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A Jolly Trolley Ride in Cheyenne, Wyoming: History, Hauntings & Hilarity

It’s been interesting to watch my first article about Cheyenne, “So You Think You Know Cheyenne, Wyoming?” circulate the interwebs. Some of the comments are a reminder of how many of us tend to become jaded about our own hometowns. Whether you agree with me or not about Cheyenne, I think the city is swell and has a lot to offer visitors.

A Jolly Trolley Ride in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Riding the trolley. HeidiTown.com

Trolley Selfie | I love riding trolleys!

One of Cheyenne’s major assets is its colorful past. When you get to town, just look up at the amazing architecture in downtown. The buildings here are a reminder of the city’s rich history; and it’s a history that should be celebrated.

A Jolly Trolley Ride in Cheyenne, Wyoming. architecture shot HeidiTown.com

When you visit Cheyenne don’t forget to look up. The buildings here are fantastic.

Nowhere is this history more celebrated than on the Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley Tours. Ryan and I hopped this 90-minute trolley tour during our visit. Lucky for us, our conductor, Brenda Badgley, grew up in Cheyenne, and so in addition to all the historical facts, she gave us personal tidbits about growing up in the town in the 60s. Continue reading

So You Think You Know Cheyenne, Wyoming? Think Again

What comes to mind when you think of Cheyenne, Wyoming? Cowboy hats and big trucks? Trains? Those are all accurate descriptions of Cheyenne. It’s a historic train town with a lot of cowboys, cowgirls and big trucks. Today, however, Cheyenne is so much more.

So you think you know cheyenne, think again. Wrangler building. HeidiTown

We spent a weekend in Cheyenne earlier this month. We were there to attend the Celtic Festival and Rock the Block, as well as explore a town that we’d only ever passed through.

I’m going to write several posts about this trip, including some of the fun touristy things you can do here like the trolley tour, botanic garden and museums, but in this post, I want to concentrate on some of the surprising things we discovered in Cheyenne.

First of all, did you know that there are three breweries in Cheyenne, Wyoming? True story.

So you think you know cheyenne think again. taps at accomplice beer co. HeidiTown.com

We visited two of the three, stopping first at Accomplice Beer Company where guests pour their own beer. Yes, you read that right. Accomplice has self-pour taps, and they have a lot of them. After a brief explanation of how it works from the bartender, we were off. They use an electronic card system to track how much you pour, so you can’t drink here all day long.

So you think you know cheyenne Accomplice Beer Co. HeidiTown.com

We also got lunch at this brewpub, sliders for Ryan and chicken tenders for me. The tenders were some of the best I’ve had, although the ranch dressing could be a bit thicker. While it’s a bit gimmicky, Accomplice is centrally located in the famous depot building and a must-visit when in Cheyenne.

Freedom’s Edge Brewing Co. is just a couple blocks from Cheyenne’s downtown plaza. They have a traditional taproom with a nice contemporary feel and really good beer. We’ll definitely be back to Freedom’s Edge on our next visit to Cheyenne.

So you think you know Cheyenne think again. Freedom's Edge Brewing. HeidiTown.com

We didn’t make it to Danielmark’s Brewing Co. on E. 18th Street, but this is Cheyenne’s newest brewery and is located in a renovated historic home. They have an outdoor patio and feature food trucks.

And speaking of food trucks, there’s a delightful pizza place in Cheyenne that got its start as a food truck. Bella Fuoco Wood Fire Pizza gets top marks from both Ryan and I, and we recommend the jalapeno popper and the NY Blue. Just thinking about these pizzas makes my mouth water.

So you think you know Cheyenne Think Again. Bella Fuoco Wood Fire Pizza. HeidiTown.com

Everyone knows about the Wrangler (Boot Barn) in Cheyenne, and I did purchase a hat there while I was in town, but we found a real gem of a shop next to Freedom’s Edge Brewery.

So you think you know cheyenne think again. Mid Mod Etc. sign. HeidiTown.com

Mid Mod Etc. is a terrific store that’s worth the drive if you love mid modern clothing, furniture, decor and even cars. You can track their inventory by following their Facebook page. And here’s the best part, their prices beat anything you’ll find at the mid-modern stores in Denver.

So you think you know Cheyenne Think Again. Ryan sporting his Mid Mod, Etc. shirt in Cortez, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

Ryan sporting the vintage shirt he bought at Mid Mod, Etc. on our recent trip to Cortez, Colorado.

Ryan was excited to discover two stores selling vinyl in Cheyenne. There’s Ernie November and Phoenix Books & Music.

In addition, Ryan was overjoyed to discover that Cheyenne has an arcade bar. Located in downtown, Flippers Family Arcade is good for families, but also fun for adults because not only do they have a large selection of arcade games and pinball, they have a bar serving beer and wine. It’s a great place to kill an hour or two.

So you think you know Cheyenne Think again. Flippers Arcade & Bar. HeidiTown.com

As some of you know, I’m a coffee snob, so I was delighted to discover Paramount Cafe in Cheyenne. This trendy coffee shop under The Second Floor, a coworking space, serves up a quality cup of Joe.

So you think you know Cheyenne Think Again. street scene. HeidiTown.com

So there you have it — did you know Cheyenne was so hip and happening? I didn’t. Keep an eye on HeidiTown.com for more posts about where we stayed and what we did in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Thank you to Visit Cheyenne for hosting us on this trip.

