Drew’s New: Exploring Casper and Beyond
Still being really new to Casper and the State of Wyoming, I'm having a great time getting a chance to get out and see what the area has to offer. This week I had the honor of being in the Mills, WY 100th anniversary parade, spending a couple hours enjoying the sites and sounds of the Centennial party on the riverfront, then heading to Kaycee, Wy: Home of Chris LeDoux!
Being able to be in Mills to celebrate the 100th was great. All morning there were hot air balloons in the sky, a 5K was being ran and families spent their Saturday morning collecting candy tossed to them at the parade. Then they moved positions to the riverfront where they spent the day walking up and down the riverfront playing games, bouncing, throwing, eating, drinking, playing and even riding in a train. Such a great thing to see all the smiling faces and chatting with the families!
My next adventure was about 70 miles North on I-25 in the legendary town of Kaycee, WY, home of Chris LeDoux Day's. Talk about a chilling stop on my exploration journey, I know that most people here know the story of Chris and his journey through rodeo, music and life. Garth Brooks sings of his friend, Chris LeDoux, in the 2005 song "Good Ride Cowboy"...
From the hills of Kaycee, Wyoming,
Where life's wooly and wild
Came a Air Force brat, in a cowboy hat
And that Copenhagen smile
When I decided to go to Kaycee, I wanted to go before the 10th Annual "Chris LeDoux Days" so I knew what this town was about before the event got here. I can see why the LeDoux family chose to settle down in the Kaycee area. It's a place where everyone knows everyone, the history is very strong and it seems to be quiet and peaceful.
You know rodeo is a big part of Kaycee, the Harold Jarrard Park is where Rodeo action takes place in the middle of town.
The history is very much on display right smack in the middle of town with the Chris LeDoux Park which is across the street from the Ledoux family run "Rusty Spur". Walking through the park with the "Good Ride Cowboy" monument was chilling and you could feel the love and spirit of the Rodeo Legend. At the base of the monument, fans of Chris left a token to let him know they stopped by, as multiple cans of Copenhagen where at the base of the monument as if to say hello!
Before I left town I had a couple more stops. One stop was The Hoof Prints Of the Past Museum and boy was I happy I did. As I walked in, a family was wrapping up their tour and you could tell they were happy they took the time to stop in, so I knew I was at the right spot to learn about Kaycee and Johnson County! The displays were outstanding! With items from years past ranging from firearms, general housing items, house layouts, old cash registers, maps of the county, Native American artifacts, a blacksmith shop, wagons, a sheep wagon (old "travel trailer") and even a school house! It was incredible to see the history inside (and out) of the museum. If you're ever in town, don't miss out on this great trip through the years!! I will set aside a full afternoon to learn all I can and highly recommend it for you too!
My final stop in Kaycee was the Invasion Bar & Restaurant just across Nolan Ave. When I walked in I knew, if I lived there, that would be my hang out. I even picked out the bar stool that would be my spot when I walked in. The bar was covered with the different brands, the cooler was full of an assortment of beer and other adult beverages lined the bar. The small group of locals were fun, full of spirit and you could tell they were a good, fun bunch! Cold beer, Food and even bottles of the Chris LeDoux Whiskey. The perfect way to end this adventure filled day.
I'll be spending more time in Kaycee, maybe even this weekend for the 10th Annual Chris LeDoux Days. If you go, be sure to take time to enjoy a great history filled town and pay your respects to the Hall of Famer and Legend Chris LeDoux!