Cheyenne, Wyoming. Cowboys to Containers

Posted on October 25, 2015

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images (10)From the city’s rough and tumble beginnings as a player in the building of the Transcontinental Railroad to its ‘old west’ cow and cowboy heritage, much of life today in Cheyenne revolves around the same elements that defined it 150 years ago – ranching and railroads.

The Union Pacific Railroad is a constant presence in this city – the downtown shakes and rumbles with the continual movement of freight trains in and out of the rail yard, loaded with containers coming from, and going to, who knows where.

IMG_2170They crawl past the old UP roundhouse, almost brushing up against the fence separating the tangle of tracks from the sprawling Romanesque splendor of the Cheyenne Depot, built by the Union Pacific in 1886-1888,and  now a railroad museum.

The Union Pacific is still one of the area’s largest private sector employers, but the four-legged horse probably outdraws the iron horse when it comes to bringing tourists to Cheyenne.images (7)

Each July hundreds of thousands of visitors pull into town for the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and western celebration, Cheyenne Frontier Days.

First held in 1897, the 10-day event now draws around 1,500 rodeo contestants to the sprawling fairgrounds complex each summer.

images (8)Participants vie for cash and prizes worth approximately one million dollars. This event, and many more like it across the state, both perpetuate and honor those skills essential to cowboys and wranglers, both past and present.

After all, Wyoming is one of 5 states in which people are outnumbered by cows. And while mining is the state’s number one economic engine, catttle ranching is still the largest component of the State’s agricultural economy.

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Posted in: Travel - Wyoming