By definition, the term “bucket list” stands for those places you want to visit or those things you want to do before you die.
For some time now, I have been publishing my own version of this list and have gradually been checking a few off my list.
And yet, there are so many other places to see and my list seems to be getting longer rather than shorter.
For example a dinosaur dig or a buffalo jump have zoomed to near the top of my list. Our family has never been to either and Wyoming has some of the best in the country. The dinosaur dig north of Thermopolis and the historical one near Como Bluff near Medicine Bow are two of the most prominent dino digs in the country. The Vore buffalo jump near Sundance is amazing, I hear. Before seeing that one, I just want to get out in the Red Desert and see the stark stole-fashioned one on the summit of Steamboat Mountain between Rock Springs and Farson.
Among the things that I wanted to do, and did do, included finally seeing Sybille Canyon between Laramie and Wheatland and driving the back road over the Snowy Range Mountains between Saratoga and Laramie. Also, I finally took that Red Desert back road from Rock Springs to South Pass and visited Boar’s Tusk and the Killpecker Sand Dunes. On my earlier list was a visit to Bill, Wyoming, which I managed to do one Sunday afternoon while listening to a Bronco football game on the radio.
Also finally I drove that fantastic Wild Horse Loop from Green River to north of Rock Springs above the White Mountains. We also re-visited the fantastic petroglyphs just south of Dubois. Amazing.
But I still have not made it to some very important events. So here goes by 2014 Wyoming Bucket List:
• Am hoping to take a closer look at Vedauwoo area outside of Laramie. Again, I have driven by it hundreds of times. It is time for a closer look. Also, to spend some time at Curt Gowdy State Park.
• There is a man-made rock arrow in the Red Desert called the Hadsell site. It is between Jeffrey City and Wamsutter and will make a nice jeep trip with my friend Jim Smail.
• Between Jeffrey City and Muddy Gap is an odd rock formation I call Stonehenge. Reportedly it has names written in it including John Sublette. Sometime this year it will finally get checked off.
• Our family lived on Squaw Creek for 23 years outside of Lander and our view looked out at Red Butte. Hope to climb it this summer.
• If Fossil Butte is not on this list, my friend Vince Tomassi will scold me about it. He serves incredible meals every Thursday night in Kemmerer-Diamondville at Luigi’s. Perhaps a tour and dinner, Vince?
• Enjoy a Scotch tasting part at historic Miner’s Delight in Atlantic City, just above Lander.
• In 1993, I spent a very nervous time hunting a bighorn ram in the Double Cabin Area northeast of Dubois. Would love to go back for a more relaxed trip this time around.
• I still need to take the time to tour UW with a knowledgeable guide and see first-hand all the new buildings and new programs.
• Some 43 years ago, I photographed what looked like a horrible scar on Togwotee Pass where the area was clear-cut. Would like to go back to those areas and see if the timber has recovered or not?
• Historian Phil Roberts says he will give me a tour of the “breaks” north of Lusk? I flew over that area by private plane many times and looked down in awe at this rough country.
• Would like to spend some quality time around Devil’s Tower, too.
• A tour of Wyoming’s giant coalmines makes sense.
• On the Wind River Reservation, I would like to visit the Arapaho Ranch and also visit the mountains at the extreme north end of the rez.
To wrap this up, my friend Tom Hayes does not like the term “bucket list” and calls his a “leap list” for a list he does every leap year to plan their visits over the next four years.
Jim Hicks always offers perspective on these kinds of lists when he says he always wanted to break par, then he always wanted to break 80. “Now I just want to be able to get out there and play,” he concludes.
So that’s my Wyoming bucket list. What’s yours?
Check out Bill Sniffin’s columns at www.billsniffin.com. He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has written four books. His most recent is “Wyoming’s 7 Greatest Natural Wonders” which is available at www.wyomingwonders.com or fine book stores.