Top Five Destinations of Cheyenne
I find the stories behind our names to be interesting. For example, my parents got the idea of the name “Jason” from Jason Robards. Many people have names that have family significance. When I lived in North Platte, Nebraska for a short time in my childhood, I knew a few different kids named Cody, because of the popularity and local link to “Buffalo Bill” Cody. So, when I decided to profile Cheyenne, Wyoming, I thought of Cheyenne Jackson (from “30 Rock”) and I wondered if they had a connection.
Turns out, kind of. Jackson got his name from the television series “Cheyenne” which was a western on ABC in the 50s and 60s. The main character in the show was raised by people in the Cheyenne tribe and the city gets its name from that same nation. Now I know, and its part of the cool way we all name things. Bands, books, movies and family all contribute to the search for a unique way to give tribute to what we love, from goldfish and cats to children. Or, it could be just something that sounds good. However it goes, it ends up working.
But, I can’t just wander into town with visions of a Jenna Maroney and Danny Baker duet in my mind and hope that their warbling guides me to what I want to see. Flashbacks to television shows don’t work that way. So, I do research and find these five things that I can check out, and maybe hum a little “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” to fill my “30 Rock” addiction.
When I lived in Kansas City, the city hosted its version of the “Cow Parade” which came from Zurich, Switzerland and spread to many cities all over the world. Cheyenne has its own version, but instead of cows, it uses cowboy boots. Is it fancy art like you’d find in The Louvre? No. However, it’s something cool and kitschy and trying to find them all gives me a chance to wander around the town.
T-Joe’s Steakhouse and Saloon gets its name from a bucking bronc. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten at a steakhouse named for a rodeo horse. If I think long and hard along the lines that rodeo riders get hungry after competing, it will make sense.
Speaking of rodeos, the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo happens this year from July 20 to July 28. I’m not sure if this will surprise anyone, but growing up in Southeast Missouri meant that I would occasionally go to the Sikeston Bootheel Rodeo. I don’t remember specifics, but I do remember it had a pretty doggone large crowd and a lot of cowboy hats.
If I’m in an area that has steakhouses, I’m going to eat steak. My second steak stop will be the Little Bear Inn, which has served as a watering hole since the 1870s when it was a stop on the stage line that connected Cheyenne to Deadwood, South Dakota.
To work off all of that steak, I’m going to head to the first state park that I have found named for a sportscaster, Curt Gowdy State Park. Per Wikipedia, when I fish there I could catch salmon or trout. Fresh trout over a campfire is quite a tasty treat, and I would say a little lighter than a steak meal, but I like my fish fried.
Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.
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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."