Another action-packed family visit and another state to add to our list. The stop in Cheyenne, Wyoming was all we hoped it would be with lots of quality time with Pat’s mom, brother Jamie, and nephew Tyler. Tons of fun with some wild weather thrown in for good measure.
Pet the Bison
I texted my mother-in-law prior to our arrival and said I wanted to pet a bison. She could arrange that right? Truly I was kidding about the petting part, but I have to give her total credit. She came through in a big way. Since rain, snow and other assorted ick was forecast for later in the visit, we decided to head out to Terry Bison Ranch on our first full day in Cheyenne. Oh man, we had some fun.
We bought tickets for the train ride to go out to the bison pasture, but while we waited, we amused ourselves in the gift shop. I “rode” the bison just in case that was as close as I could get. Mom took her turn on the Jackalope, but Pat wins the prize for the biggest ham of the afternoon.
The ranch has a long and interesting history along with some incredible views that just embody what I think of when I picture Wyoming. Except camels. I don’t think of camels, but they have them, too.
As for the ranch, the first territorial governor of Wyoming bought it in 1885 and raised sheep and cattle. President Theodore Roosevelt stayed at the ranch twice during his Cheyenne visits, in 1903 and 1910. Raising bison entered the scene in 1993 and the owner wanted the public to be able to “get up close and personal to the Great North American Bison” according to their website.
You don’t get more up close and personal than feeding, petting and even smelling some foul bison breath. My wish was granted! Just so you know, the bison have long tapered gray tongues that slime your hands pretty well. And they love the alfalfa pellets that look like giant-sized rabbit food.
These bison are the pregnant females and we though for a while we might see one being born. False alarm for mom, however. We learned from our excellent tour guide that these gals weigh over 2000 pounds, can run up to 40 miles per hour, and can hop a 6 foot fence from a standstill. Unbelievable statistics for such a large beast.
After the pasture tour, we checked out the rest of the animals on site which include – surprise – Clydesdales.
I got a huge kick out of the alpacas.
On the way over to the animal pens, my long lost cat came running.
Seriously, this cat made a beeline across the parking lot right over to me. I scooped it up and it just purred and purred. This scruffy little barn cat knew I was missing some kitty love.
Wicked Wyoming Weather
When we arrived at the campground in Cheyenne, they told us that snow was forecast in two days. Yeah right. I am in total denial. Well that doesn’t stop the snow. This trip is all about walking the fine weather line and looks like we crossed over it on this stop. It did indeed snow and all day long, too.
It truly looked like a Christmas postcard. The snow was heavy, wet, messy and delightful to Jackson. His first romp in the stuff. It was lovely to look at, but we were just as glad for it to melt away the next day.
Prom & Bowling
The great thing about hanging around on our family stops for a week is that we get to participate in whatever is going on. This time it meant helping with corsage consultations, giving an eye shadow opinion (to the girlfriend, of course) and pulling out my camera for a prom photo shoot. Pat’s nephew Tyler had a very busy week when we arrived, culminating in that magical prom night. It was so much fun to be part of the excitement.
Tyler and Trinity gave their approval for me to share a shot from the evening. Stunning couple and such sweet kids! Plus, since I have a son and no daughter, I loved all the talk of hair, nails and eye shadow.
Of course us oldies but goodies had to do something that night, so we went bowling. It was Jamie’s great idea. Bowling is one of those perfect social activities. Just enough work hefting the bowling ball every so often, sandwiched between plenty of talk and heckle time with the rest of the group. It helps if no one is any good, which we weren’t.
Mom, Pat and Jamie do their worst. Since I’m taking the pictures, there is no shot of my behind. And for those of you with inquiring minds, I bowled three strikes in a row in the last two frames of the first game to pull out a win. Couldn’t do that again if I tried. Pat won game two by a landslide.
Just Hanging Out
The rest of time consisted of just regular everyday activities with family we hadn’t seen in oh so long. And I have to say, that is really what it’s all about. Mom made meatloaf and it was delicious. Our second meatloaf score on this trip, and this one tasted like my mom’s! Actually Mom cooked for us constantly and it was nice to have the home-cooked meals. I also managed to do 8 loads of laundry. Not all at the same time, of course, since we don’t have that many clothes. So nice to have all clean clothes, sheets, towels AND dog bedding. Plus no quarters required!
We played quite a few games of Yahtzee, which is one of my favorites. The dice were not rolling my way, and Pat managed to roll Yahtzee twice in the same game. And you know you are in trouble when you accuse your mother-in-law of cheating. Well let’s just say creative score-keeping. Jackson also enjoyed this visit since he was able to go to Grandma’s every single day and walk in her neighborhood. And she had Milk Bones. And she fed him a whole slice of that delicious meatloaf before I could stop her.
So Long, Farewell, & Thunder Snow
It was our last night in Cheyenne, so we took a round of family shots. In the past we used to hold up a paper plate if someone was missing. This time Mom didn’t have any paper plates so she whipped out a coffee filter for Jamie who was taking a nap. Fortunately he did wake up to take the place of the filter.
Those pictures before everyone is ready are just the best. Pat, Mom, Jamie, Tyler & Trinity. Pretty good looking group.
So all the hugs and good-bys are done and we’re back at the campground. Cheyenne has one more weather whammy for us. It rains and sleets and finally snows. But what gets me out of bed in the middle of the night is the thunder! I’d heard of thunder snow before, but never experienced it. Jackson needs a happy pill it is so loud.
We laughed so much during this week and we hate to go, but Alaska still calls. I have one more stop in Wyoming up next. See you on the way!