Closed cells and open ranges

There have a been a lot of bad boys in Wyoming. Last night we revisited Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which does not hold up at all, but did put us in an outlaw frame of mind. (“Raindrops keep falling on my head?”  What were they thinking?)

So we started our day in the town of Rawlings, home of the old and the current state penitentiary. What is now called the Wyoming Frontier Prison opened in 1901 and closed in 1981. Frankly, this place made Alcatraz look like a luxury hotel!  Big heating problem, which meant that the inside was barely ever 20 degrees warmer than it was on the outside. We are talking Wyoming – where sub-zero temperatures are fairly common.

Great tour, which included the kitchen, cafeteria, exercise yards and the gas chamber. Lots of gruesome stories, too!

All in all, we were glad to get out into the warmth, and head for Saratoga. This town features hot springs, which is I guess where they got the idea for the name, if someone there had ever been to New York State. We ‘dined’ at the Hotel Wolf, which has been serving guests since 1893.

That was a nice break on our way to Centennial, founded 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, when gold was discovered nearby. The gold ran out, but this cute town remains.

We had a mission – to stop at the Nici Self Historical Museum to see a colleague of Bob Nelson from yesterday’s Rock Springs Museum.  (Are you keeping up?) She was a most charming lady – and a transplant who grew up in Montclair, NJ, and married a boy from Cleveland.  Of course, she was wonderful.  It’s always the transplants who appreciate and support the history of a place like Centennial, right?

It was then on to the town of Laramie, a university town and evidently another bastion of right-thinking in this conservative state.  The students seemed mostly gone, but the ice cream store was blessedly open to cheer us as we strolled the streets. You cannot miss the fact that you are in the West.

Ice cream depleted, we went the rest of the way on our journey, arriving in Cheyenne, which is our last stop in Wyoming.  This weekend is focused on the reorganization of our luggage, preparing for the flight home.  What to ship?  What to take?  What to store? These are the exciting questions we will be answering this weekend.

4 thoughts on “Closed cells and open ranges

  1. That gas chamber is a sight to chill the blood.The photograph’s gruesome enough ;seeing it in reality must have been even more so.
    Still, good humour restored with that other delightful shot of Don in the cell in prison garb and beard.What a trouper!.

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