Laramie to Rock Springs

Centennial, Wyoming
Centennial, Wyoming

Our next “proper” destination after Laramie was Grand Teton National Park. That would have been a six-hour drive, and we hate sitting in the car all day, so we broke it up with one night in Rock Springs. Even so, it looked a boring drive along the interstate so we decided to cross the Snowy Range Pass again and stop in some different places. The first was the pretty little town of Centennial where we took morning coffee and looked at the outside parts of the Nici Self Historical Museum. The old railroad depot building wasn’t open (we weren’t having much luck with our timing).

We stopped again for lunch in Saratoga, but after that it was all interstate.

Saratoga, Wyoming
Saratoga, Wyoming

Usually, we prefer B&Bs or small inns, but I couldn’t find anywhere suitable listed in Rock Springs so, as it was only one night, I chose a chain hotel, Homewood Suites. Actually, I could get converted back to this sort of place – we had a spacious, comfortable room and, had it not been the weekend, could have partaken of a free dinner buffet. The only downside was its location on the edge of town – but as luck would have it, right next door was Trip Advisor’s number one restaurant, a Chinese / Japanese place called Bonsai which we really enjoyed.

Before that, however, we had driven to the historic downtown area for a walk around. As well as lovely old buildings …

… we enjoyed the street art, including some fine benches, and were amazed that artwork just hung in an underpass and didn’t get vandalised.

Rock Springs used to be a coal mining town – the coal seams running right underneath the downtown area – and they’ve made a lovely job of preserving this history in the park by the railroad.

Outlaw gangs who roamed the West often passed through Rock Springs or used it as a destination. Apparently, as a young man, “Butch” Cassidy acquired his nickname while working in Rock Springs as a butcher. We were really getting to like these old western towns and, you’ve guessed it, wished we had more than one night here, but the next day we had to press on. Grand Teton was calling us!

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50 thoughts on “Laramie to Rock Springs

  1. maristravels October 10, 2016 / 15:13

    Fascinating info on how Butch Cassidy came to get his name. So mundane for such a charismatic outlaw. Correct that, for such a charismatic star as Paul Newman! Great trip you had by the sound of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh October 10, 2016 / 15:28

      I didn’t even know that about Butch Cassidy at the time – Mr Google told me afterwards!

      Like

  2. hilarymb October 10, 2016 / 15:41

    Hi Anabel – how interesting to find out such fun things … ‘Butch’ was a butcher … crazy, but logical I guess. Rock Springs looks a delightful find … and glad the restaurant and the hotel worked out well … cheers Hilary

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 10, 2016 / 15:50

      Thanks Hilary – I loved all these old towns with their Old West feel!

      Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 10, 2016 / 17:15

      Just found it out from the Rock Springs website when writing the post!

      Like

  3. Su Leslie October 10, 2016 / 19:58

    I’m enjoying your road trip Anabel. Love the big big blue skies in the photos.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 10, 2016 / 21:31

      Thanks. I love the blue skies too – 3 weeks of them was wonderful. Though having said that, we’re having a very good run here so can’t do my usual moans about the weather!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Birgit October 10, 2016 / 20:10

    I always liked Butch Cassidy and nice to hear how he did get his nickname. What a pretty town and so nice and clean. It just shows how many great towns one can visit.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 10, 2016 / 21:32

      Yes, we saw lots of lovely towns, far more picturesque than we expected.

      Like

  5. Liesbet October 10, 2016 / 22:15

    I am so glad you are writing about Wyoming right now. It looks like we will be passing through that state in a few days, on the way to California and if we have some spare time, I’d love to visit somewhere in Wyoming, since I have never been there. Day 1 of 5 days across the US started this morning and is still going after ten hours of driving with a few short breaks. No, you wouldn’t love this kind of road trip! 🙂

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 10, 2016 / 23:22

      No, I would not! We don’t like to go too far each day so that we have time to stop and enjoy places – but it’s different if your journey is purely to get from A to B. Hope it goes well!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. joylovestravel October 11, 2016 / 10:58

    Love the (untouched) artwork in that underpass! Oh that we could have that here.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 11, 2016 / 11:10

      I know, amazing. That was just one – both sides of the underpass had several artworks, all in pristine condition.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy October 12, 2016 / 15:02

    I had never heard that about Butch Cassidy!

