7.03.2009

Vedauwoo

Have you figured out how to say the title of this post yet? Come on, keep trying.

I'll give you a hint: It doesn't sound like "woo."

Say it slow: vee - da - voo.

Now that we have that pronunciation lesson out of the way, I'll tell you what Vedauwoo is.

But first, what it's not: another whacky Wyoming drink. A sultry South American dance. A yoga pose. A random recipe I can't resist trying.

What it is:


Looks interesting but not all that spectacular, right? This is the view when you first enter the Vedauwoo recreation area, right off I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie in Wyoming. It's an interesting rock formation and all, but in a sort of blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of way.


That is, until you actually enter the recreation area, and realize there's a whole lot more to it than meets the eye.

Vedauwoo draws experienced rock climbers, campers and hikers to its lumpy stone formations each year, particularly on sunny June weekends like when we visited. (Look closely below and you'll see climbers in the crevices of the rocks. I wish I could say I was one of them, but I kept my feet on the ground.)


It's the first glimpse many travelers have of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest (with more the 2 million–yes, million!—acres of public lands). And, perhaps more interesting, it's known at "Land of the Earthborn Spirit" to the Arapaho Indians.


All this stone you see is granite. Specifically, it's 1.4-billion-year-old Sherman Granite. In other words, these rocks are old. And huge. And some appear to be perched very precariously, although they've been in those positions longer than Wyoming has been a state.


Or longer than the United States has existed. Probably longer than ... well, you get the picture.


All these funky rocks were first exposed to the world around 70 million years ago, when the uplift of the Laramie Mountains began. Since then, layers of sediment and rock have gradually eroded (and still do today), leaving the sculptural granite forms you're oohing and aahing over right now.


Of course, the views beyond the rocks are pretty darn spectacular too. Sandstone cliffs, mountain ponds, wildflowers, and trees, trees, trees.


This, in case you were wondering, is why I love Wyoming. A thousand awe-inspiring sites and not a single one of them is manmade.


We went to Vedauwoo for a few hours last weekend.


We hiked the Turtle Rock Trail, which was absolutely gorgeous. Seriously. Amazing.


And then we had a picnic, complete with homemade ice cream and chilled white wine. Does life get any better than that?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just wondering why you think it's pronounced voo instead of woo. just because wiki says it is..... ?