Livingston MT and Sheridan WY
Livingston and the Train Museum
After leaving White Sandy BLM Recreation area, we return to Paradise Valley near Livingston. Downtown Livingston has a neat train museum – the Livingston Depot. There are great displays for the building of the railroad that led to the explosion of settling of this area. The museum covers the tremendous effort required to lay tracks over and through the mountains. The railroad shipped goods from the mines, farms and ranches in the area to the big cities to the east and west, and tourists in to see Yellowstone. Early on Livingston was the gateway to the nation’s first National Park. Displays show the history of the railroad all through the mid-1900’s when trains were THE way to travel.
This area is also very popular with Hollywood, as it was used for many movies since movies started being made. There is an exhibit “Film in Montana” upstairs that showcase movies shot in Montana and old film editing equipment.
There is also an area for local artists. On exhibit is a gallery for a woman cowboy photographer (“Pure Quill: Photographs by Barbara Van Cleve.” ). She uses a lot of low-light and evening shots for an unusual portrayal of cowboy life. Check out her website or if you are near Livingston stop by the train depot during 2018. Very enjoyable. She has a great ‘eye’.
Paradise Valley KOA is a very nice full-featured camp with amazing views of the mountains south of Livingston Montana. See our earlier post here when we stopped on our way to Yellowstone National Park.
Livingston Wyoming Pictures
Sheridan and the Bighorn Mountains
Driving south on Interstate 90 from Livingston Wyoming to Sheridan takes you along the eastern side of the Bighorn Mountains. At first the range is not impressive while driving along I-90 – there are few mountain peaks visible that we saw. You can easily drive by them and say, “huh, nice hills.” But drive into the mountains from Sheridan and almost immediately we are greeted with spectacular canyons and valleys with up-scale housing on US 14. Spend a few minutes at Shell Falls for a nice break.
Dense forests and wildflowers galore (mid-July) at the crest led to desert scrub on the east side following US 20. We stopped several times to enjoy the views.
Similar to our thoughts about the Big Horn Mountains, don’t judge a city by what you see from the freeway. Christine wants to see the King Saddlery in downtown Sheridan. After driving through the typical strip malls, once we reach the downtown area we find a very tricked out old town. The rodeo is in town, and the streets are packed. There are cool artsy statues along the main street and the shops are bustling. You can do a lot of people watching and whether you are checking out the cowboys or the cowboy watchers it’s fun.
Alright, I think we are going to see some saddles. Kings Saddlery is a legendary store about a legendary family of leather craftsmen. Just walking through the store and then the museum, which is in another building, it brings you to a life that was simple, but so full of hardships and joy. You can almost imagine what it was like living during the time that King Saddlery first came about and the life of the cowboys and their families. Don King started making saddles in 1946 followed by his sons John and Bob.
Sheridan/King’s Saddlery Pictures
The Cowboy Cafe
We had breakfast at the Cowboy Cafe, then did some window shopping before heading back to the Sheridan KOA and the dogs.
Next up… the FMCA rally in Gillette Wyoming!
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