Which town is the most BORNING in Wyoming?

That's a tough one. There is so much competition.

When I first moved to Wyoming, some 15 years ago, I was in Gillette. The place was so bad I actually found myself browsing a grocery store for something to do. I suggested to the mayor that he change the town slogan from "Energy Capital" to, "Two Hours From Fun." Leave town and go two hours in any direction and you're having a great time.  He did not laugh.

To pick the most boring town we must first decide what constitutes as BORING!

I have a simple mind game to answer that question.

Let's say that it was a Saturday morning and you and I were looking for something to do.

If I were to say to you, "Let's GO TO SHERIDAN!" Well, heck yeah. We know we will have a good time.

If I say to you, "Let's go to Moorcroft." You would ask, "What the hell for?"

Okay, now we know what constitutes BORING! Let's begin.

Downtown Shashoni Wyoming
Downtown Shashoni Wyoming

Let's start with Shoshone Wyoming. Sure it's near a reservoir and Wind River Canyon. But nobody stops there except to get gas and move on to someplace that's actually interesting.

Jeffrey City is no longer a city. It used to be a boomtown back in its uranium mining days. Now, 23 people live there and almost every building left is falling apart. There is NOTHING to do in Jeffery City.

Hanna and Medicine Bow are close to each other in location and absolutely NOTHING is happening. If you drive away from these towns you'll be on the road for hours before you find anything interesting to do. Medicine Bow used to be the most dangerous town in Wyoming. Then, they got boing.

Lusk has a lot of nice people. But, sorry Lusk, nobody in your town is doing anything interesting. Everybody leaves town to have a good time.

There is a good reason that Interstate 25 bypassed Midwest Wyoming. There was a time when Midwest and the nearby town of Edgerton were hot party towns. That was a long time ago.

Just to be clear, most of the people in these towns are good people who like living in Boringville. We can't knock them for that.

Let's remember that these towns were not always boring!

At one time, Medicine Bow averaged a shooting a month.

Back then that place was HOPPING!


That's a lot when you consider the size of the town.

So how does one of Wyoming's smallest towns become its most dangerous?

In 1869 the Union Pacific Railroad began construction there.

Coal was found in the area, the train would need plenty of that.

The nearby river provided the water the steam trains would need.

Because of Indians in the area, who wanted the white man out, there were more calvery in the town of Medicine Bow than citizens.

Let's add this up:

Southwestern Cowboy

Medicine Bow was home to cavalrymen, cattlemen, sheepherders (sheep & cattle men did not get along at all), coal miners, railroad workers, and Indians who wanted their land back.

Well, get a bunch of roughneck men together out in the middle of nowhere, and bad things are bound to happen.

No wonder Medicine became one of the roughest towns in the old West.

Gunfights were common and there weren't any actual lawmen in town.

Ever wonder how the town of Medicine Bow Wyoming got its name?

Me neither, but it's an interesting story, nonetheless.

Before the white man showed up the area was known among the local tribes as a good place to find what was needed to make bows and arrows.

Anything that was useful or good was called "good medicine." So they called the place Medicine Bow.

Told you it was interesting.

Popular novelist Owen Wister came to Medicine Bow looking for inspiration. He stayed two weeks and wrote his greatest best seller.

1902 novel by the American author Owen Wister (1860-1938), set in Wyoming Territory during the 1880s. It describes the life of a cowboy on a cattle ranch and is considered the first true fictional western ever written, aside from short stories and pulp dime novels, though modern scholars debate this. The Virginian paved the way for many more westerns by such authors as Zane GreyLouis L'Amour��and several others. The novel was adapted from several short stories published in Harper's Magazine and the Saturday Evening Post between Nov 1893 and May 1902. (Wikipedia). 

The novel also became a movie and a television series.

The town became a bit busier when the first coast-to-coast highway, Lincoln Highway, came through town, following the railroad.

Medicine Bow has never been an attractive town, sorry to say. Even novelist Owen Wister pointed that out in the opening lines of his novel.

If you want to get a feel for the remoteness of the Wild West, you'll see and experience it at the semi-ghost town of Medicine Bow, Wyoming.

In the heart of the town, the Virginian Hotel is a beautiful "Belle" of its day, still furnished as it was when the town was busy and famous.

Guests are always welcome for overnight stays and for great meals in an old-town atmosphere.

The museum in the old train depot is a joy to visit, with so many things to see along with antiquities of the past.

The old "Fossil Cabin" is a really unique attraction to see, being relocated closer to town, and is made up mostly of thousands of dinosaur bones!

Let's not forget the town's important contribution to aviation:

Medicine Bow International Airpot - Photo By Tim Mandese
Medicine Bow International Airpot - Photo By Tim Mandese

This humble little grass airstrip helped shape America.

In the video below, you will see what this important airport looks like today.

As if the Pony Express wasn't daring enough, next came the brave and slightly foolhardy men who first took the mail to the sky.

Using old and not-so-reliable World War I surplus planes, the United States Postal Service was determined to figure out how to fly mail from coast to coast saving up to a month of travel time if they were successful.

At the little Medicine Bow airport there is a cement arrow, pointing the flyers to their next stop. These arrows were placed across the nation for the pilots to see and follow from the air.

The only way to navigate was to fly low and follow the Union Pacific railroad tracks across the country and across Wyoming. The video below will show you what sort of airports they were looking for.

Cheyenne, Medicine Bow, Rock Springs, and other towns along the route were refueling and repair points on the map.

Many planes crashed, for any on a long list of reasons. Some men died.

The book "Wyoming Air Mail Pioneers" chronicles the men who were legends, heroes, and celebrities of their time. They had several stories written about them in newspapers across America.

"Wyoming Air Mail Pioneers" was co-written by Starley Talbott and Michael E. Kassel with a forward by local Cheyenne flight school owner Doniv Feltner of Wings Of Wyoming. 

Ask for it at your local Wyoming bookstore or order it online.


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Medicine Bow Wyoming Road Art

There is a strange mind at work in Medicine Bow Wyoming.

Someone who is disturbed, yet having a lot of fun at the same time.

This person wants to share that fun with you.

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

Almost Forgotton Wyoming Cemetary

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods