As a long time Laramie resident I feel as if I have some authority to say I am an expert at exploring this town. You are probably wondering, “How much of Laramie can you explore?” The options may seem limited; but my favorite professor once told me “The world is right outside your door.” To many this means running off on grand adventures in far off places, but to me it means exploring what is available to you. When you look at Laramie through this lens, you will end up finding some extraordinary things hidden in the small town. These may not be the typical tourist spots, but the obscure places are much more interesting and hold a special place in my heart.
Washington Park: I like to call this the Central Park of Laramie. Maybe we can make this name catch on. I’ve actually been to Central Park, but I still like ours. In the summer the grass is so green. They have lots of benches so you can sit and people watch. Plus Freedom has a Birthday is my favorite 4th of July tradition.
The Ivinson Mansion: The summers before 8th and 9th grade I spent most my time giving tours at the Ivinson. The guides would all play card games outside or we’d sit on the porch swing. It’s really a hidden gem of Laramie. The architecture of this historic house is gorgeous, I loved watching weddings on the front lawn. Years later I still take people back to tell the stories of Laramie.
Rodger Canyon Road: I’ve taken this winding road out of town plenty of times. If you drive 12 miles out you’ll be far enough away to have zero light pollution. The road eventually turns to dirt, but it’s a great spot to take your truck to lay out and stargaze. There’s something about a wide open Wyoming sky that doesn’t get old.
The Abandoned Cement Plant: In high school a friend and I were bored and decided to go ‘exploring’ the abandoned cement plant on the south side of town, towards Fort Collins. I wouldn’t recommend trespassing, but I did get some cool pictures. It also was the subject for my midterm essay for my Environment and Society Class, there’s just something intriguing about creepy old places.
The Train Bridge: This is my favorite place to walk if I want to watch the world pass by. There’s nothing like standing above a speeding train, watching downtown light up as the sunsets. There are also a swing set that is usually empty. I love to go swing there because I can be a little kid again, seeing how high I can pump my feet, trying to touch the sky.
The next time you’re feeling bored, take a walk around the block. Look at Laramie like you’re seeing it for the first time, find beauty in the details, and go exploring.