How To Use This Book
The Following was excerpted from the Introduction Section of the book:
We divided the state into six sections plus Fort Laramie, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone. Each section has a common personality and at least one major city or town (by Wyoming standards). We felt doing so makes it much easier to flow through the book. The material in each section is loosely ordered along the highway routes through the section and organized by locator numbers.
These are the numbers on the map in white on a black circle. All information relating to the area on the map marked by that number is presented together in the section. The sections of the book are ordered from southeast to northwest. The numbers in each section are ordered in roughly the same direction. This allows you to follow the routes mile by mile and quickly find information along your path relating to your location on the path. In a nutshell, find the number on the map, then find that number heading in the section and listed under that number is everything there is to see or do at that location on the map.
Each item listed is classified under one of eight categories. The classification key is the shaded letter immediately preceding the item listed. This makes it very simple to find the type of information you’re looking for immediately. If you’re hungry, look for any items preceded by an F. Looking for something to do? Look for a T or V. Want to buy something to take home with you? Look for an S. Here is a key for the categories:
H Historic Marker or Interpretive Sign
We have taken the text from hundreds of historical markers throughout the state and reprinted them here. They’re fun reading, and in total provide an excellent background on the history and growth of Wyoming. We have entered them where they are located. Sometimes this is a different location than the actual item they are referring to. Even though, we’ve presented the text of these markers here, take the time to stop at everyone you can. They are only a label for the actual site or event they speak of, and the experience is only complete if you are able to view the area surrounding them.
This category includes just about anything worth stopping for. It might be a museum, a ghost town, a park, or just some quirky thing on the side of the road that makes traveling through this state so interesting. Whatever it is, we’ve tried to provide enough information to let you decide whether you want to plan a stop or not.
This would be just about anything you would get out of your car and do. A whitewater raft trip, horseback ride, etc.
We didn’t discriminate. If there is prepared food available, we list it. We’ve listed everything ranging from the finest restaurants in the state (and there are a lot of them), to fast food and hot dog stands. Bottom line, if they’ll fix it for you, they’re listed here. While we don’t rate any of the establishments, we highly encourage you to try the mom and pop eateries and the locally owned fine dining spots. Dayton Duncan, in his excellent book Out West: American Journey Along the Lewis and Clark Trail (1987, Penguin Books) gave the best advice we’ve heard;
“Franchises are not for the traveler bent on discovery. Forsaking franchises, like forsaking interstates, means that you’re willing to chance the ups and downs, the starts and the stops of gastronomy as well as motoring. It means sometimes finishing a supper so good that you order the piece of pie you hadn’t realized you wanted and you’re sure you don’t needand spending the night in town just so you can have breakfast in the same place.”
In Wyoming, you’re pretty safe. Just consider the logic. Most of these towns are so small that any place not putting up good grub isn’t going to last long anyway. Accountability. While much of America has forgotten that concept, it is still a harsh and unforgiving rule in Wyoming.
As for fine dining, we’d put scores of our best against the best anywhere outside of Wyoming. Some of the most talented culinary artists in the world have settled here for the lifestyle and share their talents with us.
If they’ll put a roof over your head and a mattress under your back, they’re listed here. Again, we don’t discriminate. Truth is, it’s hard to find a bad motel in this state. Surviving here is tough, and if you don’t put up a good product, you don’t last long.
These are private campgrounds that wished to be included in the main portion of each section. Otherwise, all private campgrounds are listed at the back of each section.
Do we need to explain this one? Obviously, we don’t list every place in the state you can buy something. Only those who wanted to be in here. And yes, they paid for the opportunity. It would be impractical to list every place in the state you can buy something. And you probably wouldn’t want to wade through all of them to get to the ones that count. So we left it up to the merchants to decide whether or not they might have something of interest to you, and to choose whether or not to include themselves in this book.
M Misc. Services
This would be just about anything that doesn’t fall into one of the other categories above.
We’ve included a map for just about anything you would need a map for. At the beginning of each section is a detailed map of the section. We’ve also included a map of any town too big to see everything on Main Street standing in one spotforty-five in all. We’ve also included a number of maps of special locations. On each of the section maps we’ve marked where campgrounds, and fishing sites are.
Public campgrounds are marked on the map with a number. At the end of each section is a chart listing each campground along with pertinent information about that site. The listings are numbered and the numbers match those on the map. We only listed campgrounds that are maintained in some manner by a state or federal agency. There are countless primitive campgrounds in the state that are not maintained and have no facilities. You’ll find almost all of Wyoming's public campgrounds to be uncrowded. It’s not unusual, even at the peak of tourist season, to be the only campers at a site. Most of them charge a small fee to cover the cost of maintaining them.
We’ve listed over 250 fishing sites in the state and marked and numbered them on the maps. At the end of each section is a chart listing each site in the section along with species and facilities information. There are thousands of places to wet a line in Wyoming. We have listed the major fisheries and only those that are relatively easy to access.
We have tried to offer some scenic or interesting side trips wherever possible. Some take you on backroads, others just take you a different way. Some are day trips, some are longer. We feel the book itself offers one long scenic trip, but if you want to get off the path, these offer some choices. Heed the warnings about gumbo and other backroad hazards mentioned earlier in this book.
We have offered you a number of hikes at the end of most sections. There are a few sections of the state that don’t offer too many hiking options. We didn’t provide a lot of detail about the hikes. We simply pointed them out and tell you how to get there.
Here we give you phone number for just about anything we missed earlier in the section that might be of interest to you.
Dining and Lodging Quick Reference Guides
These charts allow you to take a quick scan of all of the dining and lodging facilities in a manner that allows you to find information quickly and make quick comparisons. The map locator numbers are listed with each entry to help you find their location and possibly additional information about them in the front of the section.
We’ve allowed you ample room at the back of each section to make notes about your trip or to record additional information about your trip. This is a good place to store reservation confirmation numbers, or schedule information.
We’ve made every effort to make this book a tool for you to get the most from your visit to the state. If you already live here, we hope it awakens you to the endless things there to do and see in the magnificent chunk of America.