Our Summer 2010 Trip...Headed West This Time travel blog

the fancy fence created from metal found near the railroad tracks!

the wetland area at the botanic gardens

this engine is on display at the botanic gardens

we saw many sculptures in the gardens - this one is created...

the flowers everywhere were so pretty!

the old governor's mansion is now a museum

the dining room in the governor's mansion

seal of Wyoming in the governor's den

the mansion had a fallout shelter in the 1950's (lots of missiles...

one of the many bedrooms in the mansion

and don't you wonder when something you own is in a history...

the Nelson Museum had many fancy saddles in its collections


another saddle



Mr. Nelson was a big game hunter




he also collected lots of different old western memorabilia, especially about lawmen...

Fred liked all the old gun collections

getting ready for a gunfight - someone cheated!

one deputy is wounded and another shot dead

but officer, I only shot in self defense!

Don't string me up! I promise - I am innocent!

state capitol building in Cheyenne


leader of women's suffrage in Wyoming

senate chambers - black granite on desks

house chambers

rotunda dome

details in the building

look at the detail in this door hinge!

a mural in a meeting room - the capitol had lots of...

looking toward the depot from the capitol

that is a Tiffany chandelier!

looking from the senate chambers toward the house chambers

the house and senate stained glass skylights were also Tiffany!

"The Spirit of Wyoming" statue on the Capitol lawn

lots of intricate details on the building outside too - prairie chickens...

We walked and walked and walked today, learning more about Cheyenne and its history! Our first stop was at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens which were quite lovely and had several distinctly different areas such as wetlands, desert plants, flower gardens, wooded areas, a lake, and more. We were both surprised at how much variety the botanic gardens could display in a region that gets only an annual precipitation of about 14 inches. In one section there was an old train engine; it was not as large as the Big Boy, but interesting, especially because of the hand wrought fence built around it. The fence was created from metal pieces collected alongside local tracks by a train engineer over many years. As we left we were very surprised to see that the car next to ours had a license plate cover that declared it was from Carrollton, Texas! We figured we would never be able to find the occupants from the car since the botanic gardens were so big, but what a small world!

We also visited the Governor’s Mansion we’d learned about yesterday and toured the Wyoming Capitol Building which was first built in 1886 – 1887, and enlarged in1890 and again from 1915 – 1917. The Capitol looked quite up to date, so I asked when it was renovated and found out that was done from 1974 – 1980; it has been well cared for to look as good as it does. The granite topped desks of the legislators and senators were gorgeous, and I loved the details in the building’s construction. The Tiffany stained glass in the ceilings of both chambers was very beautiful, as was the stained glass in the rotunda dome. The dome itself is covered in 24 carat gold leaf and, at almost 150 feet tall, is visible from all roads entering the capital city. Outside the front of the Capitol stands a statue of Esther Morris, who played a strong role in getting women equal suffrage. Wyoming was the first government in the world to grant women the right to vote, way back in 1869!

Gluttons for learning, we toured the Wyoming State Museum next, and had fun completing the children’s guide to the museum with its ten galleries that tell the story of Wyoming from pre-historic times to the present. My favorites were the galleries on Native Americans, the geology of the state, the dinosaurs, the settlers, and the animals. We still had more to see, so rather than drive back to the ranch for lunch, we stopped in at a Subway in town. There we met the man in charge of all the volunteers for Frontier Days and he invited us to be ushers at the concert Friday night! All we had to do was wear jeans and a white cowboy style shirt and then we could watch the Kiss concert for free! Depending on how the motorcycle repair goes and when we get it back to load into the RV, we may just help out.

We weren’t done with museums yet, though, since we’d heard that the private Nelson Museum of the West had some wonderful collections put together by Bob Nelson, the founder and owner of the museum. As we wandered through the museum and looked at its many collections of big game hunting specimens, fancy saddles, fine leather goods, miniature guns, military uniforms, and old western memorabilia, we began to wonder who this Bob Nelson was, how he’d made his money, and just how many safaris he’d been on! When we were ready to leave, I decided to ask the docent a couple questions about the founder of the museum. I figured he was maybe a cattle baron, but guess who was right there at the desk in the office – Mr. Nelson himself. He introduced himself, told us he’d been on ten African safaris plus other hunting trips to Asia, Alaska, and Canada. He explained he was an attorney but mainly loved being an art collector. In talking with him about his life, we figured out he was 68 years old. A very interesting guy!

We had tickets to the old time melodrama at the historic Atlas Theater for the evening and we also wanted to see the town’s gunfighter show, so we stayed in town, walked around and looked at more of the historic buildings, and then settled in to enjoy the gunfighter show, which was a lot of fun! Then it was time to go see the melodrama which was complete with lots of audience participation, including boos and hisses for the villains and oohs and aahs for the hero and heroine. The original play featured characters including Marshall Bronco Bama and Pretty Palin as well as Deputy Jayne Wayne, plus villains named Bertie Dastard and Lolita L’Amour. This end to our long day was lots of fun too!

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