Cheyenne, Wyoming

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When I arrived in Cheyenne, I had successfully pulled ahead of the storm front that was hot on my heels, coming out of Laramie.  I knew I only had a few minutes to explore the town, before the wind and rain would kick up again, so I headed for Cheyenne’s most important landmark, the Wyoming State Capitol

The Wyoming State Capitol building is located on US 85 (Central Avenue) between 24th and 25th Streets.  From Interstate 80, take I-180, which turns into Central Avenue.  If you’re entering town via Happy Jack Road, go under I-25, and follow Missile Road to Lincolnway, then turn left, and watch for US 85 at the center of town.

Since it was Labor Day, the capitol building wasn’t open, and I had to be content with wandering around the capitol grounds.  Even outside, the state capitol captures the spirit of the Cowboy State, with statues of cattle…

… and cowboys on horseback.

As the dark clouds moved in, I snapped a few more pictures of the capitol building, then ran back to my car and headed downtown.

At the end of Wyoming’s only 3-digit interstate highway (I-180 is also one of the shortest interstates in the nation), the Union Pacific Depot is certainly the town’s second most impressive building (since you’ve gotta give top bragging rights to the capitol).  Construction on the building was complete in 1887, and the lobby features an art-deco look from 1929.  All of it has been carefully restored, and the station now houses the Cheyenne Depot Museum.

There are many more interesting facts about Interstate 180 (at least, they will be interesting to road geeks like me).  I-180 is one of only a few interstates in the U.S. that has stoplights — four of them, to be exact.  It doesn’t have exits, and was not built to freeway standards.  It’s also the only place where an interstate, an interstate business loop, a U.S. highway, and a U.S. business route are all co-signed together.  And, the viaducts that carry I-180 over the Union Pacific rail yard have sidewalks, something you don’t find on most interstate bridges.

 Next to the old rail station, The Wrangler western wear store is just one of several places in town where you can buy boots, hats, and plaid shirts, just like the real cowboys wear.

The Lincoln Theater is also nearby, and it’s a beauty.  And you can’t beat the deal: free admission with popcorn purchase!  I wish I had been there to see the neon at night.

Once the wind between the downtown buildings became intense, and the rain started to fall, it was time to hit the road again.

The trip east from Cheyenne to the state line (and beyond) was mind-numbingly empty and flat.

I can always remember when I was bored in the car, because I start to take pictures of the rear-view mirror!  I was also watching for a tornado to spin out of the clouds, but none appeared.

Note: This trip was first published in 2008.

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