Where I’ve Been: Wyoming Has The Most Interesting Rest Areas

Wyoming Rest Area 054Wyoming is a state I’ve driven through many, many times.  I-80 is a major thoroughfare for truck drivers. That freeway’s corridor is barren countryside in the summer–dull and brown, though very mountainous, and pretty in its own brownish sort of way.  But in the spring, when there is still a bit of snow on the ground, and there is enough moisture that the grasses sprout up, it is quite beautiful.

I like some of the rest areas in Wyoming.  They create these little exhibits in them, so when you go to one, it feels like you’re going to a museum.  Not all of them are like that, but certain key rest areas are.  The one on Happy Jack Road (which I absolutely adore, because it is on a road that coincidentally has the same name as my late grandpa–Happy Jack McKerley), which is at the highest summit along all of I-80, is pretty great.  It has a monument to Abraham Lincoln there, a little theater with informative video, and various exhibits to read.

On I-25, at around mile marker 4-ish, there is a rest area and state welcome center.  I really like this one.  It’s got all kinds of fun exhibits about what is great about the state of Wyoming in it.  It even has a replica skeleton of a woolly mammoth inside!  Going to this rest area is pretty much the closest I ever get to being a tourist.  I get to pretend I’m in a museum or something and read all the great exhibits.  I swear, I really do try to modify my schedule and route so that if I’m passing through here, I get to stay the night at this rest area in my truck so that I can go inside in the morning and read more stuff.  I only ever have time to look around a little bit at a time.  One of these days I’ll have finally read everything in there!

But really, the welcome centers of a lot of states have interesting exhibits, too.  Wyoming just has the best one I’ve found so far.  Any of you all know of any really cool rest area/welcome centers like this?  Ones where you can park a semi-truck?  Do tell, because next time I’m through that state, I’ll have to check it out!


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