Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Wyoming

State 45:

Welcome to the last post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I have only featured 45 of our beautiful United States because our wandering has  never taken us to Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island or Vermont.

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next and final state of my series is


Wyoming became the 44th state on July 10, 1890. The Capital is Cheyenne.


Welcome to Wyoming

The Wyoming welcome signs feature the copyrighted symbol of a Bucking Horse and Rider that has been used on Wyoming license plates since 1936. According to legend the Bucking Horse and Rider is based on the early 1900’s horse Steamboat, “the horse that couldn’t be ridden”.

My husband and I are huge fans of the Longmire mysteries by Craig Johnson. I’ve read all of them except his latest The Western Star (I’m on the waiting list at the library). Set in the small fictional town of Durant in Absaroka County somewhere near Sheridan and the Montana border, the stories feature Sheriff Walt Longmire and a wonderful cast of characters. With beautiful descriptions of Wyoming and the Bighorn Mountains, page turning mysteries, and great dialog Johnson’s books are hard to put down. Boy Howdy!

Bighorn mountains in Wyoming
Storm over the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming
Storm over the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first national park and is one of the most popular national parks in the U. S. The national park covers over 3,000 square miles. We spent several days exploring and as we drove through the park we stopped to explore the geysers, natural formations, hot springs, rivers, waterfalls, lakes and so much more.

Yellowstone is famous for it’s wildlife. Huge bison herds roam freely through the park and often stop traffic. Elk and many other animals are frequently seen.

If you love waterfalls you won’t be disappointed in Yellowstone.

Our time was limited in Grand Teton National Park but we were able to take in the majesty of the spectacular landscape.

On one of our trips we left the Black Hills of South Dakota and traveled into Wyoming to see the Devils Tower. As we drove along we could see the tower jutting up from the prairie. Our campsite at Devils Tower KOA had a great view of the tower.

As we took a hike around the base of the tower images from the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” popped into my head. There were climbers on the tower and some had made it all the way to the top.

We enjoyed our stay at Peter D’s RV Park in Sheridan on our way to Alaska in 2013 so much that we stopped there again on our return trip. With a view of the Bighorn mountains, a historic town to explore, and dinner at the Wyoming Rib and Chop House it was a worth a return visit.

On our return trip from Alaska, we drove south from Sheridan through the high plains where we saw ranches, several herds of pronghorn antelope, and prairie dogs beside the road. We spent a night in Casper, Wyoming at Ft. Caspar RV Park where we visited Fort Caspar on the North Platte River.


To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota    Mississippi     Missouri     Montana     Nebraska     Nevada      New Hampshire     New Mexico      New York     North Carolina    North Dakota      Ohio     Oklahoma     Oregon     Pennsylvania    South Carolina     South Dakota     Tennessee     Texas     Utah     Virginia   Washington     West Virginia     Wisconsin

Wyoming High Plains to Rocky Mountains in Colorado to Missouri

Day 102: Sunday, August 25, 2013. Currently in Blue Springs Missouri.

Fort Caspar, Wyoming
Fort Caspar, Wyoming

After leaving Sheridan we drove through the high plains where we saw ranches, several herds of pronghorn antelope, and prairie dogs beside the road. We spent a night in Casper, Wyoming at Ft. Caspar RV Park where we visited Fort Caspar on the North Platte River.

Relaxing at our campsite by the Big Thompson River in Loveland, CO
Relaxing at our campsite by the Big Thompson River in Loveland, CO

Before heading into the plains of Kansas  we stopped for two nights at Riverview RV Park in Loveland, Colorado where we had a campsite right on the Big Thompson River. Kicking back and listening to the river was pure heaven.

The next day we drove about 30 miles to the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park to make the drive along Trail Ridge Road. On our visit to the park Memorial Day weekend in 2011 we attempted the drive but had to stop near the beginning of the road because of snow on the road. The drive was beautiful and we saw plenty of wildlife. We went over the highest point of the Trail Ridge Road. At 12,183 feet, it was the highest elevation we have been to on this entire trip.

The drive from Loveland to our next stop at the Wakeeney KOA in Kansas took us through cattle country. We drove by stockyards with more cattle than I have ever seen. The winds were strong all day and Henry was fighting a strong headwind for much of the day. We passed by huge wind farms in Colorado and Kansas.  After driving almost 400 miles we stopped in Wakeeney, Kansas for the night to rest up before another long day of driving through Kansas.

