Laramie

I had driven past this town on the interstate soon after I entered Wyoming, stopping only to get gas at a lone gas station off the first exit in town (as I did again today) who’s price was 30 cents less than anywhere else in town. Both times I planned it so I would have an almost empty gas tank to maximize my savings (18 gallons x 30 cents is over 5 bucks so, beancounter that I am, I thought it a worthwhile endeavor).

Wednesday I drove back down to Laramie (or LaRamie, given the name of the gentleman the town was named after) to check out the town. I went back down to Rawlins and took Interstate 80 east, retracing my entry into the state. It is about 220 miles from Lander and it took about 3 hours to get there.

I left early in the morning as I would have quite a full day. As I drove south I saw mountains in the distance which were silhouetted by the morning sun and it occurred to me that they were in my mirror as I drove north so I had been denied a look at them.

Laramie has a population of a little over 32,000 and is home to the University of Wyoming. I stopped at Walmart after getting gas to buy some UW swag and then headed downtown. Part of their campus is adjacent to one of the main streets going in to town from where I had gassed up and it is beautiful.

I stopped in at the Visitor Center downtown to find out where the handful of things I wanted to see could be found and was pleased to learn that they were all within reasonable walking distance. I found a free all-day parking lot, put on my full-rim hat and meandered through town. It was such a nice day that I decided against visiting two museums in town but as you will soon see, made up for it by taking a walking tour of many murals which have been painted around town.

The train station wasn’t open to the public but there was a walkway up over the tracks and I hoped a train might come through while I was up there but was denied that photo op. I heard them rumble through town a few times during my walk but they never passed through while I was up there waiting.

But the extra height did me a nice view of part of the downtown area:

Being a college town I found it amusing to see this sizeable bar/restaurant called The Library. Their awning proclaimed “Don’t lie to your Mom. Tell her you’re at the Library”.

I spotted this beautifully decorated angular rain gutter which carried the water from the roof of a building down to street level:

Here is a closer look at some of the tiles which made up the pattern:

Then I started in on the murals, which were scattered throughout one side of the downtown area, often in back alleys.

I suspect the artist took the liberty of inserting himself into this scene:

This is a larger than life map of Wyoming, painted on the side of a building. It is enormous:

And next to the map was an even bigger pronghorn antelope. The cars at the bottom of the photo give you an idea of just how big it is (and you can see part of the map on the left side of the photo):

Next I found a long series of fish paintings. Please bear with me because I think they are all pretty good:

And one last mural I found as I walked back to my car:

Next stop – Cheyenne, which is about 45 minutes further east on Interstate 80.