We had done our research for Cheyenne in the same way as we do for everywhere we've visited, but even so, we started our day at the Tourist Information in the Railroad Depot this morning. Whilst my hero went to take a look around the railroad museum there in the building and Mary made an important phone call, I chatted to the chap about the walking tour we'd read about. Did he have a map, please? Any tips? Well, yes he did: The parking attendants are red hot here apparently, so rather than park on the street (which we had done) we might like to move the car into the multi storey car park where out of town plates can park all day for free.
Before moving the car though, we thought wed take a look at a couple of the figures in front of the depot, including this one.
Did I know that Wyoming had been the first to grant women the vote? No!
Having moved the car then and armed with the walking tour map in hand, we set off in the rapidly increasing temperatures. Here was a fine corner design in a renovated structure which we thought was the one described as a former department store.
But it didn't take us long to realise that many of the properties described in the tour brochure no longer exist. Yes, there were commemorative plates on the wall and, as above, markers to show where buildings had been, but to we strangers in town, none of this meant very much.
One building which still stood almost as shown in the leaflet was the Boyd building - and mindful that I was a Boyd before I was a Thomas, I quite liked that.
But mostly, we were standing looking at scenes such as this, doing our best to imagine how it might have been before it was all ripped apart and replaced by bland, modern blocks.
Whilst driving along the main street into the car park, I had spotted a shop I quite liked the look of and thinking we'd take a look in there and perhaps go in search of a coffee too, we found ourselves about to cross the road by this sign. Well, who would have thought it? Here we were, back on the Lincoln highway!
I promise that I didn't pay the man dressed in Western wear to go into Wyoming Home right on cue - if I had, I'd have asked him to linger a little longer to get a better photo!
Here was a delightfully friendly store, filled with the perfect things for our ranch home or log cabin. Since we have neither, we left empty handed, but hey, we know where to come for such things should we ever need them!
We stepped outside onto the pavement with brands along the kerbside and over the road to the western wear shop, following the advice of the ladies in Wyoming Home.
We found what we were looking for almost immediately, but couldn't resist a longer look around. My hero resisted the monochrome look...
and he decided to stick with his Panama hat too, thinking that the cowboy look might not travel so well.
With a last look at the historical panels outside the depot, we went in search of refreshment at the excellent Paramount cafe. Thankfully we had almost finished before the (very) tattooed lady customer began to floss her teeth! We quickly returned to the car and went on to the next place on our list: the Wyoming State Museum.
The outside of the building was unremarkable, but just inside were these lovely panels for each county in the state.
I loved the individual graphics and the typeface, finding each one to be rather interesting and worth a closer look. Except they were high up on the wall and the bright sunshine was rather dazzling.
As in any State Museum, the contents are eclectic and pretty numerous, so I simply focused on those topics I had found particularly interesting during the last three weeks. I was really glad to see the photograph of the Guernsey ruts taken from an angle we simply couldn't get.
The homesteading posters were interesting too, as were the larger, more comprehensive displays about the National Parks, especially concerning the reintroduction of wolves into the Yellowstone area.
As the State Capitol remains closed for renovation, there is a particular exhibit devoted to the building and the government. We'll just have to come again to visit the newly updated Capitol, for the plans and drawings appeared to be very impressive indeed.
Our final stop for the day - or so we thought - was the former Governors' Mansion. Built in 1905, the building was in a pleasant residential area for a time when the State Governor could welcome callers and live a fairly normal life, unencumbered by security concerns.
From the minute we walked in, the charming State Park Ranger made us welcome and set the scene beautifully, explaining all we needed to know before setting us free to wander around as we wanted.
The Governor's office had been furnished using authentic items from one time frame, making it feel comfortable and very personal.
Other rooms were similarly staged to different time frames, each one with a range of fascinating accessories.
So one of the bedrooms was styled as a teenager's room of the 1960s, with Beatles posters and a record player in the corner.
Downstairs was the laundry and next door, the fall out shelter, fully equipped with all the stock of essentail supplies, just in case.
Of course, we'd known we'd love the Mansion from the minute we stepped inside and saw the current resident sitting on the sofa. But the young member of State Parks staff had been extraordinarily attentive and thanking him as we left, we asked if he had any further recommendations for places we should see before leaving Cheyenne.
His suggestion was the Ames Monument, about thirty miles from the city, but well worth a visit in his opinion. So off we went!
The Monument was out in the wilds, high above the Interstate and with a distant view of the Rocky mountains somewhere there in the mist. On a warm afternoon, with a light breeze blowing it was simply gorgeous.
Even though it had looked like a small heap of stones from a distance, once we were there alongside, it was enormous. High on one side was a portrait of Oakes Ames and on the other side was one of his brother Oliver Ames.
Even the stop at the filling station was entertaining, as we sat watching the driver make use of the step ladder there by the pumps to reach and clean the windscreen of her huge lorry, not to mention the couple on the Harley at the next pump refuel and sort themselves out whilst chatting to Mary. So much to see, to do and to enjoy.
Long live the Road Trip!!