    I’m loving all the pics. I keep saying it, but they are really giving me the itch to get on the road (when it warms up again).

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 12, 2016 / 15:32

      Yes, travelling is best in sunshine – a definite nip in the breeze today made me glad to get home.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Claire October 12, 2016 / 17:06

    I see I’m not the first to comment this, but had never heard that about Butch Cassidy – you learn something new every day! Road tripping in the States is so much fun – it’s just built for it, isn’t it?!

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 12, 2016 / 17:26

      It certainly is! And so much more of it to explore (though maybe not if Trump gets in).

      Like

  9. nomad, interrupted October 12, 2016 / 17:49

    What a cute town Rock Springs is! I love all the street art and it’s nice you were able to find a good Chinese/Japanese restaurant. The Grand Tetons are my favorite mountains in the USA, so I can’t wait to hear all about your time there. It’s been about 37 years since I was there!! I can’t believe it’s been so long, so I’m looking forward to going down memory lane.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 12, 2016 / 18:24

      Coming up soon! I don’t expect they’ve changed much 😉

      Like

  10. Heyjude October 12, 2016 / 19:00

    Looks like a film set – and so clean! I so understand your need to get off the interstate, though they are infinitely nicer to drive on than our jam packed motorways!

    Like

  11. Blue Sky Scotland October 13, 2016 / 01:09

    Looks very much like parts of inland rural Australia I passed through and 6 to 10 hour drive times on arrow straight roads to cross deserts there which put me off hiring a land-cruiser although fuel was cheaper than the UK. Big country- big roads and distance to cover. Looking forward to the mighty Tetons that have graced many a cowboy film.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 13, 2016 / 07:47

      Yes, similar – but even greater expanses in Australia I imagine.

      Like

  12. petakaplan October 15, 2016 / 02:04

    Those Old Western towns ARE fun. Your photos really capture the feeling of being there…the wide open spaces, the architecture…..
    I love a collection of painted benches. Interesting about the art work…!

    Looking forward to the Grand Tetons with you!
    Peta

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 15, 2016 / 07:56

      Thanks PETA, we loved those towns. A few more to come later in the trip.

      Like

  13. kelleysdiy October 15, 2016 / 21:26

    You made me want to get in my car and go go go!!!

    Like

  14. rosemaylily2014 October 16, 2016 / 14:02

    The old wild west towns look so charming now! Can imagine it would have been a different story back in the day! I’m enjoying coming along on your adventures! 🙂

    Like

  15. Jemima Pett October 24, 2016 / 10:40

    Did James Michener base his Centennial on this one, or did he invent one more in the Mid-West? I can’t remember. Loving this trip.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 24, 2016 / 10:55

      Just checked! His Centennial was in Colorado but fictional.

      Like

  16. susan@onesmallwalk October 30, 2016 / 19:52

    Looks like you are on an All-American Road Trip. I’m enjoying your vacation tremendously.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 30, 2016 / 21:10

      Thank you! More to come, but I’m a bit overwhelmed by it at the moment.

      Like

  17. ms6282 November 7, 2016 / 20:41

    A real wild west adventure. How did you travel? In a covered wagon? 😉
    Intresting to read the information on the mining coming from a (Former) mining community. The memorial to the miners who were killed earning their living is a poignant reminder of how dangerous the industry was.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh November 7, 2016 / 21:18

      Ha,there was no covered wagon! The memorial was poignant – and, sadly, universal. We visited a memorial to a mining disaster in Glasgow just yesterday,

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh November 7, 2016 / 21:31

      I remember that, though I’d forgotten it was two parts. They revived Boys from the Black Stuff a few years ago, maybe this one should be shown again too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ms6282 November 7, 2016 / 21:37

        It’s on Youtube. Think I’ll have to watch it. Remember watching it first time round- a long time ago! An historical document now, though, now the pits are all gone.

        Liked by 1 person

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