Casper

Friday I made the 146 mile, 2 1/2 hour drive east-southeast of Lander to Casper. I drove through Riverton to Shoshoni, as I had done when I went up to Thermopolis, but then continued straight on Highway 20 instead of turning left. There were some interesting rock formations to the left of the road shortly after I got through Shoshoni but other than that it was pretty much wide open road with not a whole lot to see. A pleasant drive nonetheless. For some reason it reminded me of the movie Vanishing Point.

I stopped briefly at a rest area about two thirds of the way between Lander and Casper and learned more there than I did at the Visitor Center/Chamber of Commerce in Casper. They, the rest area, had a great map of the state (not a highway map, which I have several of, but a map highlighting things in various parts of the state). There was also a map of the general Casper area (not a street map) which they, the Visitor Center, didn’t seem to have either. I learned that there are more pronghorn antelope in Wyoming than there are people (just as there are more hogs in my current home state of North Carolina than there are people – and fortunately most of the hogs are east of interstate 95 and not near Durham!). I learned that pronghorn have been clocked at 80 mph and coyotes at 30. But so much for trivia.

When I got to town it was mid-day and it was already over 90 degrees (it ultimately reached 96). The first thing I saw as I was searching for the Visitor Center was a bunch of kids enjoying this fountain downtown:

After talking with the folks at the Visitor Center I decided to go to an art museum in order to get out of the heat. I usually save museums for rainy days but this seemed like a good exception. I chose the Nicolaysen Museum of Modern Art and was not disappointed.

This bison was actually in a storage area! Several years ago many American cities had outdoor art objects with a different theme for each city. Apparently Casper chose bison.

And there were plenty of other things to enjoy:

There was also a display of “Women of the West” and these were some of my favorites:

Etta Place (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid):

Annie Oakley:

Sacajawea (who assisted Lewis & Clark, and who is buried at Fort Washakie, not far from Lander):

It was a nice, leisurely afternoon enjoying some great pieces of art. Some people are so talented!