Wyoming is a state in the U.S.A. established in 1890 as the country’s 44th state. It is the least populous state, with around 579,000 inhabitants as of its 2019 Census. Wyoming might still have more open plains than its people, but that is one of the state’s charming points.
Wyoming is known for attracting tourists with its national parks. One of them is Yellowstone, the country’s first national park, established in 1872. Its beautiful landscapes are rich with natural resources such as coal and petroleum. As a result, the state gets most of its income from tourism and mining
Abundant in Natural Resources
Wyoming has a reputation for producing coal, natural gas, uranium, petroleum, and bentonite. It is home to two of the world’s largest coal mines, the Black Thunder Thermal Coal Mine and the North Antelope Rochelle Mine. It has the potential for developing alternative energy forms, like solar, wind and geothermal.
Wyoming is all about equality. Its official motto is “Equal Rights,” and it has the nickname of being the country’s “Equality State.” Wyoming was the first state to grant women’s suffrage in 1869 and the right to hold public office. The first female governor elected also came from the state. Nellie Ross was the wife of Governor William Bradford Ross. When he passed away, she assumed the post when the people elected her to finish his tenure. She served the state for two years, from 1925 to 1927, and continues to be the only female governor in the state.
A Land of Parks and Recreation
Wyoming has a lot of parks for anyone’s exploration. There are seven national parks aside from its state parks. Yellowstone is the most well-known and one of the largest in the country. One of the must-sees in Yellowstone is Old Faithful, the cone geyser that erupts every 40 to 90 minutes. Grand Teton National Park is a combination of two parks, the Grand Teton and Jackson Hole. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway is a great place to go for a picturesque drive. Its location between Yellowstone and Grand Teton means it hits two birds with one stone.
Wyoming appears landlocked because of its location. Montana is on its north, while Idaho, Utah, and a part of Montana occupy its west. Colorado and a part of Utah are on its south, and Nebraska and South Dakota cover its east. Despite its neighboring states’ vast lands, Wyoming also has islands in its territory. There are around 32 named islands in the areas of Green River, Jackson Lake, and Yellowstone Lake.
Hot or Cold Destinations
Aside from the parks, Wyoming has other attractions. These depend on one’s temperature preference. The largest hot spring in the country is part of Yellowstone. The Grand Prismatic Spring is 370 feet in size with a depth of 121 feet. What makes this remarkable is the spring’s beautiful rainbow colors. Jackson Hole is the place to be when it comes to skiing. Other activities to do in this area are visiting ranches and wildlife safaris.
A Dinophile’s Dream
Pre-history fans and paleontologists will like to explore what Wyoming offers their interests. Fossil Butte National Monument houses fossils from a lake once in the area of South Wyoming. Some of those fossils reportedly were dinosaur bones. It is also one of the state’s national parks. Another exciting attraction is the Fossil Bone Cabin outside of Medicine Bow. As its name suggests, the cabin’s materials are from dinosaur bones. Wyoming joins six other states with having a government-assigned dinosaur. The Triceratops has been Wyoming’s dinosaur since 1994.
Wyoming is also known as the Cowboy State. Most activities and trademarks of the state live up to the Western fantasy. Wyoming’s symbol is an ode to the cowboy called the Bucking Horse and Rider. The iconic horse even has a name: Steamboat. Vehicles are common in the state, but residents still have a horse or two. The official state sport is rodeo, which Wyoming established in 2003. The Cheyenne Frontier Days Festival is the best time to experience their cowboy culture. The festival happens every last week of July. It calls itself the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and Western celebration.
The Legend of the Jackalope
The origins of this mythical creature came from Douglas, Wyoming. Brothers Douglas and Ralph Herrick had the terrific idea of adding antlers to a jackrabbit. They sold the taxidermied chimeras and made up tall tales to anyone willing to buy them. These fearsome critters are common in bars and other similar establishments as decorations.
The Curious Case of the Bison
Wyoming’s official state mammal is the bison. These terrestrial animals have a convoluted relationship with humans. National Park Service reports that bison hurt humans more than bears at Yellowstone yearly. To keep their population balanced, the state deems hunting and killing them legal. To do so, one must get a Wyoming Game and Fish Department license. Bison meat is also a delicacy in the form of burgers.
Some of Wyoming’s beautiful scenery showed up in Hollywood movies. The country’s first national monument, the Devil’s Tower, had two major appearances. The monolith-looking rock formation was in Rocky IV and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. An honorable mention is Brokeback Mountain, written by Wyoming native Annie Proulx. The setting of the book is in the state’s mountains, but the filming took place in Canada instead. Despite not using the state’s landscapes, it piqued the curiosity of the movie’s fans to visit the area.
A Place to Be for Famous People
Wyoming is the birthplace of Jackson Pollock. The world-renowned American artist is famous for his work on abstract expressionism. Dana Perino is born in Wyoming but grew up in the neighboring state of Colorado. She was the White House Press Secretary during President George W. Bush’s tenure. Former vice president Dick Cheney is a bit of the opposite. He comes from Nebraska but grew up in Casper. He served as Wyoming’s representative for a decade. Most celebrities have ranches in the state, such as Glenn Close, Harrison Ford, and Sandra Bullock.
The Man Behind Buffalo Bill
One of Wyoming’s iconic personalities is William F. Cody. He founded the town that is now named after his surname. The American soldier and showman got his moniker from hunting buffalos. He is also the founder of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, an annual outdoor program. It gave audiences a glance at America’s past with cowboys and Native Americans.
Hemingway’s Favorite Place
The American novelist did a lot of writing in this state. He finished a Farewell to Arms in his stay at the Bighorn Mountains over Sheridan. He also wrote parts of his books like Death in the Afternoon and To Have and Have Not in the ranches he visited. He married his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, in Cheyenne, the state capital. He called the state a damn lovely country and is one of the places he loves aside from Africa.
Origin of J.C. Penney
The first J.C. Penney store was in the city of Kemmerer. Founder James Cash Penney, from whom the store got its name, set up shop on April 14, 1902, and the rest is history. J.C Penney is now synonymous with one of America’s greatest retail stores. There are over a thousand J.C. Penney stores in America now.
A Tale of Two Elevators
A quirky trivia about Wyoming is the almost complete lack of escalators in their malls or shops. The state only has two of them, both located in the city of Casper. The use of both elevators is for their banks. One of them is in First Interstate Bank, while the other is in Hilltop Bank.
The Outlier University
The University of Wyoming is the only public institution available in the state. The university existed when Wyoming was still a territory. It is land-grant university with 14,000 students from the other states and other countries Some popular course offerings are Nursing, Elementary Education, Psychology, and Law. The Wyoming Cowboys play football for the school.
Past is Always Present in Wyoming
Wyoming takes pride in its rich history and lush landscapes. It is a wonderful place to soak in culture and nature at the same time. There is something for everyone when visiting Wyoming. The adventurous will enjoy trekking through its beautiful plains and mountains. The intellectuals will get stimulated by historical re-enactments and fossils from years past. Anyone can partake in the cowboy way of life if they wish.