Monday, July 23, 2012

Our Day Rocked!

After church on Sunday, a nap, a snack, some lying around, suddenly Mr. Keith said, "Let's go find that pyramid our friend told us about." This friend, Dale, is a railroad man, and he said there was an actual pyramid built by some railroad men, off by itself high in the Laramie mountains. It's about halfway between Cheyenne and Laramie, near the town of Buford on I-80. As you can see, Buford is rather small, in fact, the 2 buildings were boarded up, so we couldn't tell if the one resident was even there!

Approaching the Ames Brothers Pyramid.

From the sign at the pyramid:
"Completed in 1882 at a cost of $65,000, this monolithic, 60 foot high granite pyramid was built by the Union Pacific Railroad Company. It stands on the highest elevation (8,247 feet) of the original transcontinental route. Until 1901, when the railroad was relocated several miles to the south, it passed close by the north side of the monument where once stood the rail town of Sherman." The sculpture at the top is a likeness of one of the brothers, but his nose is missing. Did it fall off on its own, or did some target practicing vandal shoot it off? I wonder!

I always look down as well as up, wherever I am. I love this abundant little yellow flower against the Wyoming red rock.

Beautiful Wyoming colors, looking north from the monument towards Vedauwoo.

Again from the sign:
"The monument serves as a memorial to the Ames brothers of Massachusetts, Oakes (1804-1873) and Oliver (1807-1877), whose wealth, influence, talent, and work were key factors in the construction of the first coast to coast railroad in North America. The contribution made by Oakes was especially significant, even though in 1873 he was implicated in a scandal relative to financing the construction of the railroad."

The monument was quite the thing to see when the railroad ran beside it. Later the rails were moved to a better site, away from the monument, then Hwy 80 was built on the rail bed and also later moved about 2 miles away from it. The result of all that moving is that the monument sits all by itself out on the high desert-prairie. Our faithful Focus sits beside the pyramid to show its relative size.

We've heard many times about the Recreational Area called Vedauwoo. We found it right across the freeway from the Monument, so we drove into the area. "Known to the Arapaho Indians as “Land of the Earthborn Spirit,” the rock formations of Vedauwoo (pronounced vee-da-voo) attract experienced climbers, campers and hikers." We were amazed by the unusual formations. Many looked like someone (Someone?) had piled the rocks up by hand. This pile actually had some hikers up on the top.

The old-fashioned fence here and there seemed to really set off the beauty of the rock formations. Looks like a storm is brewing in the distance. One thing we noticed was that though it was nearly 90 degrees in Cheyenne when we left, the temperature at the 8000 foot level was much cooler.

In addition to the piles of rocks, some formations seemed to sprout singly right out of the ground. Many looked like giant mushrooms. (Click to enlarge these photos.) We enjoyed our late afternoon excursion high up in the Laramie Mountains. I'll give my nephew credit for the title, "Our Day Rocked!"

1 comment:

Unknown said...

What a wonderful blog you write and your pictures are breathtaking. Hope we can get together one of the days.