I Fell In Love With Wyoming

Spoiler alert: Wyoming was by far my favorite place on our cross-country road trip.

And it was unexpected, too. I’ve made so many quips about how there’s nothing in Wyoming, it’s such a boring state, how could anyone live there? I didn’t expect to fall in love with it as hard as I did–I felt legitimately heavy-hearted to leave.

I’m not even into scenery, people. Even the most dramatic landscapes are underwhelming to me. I find peoplewatching and bustling cities much more interesting.

BUT LOOK AT THIS VIEW. JUST LOOK AT IT. And a photo can’t even really capture the Big Horn Basin in all its glory.

Be still my heart.

Big Horn Basin

The main “thing” we did in Wyoming was go to Yellowstone National Park, but that’ll get its own post. After hiking and taking in breathtaking views all day, I was craving barbecue for dinner–something about the rural setting made me need ribs. We went to the restaurant at the Irma Hotel in Cody, Wyoming, which is definitely a local institution.

Our waitress had a southern accent, we sat next to a saloon door, and there were at least twenty animal heads mounted on the wall. It was so country, and I loved it.

Plus the ribs were good too.

For lodging, we stayed in Powell (the next town east) with a farmer named Rod from Air Bnb. He has a little field reserved for people traveling to/from Yellowstone where you can stay in a teepee or a sheepwagon. Sleeping on the floor isn’t really my style, so I booked us the sheepwagon. It was incredibly cozy and such a unique way to camp.

In the morning, Rod called out “Breakfast! Good morning!!” and we scurried out of the wagon to a communal picnic area. He served up pancakes and sausage from the pigs on his farm and we got to chat with him and the other travelers–two college students also on a road trip from Oregon (what are the chances?) and an energetic family of 5. Matt especially hit it off with Rod, and they discussed the environment for about an hour after breakfast. Rod changed Matt’s whole perspective about how to solve our energy problems, which he said was life-changing for him.

Wyoming was completely unforgettable–the stunning beauty and small-town rural charm captivated me immediately.

I even found this charming, in a “I can’t believe this is happening” kind of way.

trump campaign sign

In all seriousness, we fell in love with this state and when our friends ask about our favorite part of the trip, we don’t hesitate to declare how much we enjoyed Wyoming. As we drove off to South Dakota, I couldn’t help but think that this wasn’t goodbye to my newfound love, but rather a “see you later.” Or “see you soon,” I hope.

For more cross-country road trip posts, click here

26 thoughts on “I Fell In Love With Wyoming

  1. Simply gorgeous! I love landscapes and since taking my master’s degree in landscape archaeology, it’s given me a whole new understanding. I enjoy the aesthetics but I can also “see” (if you like) the natural processes that have shaped them.

    Plugging my professional work here, but feel free to use any information from this article or read up on the conservation challenges of the place you just visited too :): http://www.gamewarden.org/conservation-challenge-yellowstone


  2. It’s been ages since I’ve seen anything else except the northwest corner of the state (I was 9 when I went through and am now old enough to be your father), but I have to say that the Jackson Hole/Tetons area has to be one of my favorite places on the planet.


  3. One of my D.C. roommates is from Wyoming and she absolutely loves it there but I never gave much thought to Wyoming until I met her. My friends and I were going to stop at Yellowstone on our way back from Seattle over spring break (and even took like, a five hour detour out of our way to do so) but ended up being kicked out because of the weather (more like, we’re closed turn around and leave). I’d love to visit Yellowstone sometime since I missed it over spring break and these photos are gorgeous, Sabina…sounds like Wyoming is the place to check out. I’ll have to get back to that area of the country someday. Western Montana is gorgeous, too, so I imagine Wyoming is something a bit like that with its own flair.


  4. What a contrast between South Dakota and Wyoming, and then Montana. I had been through SD heading towards Yellowstone, la Roche Jaune as it was named by the French Canadian explorers, a few decades before Lewis and Clark.

    From Indian country, SD, into Cowboy country, Wyoming. A few weeks later, on our way back towards the East, we made a stop at the Little Bighorn Battlefield site in Montana, which added a different dimension to our understanding of the history of that area.

    Spent a few days in Cody four years ago. Came in from the north, on I 90. through Sheridan, and Bighorn National Forest, and Lovell. Really awesome landscapes.

    I enjoyed the lunch we had at the Irma Hotel. But what I remember most is the visit to the Buffalo Bill Heritage Centre and the night at the rodeo. The BBHC complex is amazing — spent hours mainly in the Plains Indian museum and the Western Art museum.

    One of the highlights of my visit there was the rodeo : the friendly atmosphere, the fact that this activity is really anchored into the environment. I’ll always remember the MC during the rodeo, when he asked people from outside the US to stand up, then the people from outside the state, welcoming us in both cases. Then he asked if anybody was from California, waiting a second before saying “Welcome to the US of A!”.

    The whole Great Northern Plains country was a discovery for me.

    A few photos here, if you’re interested :
    – Cody WY https: //www.flickr.com/photos/fernanc/albums/72157658708725421
    – Little Big Horn Battlefield : https://www.flickr.com/photos/fernanc/6097887390/in/album-72157624474641576/


  5. Who in the heck says Wyoming is boring?! We went on a trip when I was around 12/13 or so to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, etc. Kind of a Wyoming tour. It was amazing and hands down my favorite family vacation we ever went on. I cannot wait to take my own family there some day! :-)


  6. Sounds like an incredible experience.
    Sometimes the strangest of places (and with this I mean the ones we would never expect) can touch us the the most unexpected ways. And I think that’s the most meaningful of experiences.


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