There is a tendency when reading other people’s blogs to judge your life by someone else’s highlight reel. I’m certainly guilty of it and as much as I try to pepper in the reality of this life I am sure many of you skim over some of that and just look at the pretty pictures. This post is going to be about some of the least pleasant aspects of the lifestyle and for me at least one of my least favorites is wind.
I’m not talking about a light breeze here, I am talking about 40+ mph gusts that contain grit. This has to be one of my least favorite types of weather and the last time we saw it was when we stayed at City of Rocks in New Mexico. This kind of “keep you inside” wind is a real bummer. Especially when you are in a place you would like to explore. But this area is called the High Plains for a reason and with the exception of a couple of gorgeous days, our stay was largely about enduring the wind.
It didn’t help that we were there before the season opened, so most of the state and county campgrounds were without water which forced us into the Terry Bison Ranch RV Park. Don’t get me wrong if you are vacationing with kids this is a really cool place, but for us it’s not the type of campground we like to stay at. It’s more expensive for one thing and the sites were very close together, prompting Lee to pay the extra $10 for a deluxe site which put us off by ourselves in a corner. The coolest part was we had a nice view of the campground’s herd of bison and we were super close to the dog area which Jack loved.
This campground is it’s own complex and has a little bit of everything. And I do mean everything with a steak restaurant, breakfast cafe’, ferrier school, wonderful gift shop, exotic animal area, train rides to see the buffalo, and horseback riding. Although we were able to walk around on the first day, most days the wind was so nasty I didn’t even want to walk around. Even taking the dog for his walk was challenging as the wind was gusty and could cause even Lee to unbalance at times.
It was quite the organization but almost everything was priced for a short summer season and not money I was willing to spend. Instead on the one good day we had drove around Cheyenne which was totally free. Being off season it was hit and miss on what was open but we did get to see some cool stuff. Cheyenne is the state capital but a relatively small town and it didn’t take long to see the stuff I wanted to see.
My favorite was the visitors center/train depot that you can go inside for free (train museum is extra). It’s a beautiful old building in the historic downtown section with a nice gift shop inside. Outside are lots of giant cowboy boots and pay particular attention to the tile inside because it is original.
Historic downtown had some neat shops and restaurants but the street was completely torn up for road construction which forced us to mainly walk on side streets. We did have dinner at one of the steak restaurants which was OK, but again overpriced for what we received. One of the things about northern tourist towns (ski towns aside) is they need to make their money in a 4 month period. We understand it, but in general we are priced out of anything we might want to buy.
Overall Cheyenne is a really nice town with all the basic services but I couldn’t see living there. It’s flat and there’s tons of wind plus they get major snow all the way into May. Still it was a good place to get ready for heading North and we filled prescriptions, got hair cuts, and bought me an office chair…all things that might be difficult to do in the small town of West Yellowstone. Definitely fun for a visit though. Lee loved it. It speaks to his inner Cowboy 🙂
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