A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Ayres Natural Bridge’

Douglas, Wyoming

Posted by graywacke on December 5, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2465; A Landing A Day blog post number 901.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N42o 38.670’, W105o 35.131’) puts me in Cen-SW Wyoming:

Here’s my local landing map, showing my proximity to titular Douglas:

My streams-only map puts me in the watershed of the wonderfully-named Wagon Hound Creek (aka Wagonhound Creek):

As is obvious, Wagon Hound Creek flows into the North Platte River (33rd hit).  Although not shown (you’ll have to trust me here), the North Platte unsurprisingly flows into the Platte (72nd hit) which unsurprisingly flows into the Missouri (436th hit) which even-more-unsurprisingly flows into the Mississippi (952nd hit).

From the Wagonhound Land & Livestock Co. website, this about the name of the creek:

Named for a hazardous creek crossing notorious to Texas cattle drives in the 1800’s known to have claimed many a drover’s wagon, the Wagonhound Creek flows just yards from today’s ranch headquarters.

From their website, here’s a picture of thirsty horses drinking their fill from the Wagonhound:

And I found out a little more about the name from author Henry Chappel’s website:

Wagonhound Creek, named for a rough crossing where pioneer wagons often broke their tongue-axel junctions, called “hounds.”

Heading over to Google Earth, I couldn’t get the Orange Dude any closer than about 3.5 miles:

And here’s what he sees:

I had to go a good distance east to find a suitable crossing of Wagonhound Creek:

Here’s a downstream shot:

And a cross-stream shot:

So what about Douglas?  I’ll start with this early 1900s Main Street shot:

The modern version of Douglas has a very classy website.  Here’s their homepage (OK, a portion of their homepage):

Look at the very stylistic critter below (and blending in) with the mountains.  Look closely.  There are obviously antlers, but what about the curved line streaming back just behind the antlers.  Just part of the mountains?  No.  All of the mountain accent lines are straight.  Hmmm.  Rabbit ears?

Let’s look at the entire page:

We get to see a couple of Canada geese, but more importantly, note that it says “Home of the Jackalope.”  I’ve heard of a jackalope, but was not quite sure what it is.  From the website:


Let the rest of the world take notice. Douglas, Wyoming is the one, true home of the rare, mysterious and elusive fearsome Jackalope, also known as the “warrior or killer rabbit.”

The jackalope is the result of an auspicious mating of the jackrabbit and a now extinct pygmy deer. Though their range once spread across much of the American West, their only remaining range is in the vast high plains surrounding Douglas. These antlered creatures are otherwise similar in appearance to a jackrabbit, yet capable of speeds up to 90 miles per hour.

[I was kind of ready to believe what I was reading, but 90 mph???  Continuing . . .]

Their rarity is ensured by the fact that they only breed during lightning flashes.

[OK, it’s grain of salt time . . .]

They are known for their other unique characteristics: their fondness for whiskey and their uncanny ability to mimic human sounds. This latter quality is often demonstrated by their mimicking the singing of cowboys around the campfire; and has often aided them in eluding potential captors by calling out “there it goes” to divert them in the wrong direction.

Their milk is known to have amazing aphrodisiac qualities as well as a wide range of medicinal powers. However, the females can only be milked when lulled into sleeping belly up, generally as a result of a whiskey induced stupor.

Fortunately, jackalope milk may be obtained at the Douglas Visitors Center along with hunting licenses. However, those seeking licenses should beware of the difficulty in bagging a jackalope. Besides their innate ability to blend in with their natural surroundings, licenses are only issued to those with a demonstrable I.Q. of less than 72 and are only valid between the hours of midnight and 2:00 A.M. on June 31st of each year.

While the traveler is unlikely to have the opportunity to have an actual sighting of the rare and ferocious jackalope, they will witness

its strong impact on the community. The jackalope is the prominent feature on the City seal and

logo, which testifies that “We know Jack”.  We embrace the wild and independent nature of the jackalope, and welcome visitors to share in the fun.

So anyway, it turns out that two taxidermist brothers from Douglas (Ralph & Doug Herrick) invented the Jackalope in1934, and sold an antlered rabbit as a joke.  Pretty soon, they couldn’t make enough Jackalopes to keep up with the demand, and the legend was born.

