By Bill Sniffin
By definition, the term “bucket list” stands for those places you want to visit or those things you want to do before you die.
For some time now, I have been publishing my own version of this Wyoming list and have gradually been checking a few off my list.
And yet, there are so many other places to see and my list seems to be getting longer rather than shorter.
For example, participating in a dinosaur dig has zoomed to near the top of my list. The dinosaur dig east of Thermopolis is terrific, I have been told.
The Vore buffalo jump near Sundance is amazing. After seeing that one, I now want to get out in the Red Desert and see the jump on the summit of Steamboat Mountain between Rock Springs and Farson.
Among the things that I wanted to do, and did do, were finally seeing Sybille Canyon between Laramie and Wheatland. Also, I finally took that Red Desert back road from Rock Springs to South Pass and visited Boar’s Tusk and the Killpecker Sand Dunes.
Also, I finally drove that fantastic Wild Horse Loop from Green River to north of Rock Springs above the White Mountains.
We also re-visited the fantastic petroglyphs just south of Dubois with our Texas grandchildren. Amazing.
But I still have not made it to some very important locales. So here goes my 2018 Wyoming Bucket List:
• I am hoping to take a closer look at the Vedauwoo area outside of Laramie. Again, I have driven by it hundreds of times. It is time for a closer look. Also, to spend some time at Curt Gowdy State Park.
• There is a man-made rock arrow in the Red Desert called the Hadsell site. It is between Jeffrey City and Wamsutter and will make a nice jeep trip.
• Between Jeffrey City and Muddy Gap is an odd rock formation I call the castle. Reportedly it has names written on its walls, including John Sublette. Sometime this year it will finally get checked off.
• Near the listed area above is a true Stonehenge site near Jeffrey City that can be seen on Google Earth. Only problem is these huge boulders were moved into a geometric design by humans with big machines during a mine clean up some years ago. Bravo to these guys for showing imagination while doing an otherwise boring job.
• Our family lived on Squaw Creek for 23 years outside of Lander and our view looked out at Red Butte. Hope to climb it this summer.
• If Fossil Butte is not on this list, my friend Vince Tomassi will scold me about it. He serves incredible meals every Thursday night in Kemmerer-Diamondville at Luigi’s. Perhaps a tour and dinner, Vince?
• In 1993, I spent a very nervous time hunting a bighorn ram in the Double Cabin Area northeast of Dubois, while dodging grizzly bears. It was not any fun knowing I was not at the top of the food chain. Packing a .30-06 helped alleviate the nerves a little. Would love to go back for a more relaxed trip this time around.
• I still need to take the time to tour UW with a knowledgeable guide and see first-hand all the new buildings and new programs.
• Some 47 years ago, I photographed what looked like a horrible scar on Togwotee Pass where the area was clear-cut. Would like to go back to those areas and see if the timber has recovered or not?
• Historian Phil Roberts says he will give me a tour of the “breaks” north of Lusk? I flew over that area by private plane many times and looked down in awe at this rough country.
• This past year Nancy and I toured eastern Wyoming spending time around Hulett, Sundance, Newcastle, Lusk, Torrington and Wheatland. What a great area full of beautiful sites and wonderful people. Would like to take my grandkids over there this summer.
• A tour of Wyoming’s giant coalmines makes sense.
• Author John Davis of Worland wrote a great book about the Spring Creek massacre. Would very much like to see that site south of Ten Sleep.
• Am hoping Dan Dockstader might give us a tour of the Star Valley area. The few times I have been there, the beauty was amazing.
• The Bear River area around Evanston is worth a trip as is a visit to their fantastic railroad roundhouse which as been restored.
• Jim Hicks of Buffalo has promised me a nice trip to Crazy Woman Canyon some time soon.
• I would like to visit the famous authors, the Gears, in Thermopolis and run up to Ucross and chat with Craig Johnson. Love their books.
• Maybe I can talk Dave Peck into a tour of Big Horn Lake behind Yellowtail Dam. It’s been on my bucket list for a long time.
• On the Wind River Reservation, I would like to visit the mountains at the extreme north end of the rez.
To wrap this up, my friend Tom Hayes does not like the term “bucket list” and calls his a “leap list” for a list he does every leap year to plan their visits over the next four years.
So that’s my Wyoming bucket list. What’s yours?
Bill Sniffin is a retired newspaper publisher who has penned a number of books about Wyoming. Check out additional columns written by Bill at www.billsniffin.com. and find volumes from his coffee table book series, which have sold over 30,000 copies, for sale at the News Letter Journal.