Sunday, August 20, 2017

Preparing for my journey to Torrington, Wyoming tomorrow for the Total Eclipse

A few days  ago I drove up to Torrington, Wyoming, just an hour and a half or so north of Cheyenne in perfect road conditions, took a lot of photos, and wrote an article, Where to see the Total Eclipse in Torrington Wyoming.

Looks like hundreds of people from Colorado might be planning to go up to Torrington, because that article is averaging a hundred hits a day.

So tomorrow....I am actually going to be driving up to Jay Em, which is another 30 or so miles north of Torrington, because unlike Torrington, Jay Em has a personalized post office cancellation.

I have created a post card with the Jay Em stamp on the front and some info about Jay Em on the back, affixed the Eclipse stamp to it, and tomorrow I hope to get at least 10 and hopefully 20 cancelled.

Then I'll try to sell them on Ebay or offer them as a perk for my Tiny Towns project, which I'll be launching sooner or later on Kickstarter.

I'll be leaving at 5 am, in hopes of beating the traffic. I've put a pillow and blankets in my car so if I get there as normal, after just an hour and a half drive time, I can take a nap if I feel like it.

I've also bought candy bars and a quart of milk and put them in a cooler which I'll be bringing with.

Also...because as a woman it's not easy to get out of the car and relieve oneself if one is stuck in traffic...I dont' mind admitting...I'll be wearing a Depend. Hey! I believe in being prepared and if a hundred thousand people descend on Torrington or Jay Em, well, I don't intend to suffer if there are no port-a-potties!

Friday, August 18, 2017

What is the 146 Club?

I subscribed months ago to the Wyoming Eclipse Festival Newsletter.

The Wyoming Eclipse Festival is the official title for the festival taking place in Casper, Wyoming from today. Friday, August 18 to Monday, April 21 - and there are a lot of fun events taking place for both science enthusiasts and enthusiasts of fun - and the two aren't necessarily exclusive, of course!

Always at the bottom of these emails was a banner ad saying, Spend $146 and join the 146 Club.

Every time I'd click on it to see what the 146 Club was, it would take me to an Event Brite page that would say, "Event Past."

"What is this 146 Club?" I thought, so I googled, "146 Club."

And the first 146 Club that came up was one that fights human trafficking, although it was called Love146 Club.

Turns out the Wyoming Eclipse Festival's 146 Club was so named because Casper is going to have 146 seconds of totality on August 21, 2017, so the similarity of the names is just a coincidence. (And as an aside, the Wyoming Eclipse Festival could have done a better job promoting this club. Apart from a Facebook post from August 2016 - one year ago - I saw no advertising for it (in my belated research of a couple of days ago!)

Check out and there's no mention of the 146 Club at all, there's just a banner ad on the email newsletter they send out.

Still, the coincidence was serendipity of a kind.

In looking for Casper's 146 Club I learned about the Love146 Club.

The Love146 Club is so named because a couple of undercover agents went into an auction where young girls were being auctioned off to be sex slaves. Each girl had a numbered tag pinned to her dress so the buyer could choose her by number, and the only one of these girls who was still "defiant" after months of sexual abuse had the number 146 pinned to her dress.

According to the website, because these agents were undercover they couldn't do anything at this sex auction, when they finally returned with their warrants the girls, including number 146, were gone, never to be found again.

It's important that parents, and of course teenagers themselves, learn of this danger right in their own back yards.

There's human trafficking for sex slaves of young girls and boys - right here in the US. (Though this is not exclusively a US problem, of course).

Below is a post from 2015 - this organization has been in existence since 2000.

10 Reasons you should start a Love146 Club

This is an important subject. The percentage of sex slaves as part of our population as a whole may be very small, but it still amounts to probably hundreds of thousands of girls and boys forced into this awful life.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

11 Days to the Great American Eclipse!

I've left it a bit late to start writing Destination Guides for a few of the cities in Wyoming that are in TPOT (a hashtag term I've coined for The path of totality. I hope it goes viral!). There's extenuating circumstances for my tardiness, but now I've really got to get on the stick and get these guides ready.

My expectation is that thousands of people who were unable to get hotel reservations for the cities in question will be staying in Cheyenne, and even as far away as Fort Collins to the south - and probably equidistant to the north - and driving into the path of totality on the morning of the 21st to see it.

