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Laramie artists

7 Dec
Pastel study in progress

Pastel study in progress

Artists blossom in Laramie

To appreciate architecture it helps to know a little about both the architect and the intentions of his or her work. I find this to be true also of art and the artist who creates it. Sure you could appreciate a Van Gogh with out knowing his name or anything about him, but odds are, adding that human element will shed light on what you experience when you are in the presence of such art. Joe Arnold and Robert Seabeck are two of many artists who call Laramie home. Both Seabeck and Arnold are representational artists that enjoy studying and painting familiar Wyoming subjects such as the Teton Mountains or the bison in Yellowstone.

Robert Seabeck painting in his studio

Robert Seabeck painting in his studio

Wyoming draws talent

According to artist, Robert Seabeck of Laramie, Wyoming won over California when he and his wife were planning to raise a family. This was an easy choice for Seabeck. While the big cities may offer exposure artists, the wide open spaces of Wyoming have proven to be an endless source of beauty and wildlife to capture on film and canvas for Seabeck.

Joe Arnold in his studio

Joe Arnold in his studio

Mountains view meadows

Laramie’s own Joe Arnold brings us to the mountains as he paints from the “alpinists” perspective. Climing high into the Teton Mountains both inspires Arnold as well as provides him with a unique style of art. According to Arnold, his love for the mountains and his passion for art led him to his appreciation and pursuit of painting from above.

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Trails of Wyoming Part 2

3 Dec

The Cheyenne to Black Hills stage line was in operation for eleven  years, from 1876 to 1887. It carried mail and gold out of Deadwood and was often the target of highwaymen and bandits.

Route

According to the map on the BLM website the route went north out of Cheyenne along what is now I-80 then to Fort Laramie, then along US 85 north past Newcastle and around then on to Deadwood.

Famous Passengers

According to UltimateWyoming.com Buffalo Bill Cody, Calamity Jane and Bill Hickok all used the road the stage line at one time or another. It is claimed that Calamity Jane drove a stagecoach after the driver was shot, but this is disputed. The stage line was held up multiple times and there were several gunfights and robberies.

End

According to the Black Hills Visitor website, the stage ended when the he Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad reached into central Wyoming and the Black Hills. It had been in operation for just over 11 years.  There are still a few stage stations and other relics of the past.

Trails of Wyoming Part 1

21 Nov

The Transcontinental Airmail route stretched from New York to San Francisco. . It was started in 1924 and was run by the post office until 1926. It closely followed the modern route of I-80 through Wyoming.arrow

Stops in Wyoming

In Wyoming the route had three stops, Cheyenne, Rawlins and Rock Springs. On the website airmailpioneers.org one can read the original instructions given to the pilots as to which route to take and where emergency landings can be done safely. Most of these instructions reference the Union Pacific Railroad with very few compass headings.

Beacons

To assist the pilots before radar and radio navigation were invented beacons were constructed along the route at 10 mile intervals. According the the BLM History Mystery Examiner these beacons were placed on arrow-shaped foundations that pointed the way to the next beacon for daytime flying and had two bright lights for nighttime navigation. The structures were painted with bright colors to improve visibility.

Remnants

The majority of the steel towers for the beacon’s lights were torn down during the time of the Second World War for scrap metal. Advances in navigation soon rendered the beacons obsolete and they were not rebuilt. However to this day one can find concrete arrows out in the middle of nowhere and there are two close to Cheyenne. The first arrow is located on top of Pilot Hill in Medicine Bow National Forest. The second is ten miles farther east on private property.

Secrets of Pole Mountain Continued

8 Nov

The Pole Mountain area of the Medicine Bow National Forest has varied and interesting features that are well worth exploring. From incredible rocks to incredible wildlife, this is a place worth visiting. 

Weird Rock Formations,

Vedauwoo is supposed to be an Arapaho word that means “earth born” and is used to denote the fascinating rock formations and outcrops that occur in the southwest corner of the Pole Mountain area.The formations of Sherman granite rise without a prelude from the prairies and forests and leave visitors scratching their heads at the how some of the rock are balanced.  It is well known for its rock climbing although the ratings can be stiff and the cracks unforgiving.

