Range Roaming – Wyoming 2013 – Day 83

Another nerd day: Casper to Casper

Saturday July 6, 2013

Today I spend most of the day at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center. While you could cruise through this in an hour or two, it really deserves more than such a superficial glance. To do this place justice, you need to take off your watch and take yourself back in time. To get you in the mood, there are little tiles inlaid in the entry pavement with quotes from people who travelled the Oregon, California, Mormon or Pony Express trails.

Oh my, did I ever laugh when I read this tile in the entry way pavement. I cannot tell you how many mornings I woke up in Wyoming to a decent day, only to be nearly blown away by the end.

Once inside, take your time. Engage – pull out the drawers in the exhibits, do the interactive experiences, watch the videos. Talk to the docents who wander around – they are full of information they love to share. Stand out on the decking and try to imagine this landscape in the 1850s and 1860s – the bulk of Casper Mountain funneling emigrants west as they rounded the end of the Laramie Range and started into the hills.

The exhibits here are very well done. There is plenty to read and plenty of interactive exhibits. The introductory video and light show is a good overview. All of the galleries, which each tell the story of a particular trail (Oregon, Mormon, California, etc), are woven together nicely with dates and how these trails were important to this particular region. I was impressed.
Yeah, I feel a bit this way.


I stick around for an afternoon presentation about how geology influenced the trail’s location in the landscape. The presentation is just okay, but I get a chance to chat with the presenter before the talk. He’s an older gentleman who’s worked all over the US but loves Wyoming the most. I ask him his view on the mechanics of the Heart Mountain Detachment and whether it was a slow or fast slide. I ask him what are the must-sees in the state. It’s fun to have a meaningful conversation and not have to answer any questions about bike touring for once!


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