America the Beautiful…Wyoming, The Cowboy State

Wyoming

In 1807, John Colter thought he was going on just another fur trapping job. Instead, while setting traps, he came upon geysers & hot springs that were so beautiful and indescribable, he encouraged his friends back home to see what he saw. Today, millions of visitors travel to Yellowstone every year to experience what John Colter stumbled upon. The state of Wyoming is mostly known for its natural beauty and majestic mountain ranges. It is where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains. It is also the land of many firsts. In 1869, women in Wyoming were the first to win the right to vote. In 1925, Mrs. Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first woman governor in the United States. Wyoming can also claim the first national monument; Devils Tower.

Devils Tower

Devils Tower was declared a national monument by Theodore Roosevelt on September 24, 1906. It rises 1,267 feet above the surrounding terrain. More than 400,000 tourist visit every year. There are many Native American stories about the creation of Devils Tower. Here’s just one of many: According to the Native American tribes of the Kiowa and Lakota, some girls went out to play and were spotted by several giant bears, who began to chase them. In an effort to escape the bears, the girls climbed atop a rock, fell to their knees, and prayed to the Great Spirit to save them. Hearing their prayers, the Great Spirit made the rock rise from the ground towards the heavens so that the bears could not reach the girls. The bears, in an effort to climb the rock, left deep claw marks in the sides, which had become too steep to climb. (Those are the marks which appear today on the sides of Devils Tower.) When the girls reached the sky, they were turned into the star constellation the Pleiades.

Whether you are visiting the High Plains, Grand Teton National Park, or Fort Laramie-the first permanent trading post, Wyoming will remind you of what America used to be, and why our country continues to be admired by so many today.

God Bless America

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