Wyoming, a Guide to Its History, Highways, and People

By Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Wyoming | Go to book overview

Tour 3

( Billings, Mont.)--Sheridan--Casper--Orin--Cheyenne--(Fort Collins, Colo.); US 87.

Montana Line to Colorado Line, 398.9 m.

Oil-surfaced roadbed, open all seasons; occasional cloudbursts, especially in Chugwater district. Excellent for trailers.

Route paralleled by Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R.R. and Chicago & Northwestern Ry. between Casper and Orin; by C.B. & Q.R.R. and Colorado & Southern R.R. between Orin and Colorado Line.

All types of accommodations.

US 87, Wyoming's principal north-south highway, passes through an area rich in frontier lore and representative of Wyoming in its industries and scenery. It crosses the Sheridan ranching and coal-mining areas and broad Johnson County, with its outlaw and cattleman traditions. It climbs the arid Casper prairie, cuts through the Salt Creek oil field, and turns eastward down the North Platte River, along whose clay banks in the middle 1800's half a million westbound emigrants trudged patiently or jolted in springless prairie schooners. Then it swings southward again among farms and ranches to the Cheyenne plains.


Section a. MONTANA LINE to BUFFALO; 68.7 m. US 87-14.

Between the Montana Line and Buffalo, US 87 runs close to the majestic Big Horns. On the east, the plain spreads its tremendous billows toward muddy Powder River, whose name is perhaps better known to Americans than that of any other Western river of comparable size. This unhurried alkaline stream, which washes its first salty mud off the cankerous deserts of Natrona County, is put to little use, but seems to typify something Western. The description, 'a mile wide, an inch deep, and runs uphill,' and the cry, ' Powder River, let 'er buck!' once adopted by American soldiers, have been repeated from Maine to California.

The Big Horn country was first the home of the Crow; but the Sioux, a proud forest folk who came West and became the most formidable mounted warriors in America, conquered it and ruled it for half a century. At first the Sioux, whose lands lay north of emigrant routes, kept aloof when the white man came; but, when their own land was threatened by cattlemen and miners, they resisted. There was pathos

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Wyoming, a Guide to Its History, Highways, and People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction ix
  • Preface xix
  • Illustrations xxi
  • Maps xxv
  • General Information xxxi
  • Calendar of Annual Events xxxvii
  • PART I - Wyoming: Past and Present 1
  • Contemporary Scene 3
  • Natural Setting 11
  • Archeology and Indians 49
  • History 58
  • Transportation 79
  • Industry, Commerce and Labor 90
  • Agriculture 98
  • Education 109
  • Sports and Recreation 117
  • Folklore and Folkways 122
  • Literature 127
  • The Theater 137
  • Music 147
  • Art 155
  • Architecture 161
  • Part II - Cities 171
  • Casper 173
  • Cheyenne 183
  • Laramie 195
  • Sheridan 206
  • PART III - Tours 215
  • Tour 1 217
  • Tour 2a 251
  • Tour 2c 253
  • Tour 3 267
  • Tour 4a 292
  • Tour 4b 300
  • Tour 6 318
  • Tour 6a 339
  • Tour 7a 341
  • Tour 8 350
  • Tour 9 356
  • Tour 10 367
  • Tour 11 380
  • Yellowstone National Park 392
  • PART IV - Appendices 439
  • Chronology 441
  • Bibliography 449
  • Glossary 459
  • 1940 - Census Figures 467
  • Index 469
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