Veedauwoo

Veedauwoo

Known to the Arapaho Indians as “Land of the Earthborn Spirit,” Vedauwoo’s (pronounced vee-duh-voo) protrusions of Sherman granite were shaped by millions of years of icy, windy and wet weather. At an altitude of 8,000 feet, Vedauwoo is a rather secluded rocky oasis in southeastern Wyoming, filled with dense pine forests and aspen groves. It is surrounded by a seemingly endless expanse of high plains and lies under a dome of intense cerulean blue sky. Whether you’re interested in scaling the ancient sculpture’s rounded rocks, investigating the surrounding aspen and pine forests or simply passing time deciphering animal shapes in the formations, Vedauwoo is the perfect place to stop.

Ames Monument

Ames Monument

At an elevation of 8,247 feet, this monument stands at what once was the highest point on the route of the Union Pacific Railroad in Buford, WY. The tracks were rerouted a few miles to the south in 1901, but the monument still looms over the surrounding plains and can be easily accessed from Interstate 80.

Completed in 1882 at a cost of $64,000, the structure honors Oakes and Oliver Ames, financiers and politicians whose business skills were largely responsible for the completion of the transcontinental railroad. The Ames brothers took control of the management and financing of the Union Pacific portion of the railroad at President Abraham Lincoln’s request. Prior to their involvement with the railroad, only 12 miles of track had been completed. Not long after the railroads completion in 1869, however, Oakes Ames found himself at the center of a massive scandal concerning the railroad’s financing.

Guernsey State Park

The Reservoir

Guernsey State Park in Wyoming is a 6,000 acre state park surrounding Guernsey Reservoir that provides a variety of water recreation, day use and overnight camping opportunities. The rugged and scenic landscape of the park offers scenic vistas and overlooks, hiking and biking trails, rock climbing and wildlife viewing opportunities. In addition to the unlimited number of outdoor recreation activities that can be found at Guernsey, the park is also a National Historic Landmark.

Guernsey State Park provides the finest examples of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) work in the Rocky Mountain area. Built by the CCC, the Guernsey Museum, the Castle and Brimmer Point are available to explore. The Castle, with its giant fireplace and winding steps, leads to an observation area for a spectacular view of the park.

The Castle

Wyoming Territorial Prison Museum

Wyoming Territorial Prison

One of Wyoming’s oldest stone buildings, the Wyoming Territorial Prison housed more than 1,000 outlaws including the notorious Butch Cassidy. Built in 1872, the site served as a federal and state prison until 1903 when a new penitentiary was completed in Rawlins about 100 miles of Laramie.

13 of the prisoners were women. They had their own section of the prison, their own bathroom and did not have to do hard labor, but did do sewing and mending.

My favorite part of the tour was the Prison Industries building (aka the Broom Factory). Convicts produced approximately 720 brooms daily and were sold all over the US.

Laramie Plains Museum

Ivinson Mansion

Set on the property of the impressive Ivinson Mansion, the Laramie Plains Museum is one the region’s finest repositories of history. This distinguished historic house museum is a must-see when visiting Laramie, Wyoming. Saved from demolition, the mansion has been restored to its original 1892 opulence, so a docent-led tour is a treasured step back in time to understand its pioneer owners and view three floors of area artifacts.

Cowgirls of the West

Cowgirls of the West

The setting of the American West has often been romanticized in the print and video media, where lives of western women have sometimes been depicted as easy, simple, carefree, romantic, and often glamorous… Nothing is further from the truth! These women worked very hard and right alongside the men to make the American West the one we know today.

I wish I could sit down with these women and listen to their stories.

WY House for Historic Women

The Wyoming House for Historic Women in downtown Laramie honors historic women of Wyoming. Louisa Swain, in September 1870, was the first woman in the US to cast a ballot under laws granting women and men equal voting rights. Martha Symons Boies became the first woman in the US appointed as a Bailiff. Eliza Stewart was the first woman formally subpoenaed to serve on a court jury.

Unfortunately this museum doesn’t open until the 15th of June, so I was not able to go in. But I am honored to have visited the place where the first woman voted in the US.

Summit Rest Area & Visitor Center

Lincoln Monument

Who knew you could have so much fun at a rest area? Outside: Towering monuments, touching memorials, views to die for, and wildlife (we saw a marmot, prairie dog, and a chipmunk – no antelope though). Inside: Cultural, historical and wildlife interpretive displays, a big screen TV playing video shorts of Wyoming’s culture, attractions, and events.

Located at the summit of I-80 at an elevation of 8,640 feet the Summit Rest Area & Visitor Center welcomes travelers from May 15th to October 15th. The main attraction is a towering 46 foot tall memorial to Abraham Lincoln located at the highest elevation on the Lincoln Highway.

Laramie Mural Project

The Laramie Mural Project utilizes local artists to create one-of-a-kind large-scale murals in the heart of downtown that reflect Laramie’s cultural assets. Founded in 2011, the Laramie Mural Project was a collaboration between the University of Wyoming Art Museum, local Laramie artists and the Laramie Main Street Alliance. Currently, the project is co-hosted by Laramie Main Street and the Laramie Public Art Coalition.

To learn more about the project, visit us on Pinterest and Facebook