Monday, August 6, 2012

The Trolley

 Something we've been meaning to do since summer began was to ride the Trolley in Cheyenne, a touristy attraction complete with tour guide. At first we thought maybe we'd take the horse drawn wagon, but since the ride was only 20 minutes long we decided on the Trolley, a 2 hour jaunt through town. We purchased our tickets here at the Depot, which is Cheyenne's visitor center.

 We had an excellent tour guide, a native to Cheyenne, who is also a school bus driver come September. He was full of stories about the origin of Cheyenne, the railroad, most historical buildings in the city, and even some tales about famous people who'd been in the town. I didn't get any pictures as we were riding, only at our one stop, the Old West Museum at Frontier Park, the site of the famous Frontier Days. I remember one story he told, as we drove through another park, Holliday. He pointed out some big, old cottonwoods and said that Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw had gotten married there, just because Steve liked the city of Cheyenne. He'd starred in a movie about an area outlaw, the infamous Tom Horn.

 The museum was full of old wagons of various uses. I liked this milk wagon, restored, and featured in the parades that take place during Frontier Days. There was also an extensive display of the rodeo history of Cheyenne. We plan to return and take our time going through this museum. There is so much to see and learn!

 But we were most impressed with this wagon, one of the original stages used for the journey between Cheyenne and Deadwood. It has been beautifully restored. It's difficult to imagine going the 300 miles between the towns sitting on the narrow though luxurious seats we saw inside. We were told it took about 55 hours for the trip, which was fraught with the perils of robbers and Indians. We've made that same trip in about 7 or 8 hours with our 5th wheel. On one memorable trip the stage was robbed 3 times and the passengers arrived at their destination wearing only their underwear!  Since we've had workamper jobs in both Deadwood and Cheyenne, it was interesting to us to hear about the towns' connections way back in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

At the museum we saw one of Cheyenne's famous boots. There are many of these boots scattered around town, each one with different art work and featuring a different part of the city's history. This one was decorated with gambling paraphernalia. Here we are boarding the trolley for the second half of the trip. Mr. Keith is in the tan shirt in the left of the photo. He had found a man from San Francisco to swap stories with about the old days of living there.

One last photo, the other side of the boot at the museum. These are works of art. You can take an auto tour of all the boots with a pamphlet that tells about each one. We may do that on another day out!

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