Still a Runner

A Blog by Mary Lou Harris

The Outdoor Life, Western Style

Cheyenne sky at sunrise

Cheyenne sky at sunrise

There is no other way to say it. I’ve fallen in love with Cheyenne, Wyoming.

On a recent travel exchange with Friendship Force, I was introduced to this wonderful city and the surrounding area. The scenery, outdoor lifestyle, friendly people and food made for a memorable trip.

Our band of 16 travelers was hosted in the homes of Cheyenne Friendship Force club members. From my host’s home, after giving myself a couple of days to adjust to the 6,500 ft. elevation, I slipped out the door for some early morning runs. A nearby dirt road led me up a steep hill to the water tower and a ranch meeting the outskirts of the city.

Ranch sculpture at the crest of my gravel road run

Ranch sculpture at the crest of my gravel road run

I supplemented those runs with several hikes during the week. For our first hikes and sightseeing, we dressed in layers ready for weather changes and cooler temperatures as we would gradually climb to around 10,000 feet.

Our convoy route took us through Laramie, then slightly south dipping into northern Colorado for a few miles before turning north again. Along with fields of cattle and horses, we spotted antelope, mule deer, elk and goats. Sadly, we also saw fallen trees and others still standing but with dried dead limbs, evidence of the pine beetle destruction known as beetle kill. Enroute, the mostly brown flat land turned to hills, then craggy mountainous region.

With a stop and museum tour in Encampment, we enjoyed our first of several delicious picnic lunches eaten in the brisk, thin mountain air.

Aspen Alley

Aspen Alley

With fall weather changing from sunshine to rain to sleet and back to sunshine again, we  proceeded to  Aspen Alley and the Snowy Range. Making our way across Medicine Bow National Forest we appreciated the beauty of the gold leaves of the aspen where trees had not quite peaked, but were lovely nonetheless. Standing quietly at the edge of the forest, the aspen make a murmuring sound our hosts described as trembling.

Some of us decided to hike the road through the Alley and meet drivers on the opposite end. We then continued on driving by or making stops and short hikes at Silver Lake, Mirror Lake, Snowy Range Lookout points and Libby Flats at altitudes up to 10,800 feet.

As we hiked Aspen Alley, we spotted this ranch hidden from the road

Hiking Aspen Alley, we spotted this ranch hidden from the road

We stopped at the Continental Divide near Centennial (think James Michener’s novel by that title) where we later had stopped at the Old Corral for dinner. The building is authentic western with large tables and wooden walls. not to mention a worthwhile gift shop and a hotel, frequented by cyclists, hikers and sightseers.

Wyoming has a beautiful wide-open sky. This particular day, it put on a spectacular show with a morning rainbow that guided us through the first hour or so as we dipped south, closing our day with a distant evening lightning show during the dark drive back to Cheyenne.

Medicine Bow National Forest

Hiking Medicine Bow National Forest

So ends our first full day of this trip. So much more to tell on another Travel Tuesday.

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4 Comments»

  Mind Margins wrote @

Oh, I’m so jealous. I love Wyoming! Have a great rest of your trip.

  Still a Runner wrote @

Thanks. We are so fortunate to have regions within or country that are so different from one another.

  CJ Emery wrote @

Mary, really enjoy your emails and updates……have never been to that part of the country….it sounds spectacular.thanks for the great reports.  Hope you and Ray are doing well. cliff From: Still a Runner To: cjemeryjr@yahoo.com Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 5:00 PM Subject: [New post] The Outdoor Life, Western Style #yiv0616360408 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0616360408 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0616360408 a.yiv0616360408primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0616360408 a.yiv0616360408primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0616360408 a.yiv0616360408primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0616360408 a.yiv0616360408primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0616360408 WordPress.com | Still a Runner posted: “There is no other way to say it. I’ve fallen in love with Cheyenne, Wyoming.On a recent travel exchange with Friendship Force, I was introduced to this wonderful city and the surrounding area. The scenery, outdoor lifestyle, friendly people and fo” | |

  Still a Runner wrote @

Yes, doing well and good to hear from you. I’ll do another post on WY – maybe it will entice you to visit.


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