The first city I visited was Torrington and I'm working on that destination guide and it will shortly be published at

It was a fun trip.

Torrington is a town of about 7,000 people, situated about 70 miles northeast of Cheyenne on Highway 85. (As such, it's about an hour closer to Cheyenne than Casper is. Casper is having a multitude of events on Eclipse Day - but there will be hundreds of thousands of people there, as it's a city with a population of 60,000 people with hotel rooms to match. I'm expecting just an extra thousand or so people in Torrington!)

Coming in on Highway 85..I passed by a couple of Welcome to Torrington signs but neglected to stop for photos. I'll do that tomorrow when I return to Torrington to take a few more photos before heading west to Glendo.

The first thing I did was drive around just to see if I could see any great big signs saying "We're in the path of totality!" I didn't see anything - but later on when I parked and walked around, there were signs in practically every window advertising events.

I'd intended to stop in at a local restaurant for some food - and later to write a review of it - but by the time I'd finished my initial recce I was hungry so I just stopped in at the local Maverik station for a piece of pizza.

Sausage and pepperoni pizza prepared daily at Maverk station by their "Bonfire Grill" people

I will review it, even though Maverik is a chain of gas stations rather than a local restaurant, just cuz. In fact I'll give my review right now - I was so hungry that I ate it all up, even though it had a spicy tomato paste rather than tomato sauce, and it was a bit spicier than I like. I only drink Pepsis in cans and they only had the very tall cans of Pepsi, 16 oz rather than 12, but I bought one anyway. A filling lunch for those who are hungry and want to get back on the road...or in my case, want to satisfy their hunger cravings quickly.

After seeking out the library - I love libraries, I parked on Main Street and sought out their Post Office. In the Maverik I had seen the Torrington newspaper which on the "top fold"  had a photo and headline of a woman who had designed a special cancellation for their post office for the "Big Day." I hadn't read the caption closely enough - it was actually for a different city some 20 miles further north, called Jay Em, not Torrington. But I'll be driving up there "on the day," after the eclipse, to get a postcard cancelled.

I then walked up and then down Main Street, taking photos of restaurants and other businesses, and saw T-shirts on display in front of an H&R Block outlet.

Sally Rose and her eclipse T-shirt designs
I talked briefly with Sally Rose, who works at the H&R Block outlet (which is owned by her sister). Sally used to own a T-shirt shop before going into the tax business herself, and decided that she'd create some unique shirts for the Great American Eclipse.

T-shirt designs
I was tempted to buy one at the time.. but then I decided it would be more meaningful to actually buy it on the day of the eclipse, not before.

Sally was interesting to talk to. Their H&R Block outlet is open year round - though only two days a week when it isn't tax season - and that if someone has a tax question Sally and her sister or whoever is on duty that day will be happy to answer questions, even if it's just from a visitor to the town and not a resident. That's customer service!

Quite a few entrepreneurs are gearing up for the eclipse in every city in TPOT, of course.

Even restaurants/diners/cafes are getting into the act. The Bread Doctor, an artisan bread and sandwich shop that is only open from Friday through Sunday, will be open on "the big day."

The Bread Doctor
I'll stop in there for a sandwich or something on the day, or at least stop by and hopefully see that they are jam-packed to reward their initiative!

I took photos of quite a few of the restaurants on Main Street. Quite a challenge as cars were parked in front of every single restaurant, but I'll be sharing the photos anyway just so my readers can get an idea of what the restaurant-fronts will look like.

Cars in front of every restaurant...

On the corner of 21st and Main - Torrington Visitor's Center and Chamber of Commerce
The place to go first, for visitors to Torrington interested in history, is into the building that houses the Java Jar, on the corner of 21st Avenue and Main Street. Inside, past the Java Jar, is the headquarters of the Torrington Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Center, and there's a nice History of Goshen County  display. (The building is bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside.)

Goshen County History inside the building housing The Java Jar and the Visitor's Center
All in all, a pleasant little town, and I'm looking forward to returning here on August 21 for Eclipse Day.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fort Collins Lincoln Center: All Shows Go on Sale Today

The Fort Collins Lincoln Center is located at 417 W. Magnolia Street. Phone 970-221-6730.

