feeding water, fuel and direction

Iron horse arrives, relieving hooves that tracked the countryside

Antique work wagon at Dubois, WY museum

It pulls its load, no complaint, no holding back, no need to force the struggle

I’m thankful for the iron horse, the progress through life, achievements to ease the burdens.

I’m thankful for the horse, its beauty, natural flow of free spirit and life, its willingness to carry the load.

Horses and stable at Grand Tetons, WY

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Settling or camping?

Wagon on display at Wyoming Welcome Center

Isn’t it interesting how years ago when the western part of the United States was being settled, they had their share of camping. Do early settlers compare with modern campers?

Settlers must have been mobile campers for sure. Wagons filled with commodities, sleeping in the open wild; exploring ever-changing terrain, using gifts of strong and mild.

Camping display at Wyoming Welcome Center

Campers may come and go, explore on foot, motor – through heat and snow.

One is necessary to begin new life, the other for pleasure, to ease the strife.

Explore if we will, love the land, embrace life around, protect life with a zeal.

These thoughts were generated from visiting the Wyoming Welcome Center during a recent visit there.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

A large prairie place

Apparently a “large prairie place” is what the word Wyoming is based on – by the Algonquin Indians, according to Ben’s Guide to U.S. government Kids pages (and https://statesymbolsusa.org/wyoming/name-origin/wyoming-state-name-origin). 

Wyoming is the 10th largest U.S. state by area, the least populous, and the second most sparsely populated.  It became the 44th U.S. state in 1890. 

StatessymbolUSA also mentions that according to the Wyoming Secretary of State, “The name Wyoming is a contraction of the Native American word mecheweamiing (“at the big plains”), and was first used by the Delaware people as a name for the Wyoming Valley in northeastern Pennsylvania.”

If one is traveling from Colorado to Wyoming, toward Cheyenne, I recommend stopping at the welcome center.  It has excellent information on Wyoming. 

Wyoming is a wonderful place to visit.  I’ll post photos and information during my next several posts.  I’m glad to have you along with me on the journey.  Let’s explore the area, shall we?  I’m amazed. 

Partial photo of mural in Wyoming Welcome Center

By the way, some of the history of Wyoming can be found at https://www.wyohistory.org/

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Fort Morgan along the way

While traveling into Colorado on Interstate 76, one of the stops for the night was at Fort Morgan.  We had dinner at Cables Pub & Grill.

I usually have to work around the menu due to staying on a gluten-free and yeast-free eating regimen.  It’s a challenge sometimes but one has to be creative.  Cables was a pleasant restaurant with ample variety. 

Trip Advisor has good reviews at https://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g33427-Fort_Morgan_Colorado-Vacations.html

I always like to search for something unique wherever I travel.  We didn’t have much time to stay in Fort Morgan so I researched on Wikipedia. 

Fort Morgan began as Camp Wardwell, and was established in 1865 along the Overland Trail to protect emigrants and supplies going to and from Denver, and the mining districts.

The fort was renamed in 1866 by General John Pope for one of his staff, Colonel Christopher A. Morgan, who died earlier that year. 

During our stay I noticed a unique smell in the hotel during the night and wondered what it was.  I discovered we were across the street from the sugar factory.  I didn’t even notice the plant beforehand.  

Naturally, I had to research a little on the factory.  The “Great Western Sugar Factory” was built in 1906.  An early photo and more information is at https://www.cityoffortmorgan.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2185

I was confused a little as I read about the sugar factory; and then read about sugar beets.  So, does sugar come from beets?  According to Quora.com and Michael Shaw, a plant person, 😊 the typical red beet is certainly different from the white-colored sugar beet. 

Sugar beets are processed to make sugar.  They are not intended to be eaten as a vegetable.  However, they are the same species as garden beets.  More information can be found at https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-difference-between-Beta-vulgaris-and-Sugar-beet

While leaving Fort Morgan, I just had to have a couple of photos of the processing plant.  I would have been interested in taking a tour if I had time along the way.  Still, it’s amazing what we can learn if we take a little time to check things out. 

Also, this I didn’t know: “Today, sugar beets account for HALF of all refined sugar production in the United States, and around 20% of all sugar in the world! Cane sugar and beet sugar are the two processed sweeteners that most of the world’s processed food industries are built upon, ” according to Healthy Home Economist.

The Healthy Home Economist website has additional information about sugar beets.  https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/beet-sugar/.  Do you have any further insight? 

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Wild Horse BBQ

Okay, where is the horse? Actually, the name reflects a quaint, little barbecue (BBQ) place tucked away near Interstate 40 in Sallisaw, Oklahoma.

The restaurant is nestled in the foothills of the Wild Horse Mountain range in eastern Oklahoma. Maybe there are some wild horses still in those hills.

Artifacts are displayed on the walls of Wild Horse BBQ – including these two with Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood in their younger years.

If you travel along this area it is worth stopping for tasty food with quick and friendly service in a rustic environment. The menu is limited and simple. I think the brisket sandwich is their most popular item. The plate includes some very tasty beans too.

Wild Horse Mountain BBQ sauce is excellent and has been over 50 years. It is available online as well. https://www.wildhorsemountainbbqco.com

I also liked the surrounding area with old relics that take you back in time.

Trip advisor also has reviews on the restaurant at https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g51633-d2392413-Reviews-Wild_Horse_Mountain_BBQ-Sallisaw_Oklahoma.html.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Different drum beat

Metal drum ends provide wall art at Hampton Inn, Mulvane, Kansas.

When I saw these metal drum ends with rust mixed with color in Kansas I thought of our Native Americans in North America.

Not knowing much about Indian culture, I have become more interested during travels across the United States. It is amazing how many various tribes were populated across this vast land. I suppose many of the generations are scattered now and it’s more difficult to determine pure tribes aside from reservations.

As I pondered these pieces of art I wondered if they were made and painted by Native Americans, or even if this artwork is indeed similar to the Indian culture in this area of Kansas. From my own simple analogy, this area is where the Kiowa Tribe was predominant, and a remnant still remain.

So, does the different type of “drum” that is painted trigger any particular thoughts with you?

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

“Our Place” to eat

Half Volkswagon at Our Place, Ozark, Alabama

If you’re traveling through Alabama, U.S.A., near Dothan I think it would be worth a stop at “Our Place” in Ozark, AL, for some good food, nice atmosphere and friendly service.

The pink Volkswagon half is a good eye-catcher as you travel along Highway U.S. 231 in Ozark.

The burgers, hotdogs and onion rings are delightful and tickle the taste buds. Apparently folks in Alabama really like the burgers too as they voted the “Big Bopper” burger as number one in 2018.

https://www.facebook.com/OurPlaceDinerOzark/

Blessings along the Way!

Ron