Vacation in Thermopolis, Wyoming
Vacation! Amanda and I took time off from work to visit my hometown Thermopolis, Wyoming. It was great to spend time with family and show Amanda all that Thermopolis had to offer. There was plenty of time to catch up on family going-ons, an abundance of food to eat, and conversation.
We had a chance to visit the museums. The Wyoming Dinosaur Center, located next to some VERY large world class dig sites, had interesting display changes. There was a new primitive Triceratops looking creature named "Mary" that didn't have a scientific name yet. I noticed the large Camerisaur (not sure on spelling) display was taken down for research purposes. The Hot Springs County Historical Museum hadn't changed that much, but the two floors were still packed with more than can be absorbed in several visits.
Located in front of Hot Springs County Historical Museum, is the new Hot Springs County Memorial. It honors the dead and currently living veterans of Thermopolis family and friends. Dad sandblasted the names/words on over 300 tiles for the memorial, completed in summer of 2005.
Hot Springs County State Park was full of construction. Hot water that comes from the Big Spring (shown above) is now cooled in a heat exchange building by pipes containing pumped river water. The partially cooled mineral water is then used by the Star Plunge, and Teepee commercial pools, and the State Bath House. Before, the hot water was cooled in the cooling ponds before entering the pools accompanied by dead fish, bacteria, and algae from the ponds. The cooling ponds are now used to cool the used river water before
being pumped back into the river.
One of my favorite places in Hot Springs County State Park is the swinging bridge that crosses the terraces. Built in 1916, it was used by the public until 1982 when it was condemned. It was renovated in 1992, and is once again open to the public.
My niece, Savanna, daughter of my sister Miranda, had her first birthday party while visiting!
There was dinner, gifts, and cake. Savanna and the family had a blast. This was followed by Miranda's bridal shower as she i getting married to Douglas very soon!
A trip to Thermopolis isn't complete without climbing Roundtop, located to the North West of town. It's a great place to explore and think. Amanda views the town of Thermopolis below with Dad's binoculars. Amanda, Dad, and I took a brief look at the surroundings around the flat, circular hill.
One item that I missed that can't be seen in Denver, is the stars. While in Denver, one can only see 3 or 4 stars at a time. Outside of Thermopolis, one can see the Milky Way cloud consisting of trillions of lights! A good location to see the stars near Thermopolis is at the base of Roundtop as Amanda and I watched from the back of the truck.
My sister, Emma, had some fun with my cellphone at Pizza Hut. :)
On the way back home, Hell's Half Acre located between Casper and Shoshone has become a tradition to stop at. The odd looking area was created by wind and water erosion. It is also the location where the popular movie "Starship Troopers" was filmed as the "bug planet".
Since my last visit, Hotel Hell was burned down by the state as it was not fit for use. It was a fitting death for a hotel with such a name in my opinion. The restaurant/gift shop was boarded up, and the general area was blocked off to vehicles.
The six day trip was fantastic!