They've just announced their 2017/2018 season, with tickets going on sale today.

Here's a list of their shows: (To purchase tickets check out:



Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn (Sep 7)
Jim Breuer (Sept 15)
Black Violin (Sep 30)
Martha Graham Dance Company (Oct 3)
Kris Kristofferson (Oct 11)
Moon Mouse A Space Odyssey (Oct 14)
ArtWear Fashion Show (Oct 20)
Mike Birbiglia: The New One (Oct 21)
PUBLIQuartet (Oct 24)
Take Me to the River Live (Oct 26)
The Moth Mainstage (NOv 5)
RMorgenstern Trio (Nov 14)


Canadian Brass (Jan 19)
PostSecret: The Show (Feb 9)
The Magic of Bill Blagg Live (Feb 10)
KEIGWIN + Company: K+C Celebrates Bernstein (Feb 14)
Siro-A: Techno Circus (Mar 4)
Shuffle (Mar 5)
Celtic Nights: Oceans of Hope (Mar 6)
Arturo Sandoval (Mar 22)
Borromeo String Quartet (Mar 23)
Parsons Dance (Apr 3)
Antony de Mare: LIAISONS (April 17)

Cheyenne is 150 years and 1 day old today

On Tuesday, August 8, 2017, the city of Cheyenne celebrated its 150th birthday.

The state of Wyoming is 25 years younger, by the way.

Cheyenne was first founded as a railroad town, to serve the workers building the Union Pacific transcontinental railroad. Within just a few weeks it burgeoned from a few hundred people into a few thousand, becoming known as the "Magic City of the Plains."

The 150th anniversary is an important milestone for Cheyenne - or for any city..and they had quite a few celebrations on Tuesday...

But...I wasn't here.

Yesterday there were 13 days to the Great American Eclipse, and I've behind time in writing profiles of the cities in the middle of the state (Casper) and on to the east (such as Torrington) which are in the Path of Totality.. 

I decided it was more urgent to get to Torrington and take some photos than to go into Cheyenne to record the celebrations.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Cheyenne's newspaper, has been sharing information about the history of the city throughout the last month, and I'll go through these papers and report on them in this blog after the Great American Eclipse is over.

But for the next 12 days, I'll be covering how to see the Great American Eclipse in Wyoming.

To that end...for the last four days ...and even longer...even through Cheyenne Frontier Days, frankly, the days have dawned cloudy and gray and at times foggy. Beautiful, in one standpoint, but worrisome for August 21.

Just before noon on August 21, when full totality is supposed to take place. 

Of course the clouds and fog are in Cheyenne...Casper is a bit more than 2 hours north of here on I-25 and Torrington is about an hour northeast of here on I-85, so weather patterns may be different.

But everyone is hoping August 21 dawns bright and clear and stays that way.

So never fear, I will be covering Cheyenne's 150th birthday, but just a little bit late!

Monday, July 31, 2017

The results of the Cheyenne Frontier Days PRCA Rode, July 30, 2017

We've just published a report on the final results of the Cheyenne Frontier Days PRCA Rodeo, which ended on July 30, 2017.

The 121st Cheyenne Frontier Days is in the books, and the volunteer committee has already started planning for the 122 Cheyenne Frontier Days, which will take place over the last full week in July, as usual.

Attendance seemed a bit down this year - or more people were taking advantage of the Park-n-ride, leaving plenty of parking spots on adjacent residential streets and in the parking lots of Lions Park.

However, for Saturday and Sunday that wasn't the case - every parking lot was chock full, so the Park and Ride was probably the way to go.

I attended every event of Cheyenne Frontier Days except the Thunderbirds at Laramie County Community College - unfortunately on the Wednesday that they were to perform the ceiling was too low.

Reports on every aspect of the Cheyenne Frontier Days will be forthcoming to help people plan for next year!

Meantime, if you're interested in more rodeo, there's plenty going on in Montana, Utah, well as such states as Louisiana!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

3rd day of Cheyenne Frontier Days report (Sunday, 23 July)

Actually, nothing to report today. I have tickets for Cinderella: The Slipper and the Rose in Johnstown, Colorado, about a 90 minute drive from Cheyenne at the Candlelight Dinner Theater.

When I get back home I have to write up some articles on the last three days!