W is for Wyoming

Gallery

For today’s A to Z ChallengeW is for Wyoming. Wyoming is a semi-arid state which is usually dry, and primarily receives precipitation in the form of snow, which can close down roads in the winter. Wyoming is the least populous US state, with plenty of wide open spaces perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

Bighorn Basin Wyoming

Near the town of Lovell in the Bighorn Basin, WY – photo by kei

The state consists of many geologic basins (low spots), which formed in between mountain ranges (high spots) due to tectonic plate movement during the Cretaceous through Eocene periods. This is called the Laramide orogeny, or mountain-building episode, and this is what formed the Rocky Mountains in the US and Canada. This also means breathtaking views from mountains across the expanse of the basins.

Bighorn Sheep in Wyoming

Bighorn Sheep in the Bighorn Basin, WY – photo by kei

Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range

Wild Mustang at the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range in Wyoming – photo by kei

Wyoming has no shortage of wildlife adapted to the dry summers and harsh winters, including bighorn sheep, pronghorn, elk, wild mustangs, and rattlesnakes. There are also not-so-wild animals, such as cattle.

Wild Flowers in the Pryor Mountains

Wild Flowers in the Pryor Mountains, WY – photo by kei

Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite

Dinosaur tracks at the Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite. Preserved tracks on an 167-million-year-old ocean shoreline. Sundance Formation, Middle Jurassic Period. – photo by kei

The dry climate of Wyoming, the lack of vegetation, as well as the age of rocks exposed makes it the perfect place to find fossils. Fossil dinosaur bones, fish graveyards in old lake beds, and preserved three-toed dinosaur tracks can be found across the state.

Bighorn Medicine Wheel

Prayer offerings at the Bighorn Medicine Wheel in the Bighorn National Forest, WY – photo by kei

Bighorn Medicine Wheel

Prayer offering at the Bighorn Medicine Wheel – photo by kei

The Native American tribes that call Wyoming home also have left their mark. For an estimated 700 years, Native American tribes have traveled to the Bighorn Medicine Wheel in what is now the Bighorn National Forest to offer prayers and perform ceremonies. The Medicine Wheel sits at 10,000 ft elevation and is made from rocks gathered around the area to form a wheel shape. The central cairn is attached to 28 spokes, and the entire wheel is 80 ft diameter and 245 ft circumference. Strips of colorful cloth, dream catchers, bells, medicine bags, and other objects are tied to the outer fence or placed inside the wheel as prayer offerings.

Devil's Overlook, Bighorn Canyon

Devil’s Overlook at Bighorn Canyon, WY – photo by kei

Devil’s Overlook offers a stunning view of the Bighorn Canyon and the Bighorn River that cuts through it. The scale of the canyon is amazing!

Sinks Canyon in Wind River Basin

The Sinks at Sinks Canyon in the Wind River Basin – photo by kei

Sinks Canyon in the Wind River Basin is an interesting geological feature. The river rushes into the Sink (pictured above) and disappears into the rocks and travels underground. Hours later, and with less volume than went underground, the water reappears in the Rise that is only 1/3 mile down the road. The fish love the Rise (below).

Sinks Canyon in Wind River Basin

The Rise at Sinks Canyon in the Wind River Basin – photo by kei

As you can see, Wyoming is an outdoorsman’s paradise, with wildlife, natural beauty, and amazing geology. The winters are harsh, but in the short summer season the landscape comes to life.

Have you ever visited Wyoming? Where would you recommend for sightseeing? Let me know in the comments!

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “W is for Wyoming

  1. Nice photos. I visited Wyoming several years ago. I have family in Jackson Hole and that’s a quaint town. While there, we visited Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. We didn’t spend a lot of time in Grand Teton, but what we did see was beautiful. Yellowstone was amazing – I loved the waterfalls and Old Faithful. ~Meg Writer‘s Crossings

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for visiting! I really like the vibe in Jackson Hole, because it is touristy but not obnoxiously so. I really enjoy the parks, and especially the geysers! I’m glad you got a chance to visit ^^

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another part of USA I only know from books I think, to be precise by the author Karl May who wrote all those Wild West books in Germany without even being there once. Nonetheless this got me into reading…
    The fossil tracks are really cool, especially for me as an old dinosaur freak from my early childhood:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have never heard of Karl May, but I think it’s interesting when you read about a place the author has never actually been! The dinosaur track site was completely deserted when we visited, so I got to geek out without anyone to give me funny looks…

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s