October 3, 2008

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Explore Evanston, Wyo.)

That pretty much sums up my day on Thursday.

My day started before sunrise at a hangar at Cheyenne's airport. I was being sent to Evanston, Wyo., with some folks from work and the governor to take pictures of an event one of our programs was having there.

I hadn't been to Evanston in many, many years, and I must say: I was impressed.

The town has been very progressive in making improvements to its community - particularly in restoring old buildings to preserve their history and open them up for modern use.

The downtown was quaint, the people enthusiastic and nice, and the surrounding environment was pretty. Like I said, I was impressed.

We spent a lot of time at the old rail park, which they are revamping and turning into a community center of sorts with lots of space for a variety of functions.

One of the completed buildings is the old machine shop, which was awesome, and they are currently working on restoring the rail yard's old roundhouse. Train cars used to be loaded onto a giant wheel in the middle of the roundhouse which would spin to move the cars from one track to another. Their vision for the old building is pretty cool, and I definitely want to see it when it's done.

We also checked out the Evanston Hotel built in 1912. Our tour guide told us how it used to be the place to eat a nice dinner in town. Then it became the place to avoid when gambling moved in. The place got really rundown, but they are in the process of cleaning it up. It's nothing but a construction zone now, but you can see how it used to be nice. Their newest addition to the place is two pretty skylights, which I bet will look amazing in the renovated space.

Later we strolled down the Bear Parkway, the scenic recreation trail through town. The trail follows a river, and again the work they did was astounding. They apparently pulled mounds of trash from the river, then hauled I don't know how many tons of river rock in to shore up the banks and create waterfalls and eddies that are now used for recreational purposes. The trail runs about three miles one way and it isn't unusual to see moose in the path before you. It was really nice and very pretty, and in better shoes I would have been happy to walk the whole thing.

But I wasn't in good shoes at all. I was completely unprepared for the amount of walking we did. I thought we'd mostly be strolling around downtown, but no. After construction sites, tours of museums, about two miles down a recreation path, and yes, some stolling, my feet were on fire. Lesson learned: Bring something besides heels - even though they were low ones - on my next trip.

Fortunately, we also did some driving around, which me and my feet couldn't have been happier about.

After a long day we finally boarded the jet again for the 50 minute flight home.

Did I mention this is totally the way to go?

An old caboose (such a fun word to look at) at the rail park...

An old dining car at the rail park they want to maybe turn in to a diner...

Evanston's tribute to 9-11...

A gazebo and park they are working on to celebrate the history of the Asian culture that settled there...

The gazebo roof...

On the Bear Parkway recreation trail...

A fire pit on the Parkway. Oh, the social outings I would have here!

On the plane...

After the plane...exhausted, sore and happily at home...


  1. Your job sounds awesome! I love how your find the quirky positive things about our state. You help me appreciate it so much more. Thank you!

  2. You do find the neatest things, Kimberly. I love the narrations you give, and the humor. You would be a good journalist. Ahhh...the last picture looks more like it!


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