So this most recent 4th of July I decided to go visit my family up in Billings, Montana. At my current residence in Denver, Colorado this involved a roughly 8 hour drive through one of the most boringly shaped states in the USA.
I’m no stranger to roadtrips and I love them, if you want another good roadtrip story check out my articles on the Mongol Rally.
I have made this trip a lot but this time I decided to see what some of the towns along the route had to offer besides gas fill ups and injections of roadtrip snacks into my veins. Wyoming has a pretty mixed reaction from people in the States and anywhere else in the planet usually gets a “where?” reaction. I’m going to do my best to dispel that thought.
Wyoming is a weird place with weird people and weird sites. That’s meant in a good way, who doesn’t like weird stuff? In a state with so few people and such a large area, things start to go off the rails a bit. Lets get started with some of the sites worth a quick stop.
First Stop – Cheyenne – A stuffed penguin and the “World’s Largest Gas Station”
Back in the 30s the rules were different. A rich guy could pay to bring a penguin to Wyoming as a mascot for his resort and that was just fine. However, knowledge of the penguins livable climate may not have been as prevalent and the bird died on the way. It was then decided to stuff this penguin and stick it in the lobby of The Little America.
Second Stop – Chugwater – Chili and Milkshakes for Breakfast
Chugwater is a small town of population 200 you’ll see on I-25 north of Cheyenne. They advertise their chili prominently on billboards along the way so that’s a good a reason as any to stop at 9:30 am. Here is their site.
Their other main tourism draw is Wyoming’s oldest functioning soda fountain.
So naturally we stopped in and got some chili and a milkshake at 9:30 in the morning and I regret nothing.
This was also the first encounter we had with a Jackalope.
Now a jackalope is a mythical creature that is a combination of a rabbit and an antelope. Their image is pretty prominent in Wyoming and I’m not completely sure they think it isn’t real.
Third Stop – Guernsey State Park – Million Dollar Outhouse
In the pretty beautiful location that is Guernsey State Park where one can go for hiking, boating, and general outdoors fun there is also something for those of use with more novel roadtrip tastes. There is what is know as the Million Dollar Privy, which is basically an outhouse that ended up being way too expensive but they already sunk the money into it so they had to finish it. If you have to make a bathroom stop, I strongly recommend this one.
Fourth Stop – Douglas – World’s Largest Jackalope and the 2nd Largest Jackalope
Douglas is another small town (I mean that term is relative here) sound on I-25 of Casper.
It has a homie feel complete with a tiny main street and just about every possible cliche one could imagine for a mid-west town. Additionally, it has a visitor center with the world’s largest jackalope!
As far as statuesque representations of mythical creatures goes, it is top notch. Also in the visitors center is a train museum where people can wander about old carriages and engines and have a look back in time.
Just a few blocks down there is another jackalope replica, it used to be the largest but due to the visitor center going up it is now only the 2nd largest jackalope in the world. Basically everything I said about the largest jackalope applies here, but slightly smaller.
On the way out of Douglas there is also a jackalope silhouette watching over you from a mountain as you leave. Like their version of Batman.
Fifth Stop – Casper – T-Rex and Clear Copyright Infringement
On our halfway point on this roadtrip we stopped in Casper, which is almost exactly in between our start and end locations. Casper is a larger town (again, relatively) than all the previous ones besides Cheyenne. Our first stop was the Tate Geological Museum that has a large T-Rex replica out front. During the night it is also lit up much like they did in the prehistoric era.
The museum itself is also worth a visit and should only take and hour to get through while you upgrade your mind.
After the mental museum workout you will need to satisfy your gigantic appetite. My recommendation is Sanford’s Pub and Grub.
This place is basically a giant lawsuit for image theft. It has famous Hollywood characters, Looney Tunes, and it looks like a Chili’s took cocaine on the inside.
As far as identity goes, it’s all over the place.
They also have the largest menus I’ve seen. I don’t mean from selection, I mean the physical size is gigantic.
Overall the service was a bit slow but the food was pretty decent so give it a stop if only for the novelty.
That’s all for Part 1 on Wyoming but I’ll discuss more on it in a 2nd part soon as well as Yellowstone National Park and some of the small towns in Montana that we also visited on this trip so control yourselves and keep your pants on. Until then here is an anatomically correct Buffalo statue from The Rock Stop gas station in northern Wyoming.