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Cheyenne, Wyoming

Three weeks ago, I started a thread about Phoenix, Arizona - the largest state capital in the USA. This time, I've decided to do another state capital in the Western USA - albeit a much smaller one :P .

Cheyenne (named after the Native American tribe of the same name) is a city located in Laramie County, Wyoming. It's both Wyoming's capital city and its largest city - but, in spite of this, it only has an estimated population of 63,957 as of 2018. Even adding in the surrounding suburbs only gives it a 'metro area' population of 98,976!

In some ways, it's surprising that Cheyenne exists at all. It was one of a number of settlements founded for tracklayers working on the First Transcontinental Railroad, as it made its way westwards across the Great Plains. Typically, these communities were short-lived: as the tracks moved on, so would the workers. However, in 1867, the trackbuilders got stuck when they ran into a range of Rocky Mountain-shaped obstacles. It took them about six months to find their way through - and, by that time, their latest 'temporary home' in Cheyenne had grown into a proper permanent city, complete with its own nickname: "The Magic City of the Plains". By 1868, when the Wyoming Territory was created as a separate US territory, Cheyenne had a population of around 5,000 - and so, it was chosen as the capital of the new territory.

Early on, the main industries and employers were the railway, the military post built to protect it (Fort Russell), and livestock (both cattle and sheep). In the early 20th century, these industries were joined by aircraft, as Cheyenne became popular as an intermediate stopping point between the cities in the eastern USA and those on the West Coast. This, in turn, fuelled growth in the city's aerospace industry: a factory in Cheyenne fitted new guns to B-17 and B-24 bombers during World War II. Fort Russell, too, was re-purposed for aircraft - and, in 1947, it was re-named to the "Francis E. Warren Air Force Base" (after Wyoming's first governor). These days, the air base is one of three in the USA used for missile command, and it remains a vital regional employer - as does the Union Pacific Railroad, which began it all :P . (If you're interested in reading more about Cheyenne's history, there's a good page here which goes into more detail: I used that as a reference for writing the above two paragraphs!)

There's quite a bit to see and do there - and, for the most part, it's tied to Cheyenne's historic economic drivers. For example, one of the city's biggest draws is the Union Pacific's depot museum, which maintains its historic fleet of steam and diesel locomotives. These include 'Big Boy' No. 4014 (the world's largest steam locomotive in working order), and No. 6936 (the world's largest diesel locomotive in working order). It's also home to Cheyenne Frontier days, which has been held annually since 1897, and has since grown to become the largest outdoor rodeo in the USA. There are also a number of museums covering the history of Native Americans and the Old West - including the Wyoming State Museum, which also has wildlife and fossil collections. As for professional sports, the city was briefly home to a professional American football team, named the Cheyenne Warriors - but, sadly, the owner's death forced them to fold after only two years :( . Maybe the next one will have better luck!

So, has anyone ever been here - and, if so, what did you think?
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I never hear that much from Wyoming, seems like a very quiet and peaceful state.
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