The influx of outspoken megastars into the state has me wanting to exercise my Wyoming entrepreneurial spirit. Since the new transplants have expressed interest in pitching in, but might not know much about the state beyond Teton County, I’ve prepared the following welcome tour to help them get acquainted:
Welcome to Wyoming. After all, the world certainly needs more cowboys. Not only have you, the new local superstar, gushed about the beauty of the state, but you are even vocal about helping the community. Since you are already familiar with the Jackson area, let me present a tour from a born-and-raised Wyomingite of some lesser-known locales.
Our first stop is a few hours southeast. The town of Lander sits in Fremont County and is near another beautiful Wyoming attraction, Sinks Canyon State Park. Marvel at the geological history in the canyon and don’t forget to feed the fish at the Rise. Some other fun facts about the county are that it is ranked first in alcohol-related arrests by the Wyoming Prevention Depot and 23rd in health factors including clinical care, social and economic factors and quality of life. Nevermind that there are only 23 counties in Wyoming. Uh, let’s move to our next stop.
Further east is Casper, Wyoming’s largest city — a fact anyone in Cheyenne would dispute. The Platte River flows through town offering a scenic float in the summer and wonderful fishing almost year round. Did I mention that it boasts the largest youth crisis center in the state, operating with 10 crisis beds and a budget deficit in 2018? Wait, 10 beds for a county with almost 80,000 people? That can’t be right …
If these towns aren’t to your liking, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Laramie in the southeast corner of the state. The town holds the only four-year university and is a short drive from Vedauwoo Campground (I’ll let someone else correct your pronunciation). The campground in Albany County is filled with marvelous granite formations and is a destination for rock climbers far and wide. Did I mention that Albany county has the highest rate of poverty in the state at 20.4%?
On our next stop we venture to the edge of the Black Hills in the northeast corner of the state. Crook County is home to Bear Lodge, or its better known colonial name, Devils Tower. The national monument is truly awe inspiring. There are beautiful trails surrounding the area offering several points to take in the majesty of the tower itself. If you venture into nearby Gillette, in Campbell County, you may see the effect of the second-highest unemployment rate in the state, not to mention the food accessibility issues that come with a lack of income.
Well Mr. and Mrs. Celebrity, I hope this tour has provided a brief glimpse into other attractions as well as education about the diversity Wyoming has to offer. When looking to spend some free time (or looking to impact a community), please consider the wonderful opportunities beyond Teton County lines.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Devils Tower is located in Crook County. -Ed.