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

Cheyenne’s Frontier Days

Frontier Days
Bull-riding statue at The Frontier, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Since 1897 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the “daddy” of the rodeo has been “kicking up dust” with the “world’s largest outdoor rodeo and western celebration,” states https://www.cfdrodeo.com/about-us/.

According to the website, Frederick W. Angier, traveling passenger agent of the Union Pacific Railroad, suggested to the editor of the Cheyenne Daily Sun-Leader, a festival similar to Greeley, Colorado’s “Potato Day.”  As a result of that suggestion, plans for the first “Frontier Day”, were formulated in the Tivoli Saloon at the corner of 16th Street and Carey.

It’s amazing the influence of the railroad in developing the western frontier.  I’ll have more on that in a separate post. 

Frontier Days events included pony races, bronco busting, steer roping and other activities.  At the time, the events were seen as a test of a cowboy’s skill.  YeeHaw!

The inaugural event was so successful it was extended the next year to include two days.  A parade was added.  The rodeo expanded as the years went on and more affiliated events were added. Its reputation increased as well. And today it is one of the most authentic and largest rodeo events in the world.

We rode around the event area and it was rather quiet in June.  Can you imagine the excitement and activities come July 11-18, 2019, when the cowboys, cowgirls, livestock, vendors and all associated people start converging on the site?  I’m sure it is a wild ride. 

Have you attended the frontier days? How about a rodeo?

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

2 Doors Down

How about some excellent food while in Cheyenne, Wyoming?  The 2 Doors Down restaurant in downtown has a local hospitality combined with atmosphere and taste that rivals any five-star eatery. 

We sampled some of the popular items such as the burger, hotdogs and onion rings.  Delicious. 

Oh!  Try the cinnamon rolls too.  They are popular and mouth-watering. 

Management at 2 Doors Down says they are serious about making burgers just the way we like it.  Any burger on the menu can be made with “hand-cut, never frozen, specially seasoned beef, grilled or breaded chicken breast, tender salmon fillet, or a surprisingly tasty, carnivore-approved 100% vegetarian burger.”

The serving team takes pride in checking on the tables for anything needed. 

More information is available on their website at http://www.2doorsdown.net/, including why they are called 2 Doors Down. 

Sanford’s Grub & Pub is across the street from 2 Doors Down. They caught my attention with this truck bed hanging from the entrance. I’m sure it’s a great place to enjoy as well.

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

Journey west

Example of conveniences developed for western travelers. (Display at Wyoming Welcome Center)

Can you imagine the journey west as the pioneers and settlers traveled thousands of miles from the eastern U.S. to explore the west, looking for further freedom to claim land, pursue their dreams and establish homes with families?

Native American lives were impacted greatly as the frontier was being explored by those seeking better lives. Let’s not forget their struggles and desires to live peacefully and pursue their dreams as well.

Tipi at the Wyoming Welcome Center

Imagine the hardships, rocky terrain, streams, wildlife and challenges along the way. Many lost their lives. Many fell short of their dreams. Many arrived. Many fulfilled their dreams.

Persevere!

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

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

Columbus’ southern culture

Columbus, Mississippi, ever been there?  How about old antebellum houses, downtown stores still preserved over time, some older, some newer; tucked away with rich historical heritage and classic southern architecture, food and hospitality?

Antebellum home in Columbus, Mississippi

Columbus was voted number six in the Best Small Town Cultural Scene category of USA TODAY’s  10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest, according to http://www.visitcolumbusms.org/

The Luxapallila and Tombigbee flow effortlessly, picking up the soil saturated beside; many times swelling with the onslaught of rain and outlets that drain.  The bridge sometimes over trouble waters, or with peace below; it often matters. They move beyond, constraints no more, spreading their power, looking for new shore.

Tombigbee River walkway bridge and scenic path in Columbus, MS

The big ditch flows just the same, sometimes low with often overflow.  So peaceful at times, then raging through the vines.

“Big ditch” flooding in Columbus, MS

The 82 and 45 move us along, meandering around, looking for that which wets the mouth; ahh, we found it, not much to see driving swiftly by, but just a little place, wood design, no time to waste.

Old Hickory Steak House on Highway 45 in Columbus, MS

It may not entice you to stop, just looking at the décor; come evening you can tell – it’s special as many come through the door.

The best steak all around, some of the best – tender, juice, tasty and right. Chef prides over coals so hot, sizzling – to the perfection of each one.  While traveling through Columbus on Highway 45, don’t forget to stop by Old Hickory – in the evening it comes alive. 

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Reach en pointe

Ballet en pointe demonstrates dedication, hard work, strength and grace to achieve to the highest point. (Ballet Cinderella and Fairy Godmother)

Dance recitals are upon us,

Behold the beauty, grace and flow

Of the rhythm, steady movement,

Labor of love, satisfaction, persistence that only family may know.

Reach above – focus, draw strength from the one who loves.

En pointe desired by one

Who yearns, grows, prepares to reach,

Upward toward the highest,

Rise up, reach for the dream, achieve – I beseech. 

(Images from 2019 “Cinderella” production by Heather Loveland Dance Academy portraying “Cinderella” and the “Fairy Godmother.”)

Blessings along the Way!

Ron