The next morning we continued our trek east through Kansas where we continued to see cattle and fields of corn, wheat, and other grains. Wild sunflowers grew beside the highway. We started hitting city traffic in Topeka and drove through Kansas City, the biggest city in Missouri. Going through the city was a lot like going through downtown Atlanta – not fun. We spent the night in Blue Springs Campground, a nice, quiet county park in Blue Springs, Missouri. Our wildlife sighting of the day was two deer in the park.

Washington to Wyoming

Day 96: Monday, August 19, 2013. Currently in Sheridan, Wyoming

Grand Coulee Dam, Washington
Grand Coulee Dam, Washington

Our homeward journey took us through Washington state where we passed by Grand Coulee Dam. We left the state highways behind when we got on I-90 east of Spokane. We traveled through the panhandle of Idaho into Montana where we had several miles of a long, steep grade before crossing the Continental Divide.

Our first night in Montana was at Campground St. Regis where wood carvings are scattered around the campground. As we continued east on I-90 through Montana we passed by a wildfire close to the west bound lanes. Flames could be seen from the interstate and the the fire crews were hard at work. We spent our second night at Camp Three Forks where I woke up to a beautiful Montana Sunrise.

Two nights in Sheridan, Wyoming for chores and then we will continue to be homeward bound.

Day 13: Sightseeing and Shopping in Wyoming

Day 13: May 28, 2013.  Peter D’s RV Park, Sheridan, Wyoming

We took care of a few housekeeping things before going sightseeing in downtown Sheridan. Henry climbed up on the roof of the RV to check on the hail damage. There was a hole in the living room vent cover which he patched with duct tape. You can fix anything with either duct tape or WD40, right?

Once that chore was completed we hit Main Street in Sheridan for a little shopping. We browsed a few shops with everything from shoes to western wear. One shop displayed spurs, cowboy hats, saddles, and cowboy boots of every color and style.

A stop at Safeway for a few supplies and we were back at the campground. Later in the day we returned to town to do a little sightseeing at the historic Sheridan Inn. The Inn is now closed so we could only explore outside and peek in the windows. Buffalo Bill Cody made the inn his home whenever he was in Sheridan and was part owner from 1894 to 1902. The inn is located across the street from the train station.

We enjoyed a locally brewed amber ale from the Blacktooth Brewing Company with our dinner of baby back ribs at the Wyoming Rib and Chop House.

Day 12: Wildlife Sighting and Hailstorms

Day 12: Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 2013. Midland, South Dakota to Sheridan, WY. Peter D’s RV park Site 30. 356 miles traveled.

You never know what to expect when traveling cross country – camels in a field, sudden storms, or mule deer walking through your campground. There’s never a dull moment.

We stopped at a scenic overlook on the interstate so I could get some pictures of the Badlands. There is a wonderful scenic drive through the middle of the Badlands that we enjoyed a few years ago but to save time we skipped it on this trip. A view from the interstate was the closest we would get. As I was taking pictures saw a mule deer walk by just down the hill from where I was standing.

The sky started turning black all around us and it looked like severe weather was on its way. As we were getting close to Spearfish, South Dakota the rain was coming down so hard we couldn’t see. We pulled off the road to wait out the storm. Pea size hail began pounding the roof and hood of the truck.

Hail on the truck window near Spearfish, South Dakota
Hail landed outside my window during a hailstorm near Spearfish, South Dakota.
Hailstorm near Spearfish, South Dakota
Stopped on the side of I-90 to wait out a hailstorm near Spearfish, South Dakota. There is pea size hail on the road.

It was pretty scary stuff! We stopped at a rest area in Wyoming to check out the the vent covers and skylights in the RV. There were scratches but nothing seemed to be broken. Henry inspected them later and discovered a hole in one of them he was able to patch.

We continued to see storms almost all the way to Sheridan, Wyoming. The sun came out shortly before we arrived. As we entered the RV park, piles of pea sized hail lined the side of the road.  An RV across from us had all of her roof vents destroyed. We barely missed being in the middle of a second storm.

We were very grateful to arrive at our destination safe and sound. We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon and even saw some mule deer ambling across the hill in the campground.