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Wyoming Hiking Trails
This site is designed to provide organized access to informative Wyoming hiking trail and backpacking websites. Hiking enthusiasts like you have created excellent web pages on Wyoming -- then posted those hikes online -- only to be ignored by search engines. The purpose of this site is to provide a way to find these personal hiking pages, and make your research easier.
Strong Cowboys & Weak Coffee...
Mention Wyoming and most people think of wide open rangeland, rowdy oil roughnecks, grizzled cowboys, campfires and bunkhouses. And the coffee is -- surprise -- just about the weakest you'll find anywhere. Visit the sights of Wyoming and you'll spend a lot of time on the road, and consequently, you'll make a fair number of stops at gas stations, cafes, convenience stores, etc.
Late one night at a cafe in Lovell I saw a waitress line up a dozen coffee filters, and proceed to put one (!) rounded spoonful of coffee grounds in each.
"Pardon me, ma'am, what, uh, what are you doing?"
"I'm just gettin' the coffee ready for tomorrow morning, is all."
"When do you put the rest of it in?
She looked at me like I was from Mars. I assumed this was a quirk local to Lovell, but learned the error of my ways in Cheyenne. Stopping at a convenience store, I saw a woman in a Cadillac with New York plates wheel up, both of us headed for a nearly empty coffee pot. She hurriedly grabbed a cup and siezed the pot. After filling the cup with an unusually clear liquid, commented that she could see the bottom.
"Something's wrong with the coffee!" (said with alarm, to the cashier)
"Oh, I'm sorry, that's been sitting there for a while, it's probably really, really strong. (This drew a very puzzled look from the New Yorker) I'll make a new pot." Whereupon I noticed a row of jumbo sized filters, each with about a tablespoon of grounds, queued up by the coffee machine.
"I'll gladly take that cup if you don't want it..."
Wyomingites may be clueless about their coffee, but they sure have a couple of stomping national Parks. In fact, pretty much the whole state is an outdoorsman's paradise...but we'll stick to the hiking. The book that I think is the one most people should be armed with is Outdoor Family Guide to Yellowstone and Grand Teton by Lisa Gollin Evans. This isn't limited to hiking, in fact, it's extremely well-rounded and an indispensible guide for any first-time, second, third-time or even a regular visitor. Plus it covers more hikes than you'll have time for...with details and all the data you'll need. You know, I keep a few copies of this book on hand. Every time somebody shows me their copy of How to Do Disney in a Week or Less or Insider's Top-Secret Guide to the Magic Kingdom, I pull one of these out and clobber them with it. "Here's a REAL vacation, you moron!" (I only do that for people I care about.) Can you imagine that some people choose a bunch of puppets, long lines, and five dollar popsicles ahead of Yellowstone?!
Gollin-Evans' book emphasizes Yellowstone, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for the serious hiker headed for Grand Teton. There I prefer Bill Schneider's Hiking Grand Teton National Park from the Falcon Guide series. Something for everyone except for the advanced, multi-day-expedition-type hiker or climber. (I'm in the process of reviewing a book on that subject).
One last anecdote, if you'll kindly indulge me. I stopped at a Pizza Hut in Cody, back in '92. It was in the midst of a month-long travel odyssey (when I was publisher of The Traveler's Edge) and I left the trunk of my car open when I went inside. About 20 minutes later I noticed this, and charged outside to close it. As I was doing so, a cowboy entering the restaurant watched my movements, looked down at my New Jersey license plate, and smiled broadly.
"Son, you don't need to worry about that...you're in Cody Wy-O-ming."
I wonder if we ought to emulate their coffee preferences.
-- Rick Bolger
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