A Wyoming Reception (Part I)

Whew. After almost a week, I think I'm recovered from Wyoming. It was a terrific time, but man, those westerners (and traveling midwesterners and easterners and Mexican transplants) sure know how to party.

Now, as you know, my parents live in lovely Laramie, Wyoming, home to the University of Wyoming (the only university in the state). This is not where I grew up, but it's where my parents have lived for nearly five years and so it is my Wyoming home away from home now.

On Friday evening, we shared the wonder that is Laramie (you can get a glimpse here) with friends and family who made it into town. This included stops at Bart's Flea Market (and yes, I bought more Pyrex—don't act so shocked) as well as an evening enjoying my parents' favorite wine bar and a trip to the always entertaining Buckhorn, where now that school is in session club music thumps from upstairs while you gaze at a lovely selection of animals mounted on the wall and a gunshot hole in the mirror downstairs.

Saturday, the real adventure began, as we headed to Centennial for the reception. Centennial is located about 27 miles from Laramie. The population sign says there are 100 people, but don't let that fool you. I hear the number is closer to 80, which means on Saturday night we managed to more than double the population.

Centennial is a pretty little spot in the Snowy Range Mountains, right next to the Medicine Bow National Forest. There's a ski area just up the road from Centennial, which is where Conservative Boy spent his time on Friday and Saturday.

Rather than messing with falling down hills all day on Saturday, I opted for cross-country skiing instead, under the masterful guidance of my childhood friend Rae and her hubby Z, outdoorsy types who knew a great route.

As my friend Cara mentioned on her blog, I too failed to remember one key detail: they're climbers. In other words, this wasn't going to be a leisurely ski through the park, and it wasn't as flat as the terrain you see in the picture above.

This was made increasingly apparent when we drove up past the downhill ski area, past where all the snowmobilers start their journeys, to the start of our route. Then we proceeded to ski all the way down, to within a mile of Centennial. Yes, I said down.

The cross-country skiing route was hilly as heck, but I have to admit I actually had better luck traveling downhill than uphill. That part was hard.

Needless to say, despite all of our wipeouts and whining that we were never going to make it down the hill, it was a blast. The scenery up there, where no vehicles or snowmobiles and very few people venture, was absolutely amazing. Tree branches weighed down under thick snow, strange rock formations capped with more snow, and the most beautiful flakes falling out of a lovely blue sky. It was incredibly picturesque, to say the least.

And guess who forgot her camera?

(Fortunately, Cara and her honey did have theirs, so you can see a few pics on her blog.)

After the big snowy adventure, the day was just beginning. But I've decided I rambled on enough for today so, just because I can, I'm breaking this post into two and giving you the rest of the details tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'll be wishing I was up in the Snowies skiing again rather than doing homework. Alas, such is life, until Conservative Hubby decides to buy me a cabin out there (a-hem ... hint hint).

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