Headed West – Again – Day 4

7 Sep

Mountains, waterfalls, tundra, elk, bighorn sheep are all well and good but travel is not travel without a place like Swetville Zoo. Bill Swet retired from farming and in 1985 began creating metal creatures and displaying them in his yard just outside Fort Collins, Colorado. We did not get to meet Bill but we saw a lot of his work. Next time you’re in Fort Collins —–IMG_0487IMG_0556SONY DSCIMG_0526IMG_0517SONY DSC

From Fort Collins we went to Cheyenne, Wyoming we and took Happy Jack Road to Laramie. We ate lunch at the Bunkhouse Bar and Grill. A sign inside said, “Lunch safely; use condiments.”
After lunch we took in the Ames Brothers Memorial Pyramid – not the singing Ames Brothers of the 1950’s and 60’s, but the industrial magnate Ames Brothers of the 19th century. These Ames Brothers built a stone pyramid in the middle of nowhere. The pyramid is about 2 miles down a dirt road near Buford, Wyoming, the smallest town in the United States.IMG_0586
Not too far from the Ames Brothers’ pyramid is a giant head of Abe Lincoln, marking the original route of the Lincoln Highway.IMG_0582
We ended our day in Rawlins in Carbon County, Wyoming. We should have been suspicious when we saw that the name of the county was Carbon. Plus, the town next to Rawlins is Sinclair. Think oil refineries. The landscape is Martian, kind of like Copper Hill back in the day, though more a dirty brown rather than red Georgia clay. Here’s the view out of our motel window.IMG_0619
There is a golf course with deep green irrigated fairways bordered by sagebrush.IMG_0618IMG_0616
The local museum features Big Nose George Parrott who was lynched after robbing a bank. A local doctor got his brain for experimentation and another doctor, John Osborn, had a tannery in Denver make a pair of saddle Oxfords from Big Nose’s skin. (I can’t make this stuff up.) The Carbon County Museum does not allow photos of textiles and human remains. However, we did get a shot of the local mural featuring Big Nose George – note the shoes toward the bottom right. Another mural pays homage to Cattle Kate, who was lynched for rustling. There was not much going on in Rawlins in the late 1800’s, so crime was an excuse for group activity and continues to be celebrated today.IMG_0604IMG_0606
Today we saw pronghorn antelopes (two on the golf course) along with a bird that looks like a seagull. Here’s a picture for Ranger Jastram’s identification.IMG_0612SONY DSC
Tomorrow we head for the Grand Tetons. Maybe the scenery will improve.

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