While we were traveling, Lee and I started talking about how things were when we first started full timing. In the beginning we would take the time to stop and see things along our route, but in the last couple of years our trips seemed to be just getting from A to B as quickly as possible. The only exceptions to this were when we had our two months off in the year, but the pace of all other trips is a bit punishing.
This time we decided we were not going to rush and Lee wanted me to try and find interesting things to do along the way. My favorite app for finding the weird and unusual is Roadside America so I opened the app and took a look. There was a time when I was constantly looking at this but I am sorry to say I stopped doing it awhile back. It was waiting for me though and I quickly found a statue of Jim Bridger who is a famous mountain man.
Part of the problem with Roadside America is you don’t know if there is parking for an RV, so I had to look the address up in google maps and do a satellite view to see if there was a place to park. It looked like there was a big parking lot close by, so we pulled off the highway and drove a few miles into Fort Bridger to see the statue. Now that’s a lot of work just to see a statue, but if you don’t ever get off the interstate you never see anything. And sometimes it turns into an amazing surprise which is exactly what happened to us.
As we were pulling into the parking lot and finding a spot we noticed there were tons of building all around. There was also a picnic area and restrooms and we were both confused by what we were looking at. Turns out the statue is in front of the Fort Bridger Historic site which is a huge historical park. It cost $5 per person to get in but the park was packed full of buildings (36 in all) and was well worth the fee. It was also dog friendly, and we spent well over two hours walking through the park and looking at all the buildings. But first of course we saw the statue.
Once we entered the fort itself we saw that it had been many things. It was a trading post, a fort, and a Mormon settlement. Some of the buildings were re-creations, and others had survived the fires that had torched the settlement. It had a really interesting history and was extremely well done. ‘
The property is really large and was an interesting mix of recreations, original buildings, and layouts where buildings used to be. A strong stream runs through the property and its easy to imagine people living there. The insides of the buildings were expertly done and in many cases it really looked like someone had just got up from the table. I really liked that.
In the far right corner of the property there was a recreation of the original fort. I almost missed it because the signage wasn’t that great, but Lee walked down and that was one of my favorite areas.
They also had a museum in the back of the fort area with a shop as well. This was the only place we weren’t allowed to take Jack so we took turns. Again very well done for a small town museum. Behind the museum was the foundation of the Mormon settlement. The Mormon’s burned the fort and fled when the Army approached.
In the far left corner of the property there were two huge houses. One of them was actually disassembled and moved, served as a hotel, bought by an architect, disassembled again and stored, and then finally brought back to it’s original location as part of this park. Amazing. Both houses were open and had some of the rooms decorated again with extraordinary detail. We just don’t see this level of commitment in most small town museums.
Definitely worth the five dollars and a cool thing to see to get our Wyoming state sticker. Also, what a wonderful surprise. We thought it would be a quick stop to see a statue and we got all of this instead. Definitely reminded us of the importance of making time to see a few things along the way.
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I love how you always find the coolest things to see and do!
I love the “like someone just walked away” settings too! Gives a much better feeling of what it was like in the day! Cool!
Very cool. Love those little surprises.
Thanks, I will add this to our list of places to visit.
If y’all come through NC check out our workamping gig for this summer, The Cradle Of Forestry in America, the birthplace of scientific based forestry in the US. Lots of interesting history.
That’s sounds super interesting. Thanks for recommending it
One reason we like Harvest Hosts is most of them are a little ( or a lot) off the beaten path. Some think of this as a negative but to us it’s a reminder of why we live this lifestyle. Serendipity is a wonderful thing! Great find.
My friends Cori and Greg love harvest hosts for the same reason. Our big issue is that the expectation is you will buy something and most of the locations are wineries. I think it’s a really great thing though for some people for sure.
Thank you for adding pictures! We visited this park years ago and you revived those memories.
I rarely take photos – one of my downfalls for reviving memories and blogging.
That’s nice…glad I was able to pass the, along. I was actually thinking I had too many pictures and it might be boring. Appreciate the feedback.
never too many pictures. I just wish I was as thorough!
It really is all about the journey!!! The serendipity of travel is the most special. Too often we let the “Gig” define things. As full-timers, we really are travelers. Sometimes we forget that part;o)) We LOVED Wyoming!!!
Safe Travel and Happy Trails………
Thanks Nancy ❤️
Not sure if your still in Wyoming but if you can make it to Torrington there is a city park called Pioneer Park. $15 a night for water and electric with a dump on site. Cell signals good and they have wifi but I would be on the West side for best reception. Down by the Platte River. Pretty quite and well patrolled by the city. We go up there frequently from Denver. Never had a problem in the years we have been going there.
Thanks John appreciate you reaching out.