It’s Travel Tuesday and having completed my assignments for the upcoming and wonderful Thanksgiving Day, I now take liberty to daydream back to a wonderful Wyoming hike at Vedauwoo. This and every day, I’m thankful that the natural beauty of this and many other sites are located within national forests and national parks – the forethought of earlier generations.
Late September at 8,200 feet already brought cool temperatures. We bundled up and joined our hosts with the Friendship for of Cheyenne who had packed up a wonderful picnic to sustain us as we explored this wonderful world of granite.
Located between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming the outcrops extend over a vast area. Arriving at the park, we find this mass of rocks is breathtakingly beautiful in its wildness and enormity and intriguing in varying shades of pink/gray. The Arapaho referred to the area as the Land of the Earthborn Spirit. The granite formation still brings out the creative spirit as performers bring dance, poetry and theatre among the rocks.
Like looking at clouds intently, you can see the shapes of animals or human in the formations of Vedauwoo, most visibly the appearance of a turtle and a giant human.
There is also something in those rocks that calls “Come climb me.” And climb we did.
We could see more experienced (and younger?) hikers and climbers on other areas in the outcrops and hoodoos (spires with varying depth). A couple of hikers who knew Vedauwoo well lead the way.
Up, up, up. The climb was beautiful and aside from a couple of breaks to catch my breath in the thin air, not particularly difficult. I was mesmerized climbing those beautiful rocks. From a perch midway up, I couldn’t help but wonder what the view was a couple of centuries ago when buffalo in the thousands moved in herds and the spiritual Arapaho people had not yet been removed to the Wind River Reservation.
On reaching the summit of our particular formation, the view went for miles. As our eyes searched for a horizon, we celebrate our arrival on the windswept rocks with a deep breath and with appreciation for the experience.