True Travels: Cheyenne, WY

If you follow me on any social media, my excitement for attending Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming must have been palpable. For weeks, I was so giddy to experience the western heritage festival on the prairie without really explaining why, which seems a little out of place for a city girl who avoids modern country music at all costs.

My grandparents trek down to Wyoming from Seattle every year for Frontier Days. They've been doing it since before my memory even began. I joined them when I was twelve, and remember spending hours in front of the fan in my great-grandmother's guest room reading every book on the shelf, trying to pass the time until the hot sun went down. I never made it to the Frontier Days parade or festivities—at the time, my interest was anything but peaked.

Since then, things have changed. So much of my family history took place in Wyoming, and now? That matters to me. Half my family started there—my grandparents met (Grandma went to the market every Saturday with her mother, and there was my future granddad, bagging her groceries each week) and got married there, my dad was born this day, a lot of the family stayed down there to settle. My great-uncle Dale even rode in the parade for several years. This was the first year he missed due to health reasons, and even though I wish with my entire being he could have been riding, I was so happy to finally participate and see what he and my family see each year. I had such a good time, and captured the best moments to share with you.

We only had two short days in the city—we spent them strolling through downtown (must-stop coffee shop: Paramount Cafe) and exploring the free State Museum and State Capitol. The sun was hot and the breeze was less than intermittent, but the hours spent walking where my grandmother and dad walked during childhood were well worth it. Digging through my great-grandmother's old costume jewelry for treasures and meeting my little third or fourth kiddo cousins for the first time was an added bonus. I'm already planning next year's Frontier Days excursion, which is sure to be followed by a week in the Colorado Rockies. I spent a few days in Leadville and Estes Park with my family before Frontier Days this year, so be on the lookout for posts from those cities in the next week. I left my heart in the Wild West, and I can't wait to go back next year to find it.