Wyoming August 06, 2019
9 Moments Everyone Born In Wyoming Will Always Remember
Anyone growing up in Wyoming certainly had a unique experience. Nowhere else in the country do kids learn to drive around cowboys and pronghorne, nor do they escape into the wilderness that’s famous worldwide. Plus, several newsworthy events over the past 30 years have stuck with anyone living out here. When you combine life experiences and impactful history, you get these 9 moments that anyone around will always remember.
1. The Yellowstone Fires of 1988
The Yellowstone Fires of August and September 1988 burned up nearly 800,000 acres of forest near Yellowstone National Park, causing the park to close to visitors for the first time in history. Everyone in Wyoming was glued to the TV, particularly as the fires approached the historic Old Faithful Complex.
2. Learning how to hike, camp, and fish in our National Forests.
Growing up in Wyoming is like growing up in paradise. Do you remember your first backpacking trip, or the first time you set up a tent? What about casting your first fly? In other parts of the country, kids think about the first time they went to the mall by themselves, but out here in Wyoming, we're raised in a totally different way.
3. Your first encounter with a bear.
Was it a black bear, or a grizzly? Did you keep your cool, like you had planned? If you're anything like me, the first time you accidentally encounter a bear is a moment you remember forever.
4. The Murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie
October 1998 was one of the darkest months in Wyoming history. A young UW student, Matthew Shepard, was murdered by two Wyoming men just because he identified as gay. The crime shook the progressive and close-knit communtiy of Laramie, and forced difficult conversations in every corner of the state. Just over a decade later in October 2009, hate crime legislation was signed into law to help protect those targeted for their race, religion, or orientation.
5. Your first rafting trip down a river at peak snowmelt.
We've all dropped into the river when it's been a little too wild, and that first snowmelt trip is one that you will always hold close to your heart.
6. The first time you see the Tetons.
Most Americans can only catch this view in the pictures of Ansel Adams, in books, on posters and on calendars in their hometown bookstores. Wyomingites might take this view for granted, but we all remember being starstruck the first time they came into view.
7. Wolves are reintroduced in 1995
Wolves have been a controversial topic for generations, and when they were intentionally reintroduced to northwestern Wyoming, it caused quite a stir! Whether you're pro-wolf or anti-wolf, the debate and outcome is something you'll certainly recall.
8. Learning how to drive out here.
Most kids learn how to drive on highways, in traffic, and around circles. Drivers ed in Wyoming talks less about k-turns and more about giving horses the right of way and watching out for pronghorn.
9. Visiting Yellowstone as an adult.
We all packed into the car and endured a lousy family vacation to the park when we were kids - but have you been back as an adult? When you plan your trip to our most treasured wonder, you'll see just how it looked to the explorers who uncovered Colter's Hell.
For more Wyoming history, read
11 Insane Things That Happened In Wyoming You Won’t Find in History Books.