Flora and Fauna,

Pole Mountain is home to a variety of wildlife including but not limited to;

  • Bears
  • Deer
  • Mountains Lions
  • Moose
  • Porcupines

All of these critters inhabit and migrate through the area with the change of seasons. In my opinion the most dangerous animal to encounter would probably be the moose. They are big, they are protective, and they don’t like to share the road.  I have personally observed them trotting down the middle of a dirt road for 15 minutes in front of a vehicle. Their black coat also makes them extremely difficult to see at night.

Protecting these Unique Places

Unfortunately vandalism and reckless use are far too common in the Pole Mountain Area. The old military bunkers are covered in graffiti and there are multiple places where ATV’s have created deep ruts and unsightly areas. Poachers, careless recreational shooters, and some ATV users, detract from the area’s usage and natural beauty. Please leave the area better than when you found it and clean up after yourself. This will do much to preserve these treasures for the next visitor.

Secrets of Pole Mountain

6 Nov
July 12 2008 034

View from on top of an abandoned bunker.

While some people may think of the Pole Mountain area of the Medicine Bow National Forest as just a place to recreate and enjoy the outdoors it has a rich and varied history.  To this day there are signs warning that it was once a target and maneuver area for the United State’s Military and one should be careful of unexploded ordnance (explosives).  I have personally traveled much of this area and there is much to explore and discover.

Brief History

The area was inhabited by Native American tribes for many centuries who according to legend gathered here to make medicine and bows, hence the name, Medicine Bow. Then came the railroads who used the lumber for railroad ties and telegraph pole, and gave it the name “Pole Mountain“. According to the Wyoming Military Historic Context, 1920-1989 pg.242 report, different parts of the forest came under Federal control over the years first as a  timber reservation, then a military training area and finally in 1961 came under the complete control of the U.S. Forest service.

Military Relics

There are two concrete bunkers, old foundations and abandoned rifle pits. I have been to both bunkers and they are in fairly good condition although sadly covered by graffiti. There is a large rock with a pipe cemented to the top of a rock that is said to have been used to run airplane silhouettes down to the ground on a cable to train anti-aircraft gunners. I got this particular story third hand but have personally seen the pipe,  remnants of the cable and ladder.  A gentleman by the name of Roger Ludwig has done an excellent job of cataloging some of these old sites and their locations.

Movies

There have been at least two movies filmed at the Pole Mountain area, incidentally both used members of the military for extras. The first was the “Charge of the Light Brigade” which depicted the famous charge of British cavalry in the Crimean War. It was produced in 1912 and used 800 troopers of the U.S. cavalry for extras. The second is “The Plainsman” which was produced in 1937 and starred Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur. Members of the Wyoming National Guard were used for extras in the cavalry scenes.

My next post will deal with more of the unique features of this place.

Blame His Parents

6 Sep

Hey I’m on a rock!

 

The Man:

To some I’m Curtis Danger Harnish Bond, well just Devry University….but to everyone else I’m just Curtis Harnish.  I currently work at the Laramie Branch of First National Bank of Wyoming in the IT department. I graduated from Central High School in 2010 and have been attending LCCC ever since. In the Spring I will be attending the University of Wyoming to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.

The Legend:

Music is a major part of my life as well as being obsessed with basketball. I have a love for the outdoors and wondrous beauty of Wyoming. Writing is one of my favorite hobbies and I am an avid reader. Living on my own I’ve had to become my own personal chef which is great because I love to cook as well. I used to be very picky but lately all I want to do is try new things. Just yesterday I had sushi for the first time. I”m just trying to learn as much as I can.

The Contributor?:

My interests vary greatly! A lot of my posts will depend on whatever thing I’m currently obsessing over. So stay with me as I present you all with a random assortment of well…randomness. Staying relevant might be a challenge, but hey, I’m a Challenge Acceptor.