Leaving Laramie, Wyoming, we continued west to our next destination: Park City, Utah. Reminding ourselves of the old adage, "It's not the destination, it's the journey", we were on the lookout for random, interesting "odd's 'n ends" we might "discover" along the way. After miles and miles of amazing mountains and rock formations, the first real sign of civilization we encountered was the Town of Rawlins - population 8,298. Like Laramie, Rawlins is "home" to a historic prison - the Wyoming State Penitentiary.
Given Rawlins' history of being a haven for bad guys, and seeing its topography, we could see why outlaws would be sent here. Included among its more notable residents were William "Wild Bill" Carlisle, known as the Robin Hood of the Rails. Another even more notorious outlaw who called this prison home was George "Big Nose" Parrot, a cattle rustler and murderer of lawmen. Parrot escaped the prison but was quickly caught. Unfortunately for Ol' Big Nose, a band of locals broke into the prison, dragged him out and hung him from a telephone pole.
We continued our journey and soon, out of the corner of her eye, Rorie saw horses - wild horses. It turns out that Wyoming is the "capital" of wild horses in the U.S. and is home to the Wild Horse Program managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management. These gorgeous mustangs are available for adoption. Interested? Call (800) 4 MUSTANGS (no kidding).
Leaving prisons and wild horses behind us, we continued another 270 miles to the final destination on this leg of the trip: When we arrived in Park City we "discovered" that the Utah Olympic Park was just outside of our hotel - at an elevation of 7,300 feet. Just trying to breathe normally at this altitude deserves a gold medal...not an easy feat. The Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games (bobsled, skeleton, luge, and the Nordic combined event) took place there. We can't imagine going down its steep slopes. It brought to mind the famous painting called The Silent Scream. This is the view from our hotel.
Even though we're surrounded by snow-capped intimidating mountains, we will NOT be following Jack's advice. This was a sign on a truck in town. Love the sentiment, but NO...
Before we explore the historic downtown of Park City. we asked ourselves "Where were all those wild animals that people associate with Wyoming?" Signs along the road warned us we needed to be aware of elk, deer and other critters crossing the highway. We didn't see any, until we actually arrived in downtown. Phew!
Main Street Park City is filled with beautiful, historic buildings that preserve the towns heritage while housing vibrant businesses. Once a booming mining town, it's recreated itself as a destination for skiers, snow bunnies, outdoor enthusiasts, and artists.
This was the first "modern" structure built to accommodate visitors to the original major ski resort in the area called Treasure Mountain.
Our friends Alice and Curt love Park City and this is their favorite restaurant which is in the original Rocky Mountain Bell telephone building. Sadly, they were closed so Rorie just loitered outside for a few minutes.
While Rorie was focused on finding food (and wait until you see what she stumbled on), Bart had to check out the old City Hall which was built in 1885.
This clock tower is conveniently located right outside the OC Tanner Jewelers shop, which just happens to be the local representative for Rolex. Brendan do you need directions?
Built in 1926, the Egyptian Theater replaced an earlier one that collapsed under a heavy snowfall. This one was the first "sound movie" theater in Park City.
Do you remember these guys? They were playing the night we were in town. Talk about historic!
Wandering around town made us both hungry and look what Rorie the sugar addict found. There's protein in there somewhere right?
What a great way to finish the day on a Rocky Mountain sugar high. Our next destination is Incline Village, Nevada. Stay with us kids. We'll take you to new heights...an elevation in the mountains (yup, more of those) of 9,000 feet.