I noticed a cluster of GE photos not far north of my landing.  They were pictures of Ayres Natural Bridge.  Here’s a 1950s postcard of the bridge:

And a more recent shot, from Trip Advisor:

I’ll close with this shot posted on GE by Claude Bougeois, of a cattle drive along Wagon Hound Creek:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

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Glenrock, Wyoming

Posted by graywacke on July 3, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan – Doh! Just a couple of landings ago I was in this old WBer, and here I am again in . . . WY; 65/56; 6/10; 7; 157.1.

For the 23rd time, I landed in the watershed of the N Platte R; on to the Platte (50th hit); on to the Missouri (329th hit); on the MM (692nd hit).

Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to I-25, the N Platte R and Glenrock:


FYI, I landed less than 15 miles east of Casper. Here’s a broader view:


So it turns out that Glenrock is actually named for a rock in a glen. Here’s a picture of the rock (which is located just west of town in the “Rock in the Glen” town park:

rock in the glen

From the town’s website:

Glenrock has gone through many transformations. It was the Deer Creek Crossing in the early days of emigration (Deer Creek flows south to north through Glenrock before discharging into the N Platte).

By 1849 there were many ferries operating along the Platte River and Deer Creek. There was a short period of time when there was a Mormon settlement in the area. Then, later a mail station was established for the Pony Express on the west side of the creek, named Deer Creek Station. This was later used as a telegraph office. The station was burned after an epidemic of smallpox because a nearby blacksmith shop was used to house the sick.

The town then went through a time being named Mercedes. After that, it was named Nuttell for William Nuttell who was mining coal deposits in the area.

In 1887 the town applied for a post office and had to have a permanent name. Ed Wells suggested the name Glenrock because of the rock overlooking the glen. This name was adopted and Mr. Wells became the first postmaster.

The Rock in the Glen still has the names of the some of the emigrants that passed through Glenrock carved into its face stones.

Located nearby is the Ayres Natural Bridge:

ayres natural bridge

And another shot:


From Wiki:

Ayres Natural Bridge is located in Converse County, Wyoming, just southeast of the town of Glenrock. Over the course of millions of years, a bend in LaPrele Creek (originally known as Bridge Creek) wore away at a wall of solid rock, creating a natural opening. The creek eventually shifted course through the opening, forming a 30-foot high and 50-foot wide arch, today known as Ayres Natural Bridge.

Located about a mile south of the Oregon Trail, the Natural Bridge was often visited by emigrants traveling west. It is considered one of Wyoming’s first tourist attractions. In 1843, a pioneer described it as “a natural bridge of solid rock, over a rapid torrent, the arch being regular as tho’ shaped by art.”

The park at the Natural Bridge is free to visit.

A dark moment in Glenrock history occurred in 1923 . . .







Hundreds Visit Scene of Wreck and See Imprisoned Victims, Unable to Give Aid.

By The Associated Press

CASPER, Wyo., Sept. 28. Upward of two score persons perished Thursday night when Chicago, Burlington & Quincy passenger train No. 30 broke through a small bridge spanning Coal Creek, fifteen miles east of Casper, Wyo., rescue workers estimated Friday night, although only three bodies have actually been found.

The plunge of the engine, baggage car, smoker car, chair car and one Pullman coach through the bridge, weakened by the lashing current of the usually placid little stream caused by recent heavy rains, imprisoned the occupants of these cars who had little opportunity to escape.

Rescue parties were hampered Friday night by snow and rain which started shortly after the wreck and has continued unabated while workmen stand helplessly on the banks of the raging little stream whose force during the day caused the submerged cars with their grim burden to settle still deeper into the creek bead.


The crack Casper-Denver train hurrying through the storm at reduced speed is believed by railroad men to have started its plunge to destruction as the engine hit the first span of the bridge. The baggage coach apparently slid into the current on top of the engine and was crushed like an egg shell. The smoker, where greatest loss of life is believed to have occurred, was completely submerged. One end of the chair car was lifted out of the water by resting on the smoker, and this helped to save those in this car. One Pullman coach came to rest on the bank of the stream with one end in the water. Four men in the Pullman smoker are reported to have been caught in this death trap.

I’ll close with this shot of Mrs. Smith, a proud Glenrock resident, posing with the bobcat she shot while defending her chickens (circa 1890). I wouldn’t mess with Mrs. Smith . . .

Mrs. Smith 1890 bobcat



© 2009 A Landing A Day

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