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14 Years of Anniversary Road Trips | 5 States, 2 Countries

Five years before I started HeidiTown, Ryan and I got married in in Golden, Colorado in May 2002. After honeymooning in England, we made a pact to spend each anniversary in a different state. That lasted a number of years until HeidiTown was in full swing and we were traveling nearly exclusively in Colorado.

14 Anniversary Trips. Arches National Park, Moab, Utah. HeidiTown.com

Corona Arch in Moab, Utah.

Now that HeidiTown has annexed six new states, I’m excited to start exploring the states surrounding Colorado again once again.

Since we’ve been taking a road trip on every anniversary for the last 14 years, I thought I’d share with you the 14 places we’ve visited in nearly 15 years of marriage.

On our first anniversary in 2003, we traveled to a small bed and breakfast at the foot of the Snowy Range near Centennial, Wyoming. We hiked on their expansive alpaca ranch, soaked in the hot tub and went on a horseback ride at a nearby ranch.

Unfortunately that bed and breakfast no longers exists, but this anniversary was a true getaway and one reason I think we both still associate trips to Wyoming with serenity.

In 2004, on our second anniversary, we went to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a city we both love and had previously visited. In fact, we visited Santa Fe a number of times before HeidiTown was established. Continue reading

Mayor of HeidiTown Announces Annexation of Six States

The HeidiTown Chronicle

HeidiTown.com

“Covering festivals & destinations across the west”

Volume 1   Festivals | Road Trips | The West   March 10, 2017
 
HeidiTown Annexation
Includes Six States

By Staff

The Chronicle

Mayor of HeidiTown, Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer, has just announced a major annexation that will happen throughout 2017 and into the future.
HeidiTown is annexing parts of Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico.

Mayor of HeidiTown Announces Annexation. Heidi & the Saratoga donkeys

Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer on magazine assignment in Saratoga, Wyoming.

“This was inevitable,” says Kerr-Schlaefer. “I’ve been covering Colorado festivals and destinations for more than seven years. I believe it’s the right time to branch out into other states.”
The Mayor went on to say that HeidiTown’s focus will continue to be on festivals and road trips.
“If you can’t get to a destination by car within a day from the Denver area, it won’t be included,” says Kerr-Schlaefer.
Over the last seven years, HeidiTown has helped festivals grow, including the Annual Biergarten Festival in Morrison and the Estes Park Winter Festival.
She looks forward to introducing HeidiTown citizens to new festivals in new destinations and helping these festivals find a new audience.
“HeidiTown is about exploration. Not the kind that requires a passport, but the kind that requires a car and a desire to drive new roads,” said Kerr-Schlaefer. “While Colorado will always be the heart and soul, and main attraction of HeidiTown, new roads are calling me.”
“I think HeidiTown citizens will be excited to go on these new adventures with me, and I’m excited to expand the town’s population through this annexation.”

Savor the Summit Photo Provided by Park City Restaurant Association

Savor the Summit in Park City, Utah. Photo Provided by Park City Restaurant Association

Covering Festivals from Denver to Park City to Deadwood

By Staff

The Chronicle

HeidiTown was founded in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2010 that the town began to see major growth.
It was coverage of Colorado’s emerging festival scene that caught the attention of the masses and put HeidiTown on the map.
By publicizing startup festivals like Estes Park Winter Festival, the 1940s Ball,  and various beer festivals, HeidiTown became the go-to place for Colorado festival information.
HeidiTown’s focus wasn’t only on large events. She covered smaller festivals around the state such as the Glenn Miller Swingfest in Fort Morgan and niche events such as the High Plains Snow Goose Festival in Lamar.

Enjoying the 2013 Estes Park Winter Festival with a famous friend.

Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer at the 2013 Estes Park Winter Festival with a famous friend.

“Festival coverage is what sets HeidiTown apart and it will continue to be the focus of HeidiTown,” said Kerr-Schlaefer, Mayor of HeidiTown. “I’m just going to be driving a little farther to reach them, and in doing so, I’ll share about the towns I discover along the way.”

 

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HeidiTown.com Gives Back: Rocky Mountain Raptor Program

Rocky Mountain Raptor Program LogoI’ve always been fascinated by raptors. I grew up in an area heavily populated with bald eagles, and despite seeing them hundreds of times over the years, my sense of awe never went away.

Currently, there’s a red-tail hawk that I see regularly out on my daily walks with the dog. He no longer flies away when we walk beneath his giant cottonwood, but rather watches us closely should we try anything tricky.

I was first introduced to the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program  more than a decade ago at the  Colorado  Renaissance  Festival in Larkspur. Since learning about them at the festival, I have visited the facility twice and have written several freelance articles about the program.

Golden Eagle FB

Click on this photo of a Golden Eagle to head over to the RMRP's Facebook page!

I’m happy to announce that the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program  (RMRP) is the April 2012 recipient of free ad space on HeidiTown through my Gives Back Campaign.

The RMRP is located in Fort Collins, but they service approximately 100,000 square miles, an area about the size of the state of Colorado. They take in raptors from north of Longmont, well into Wyoming and all along the northeastern plains.

RMRP averages about one admission and several injured raptor calls each day, and more than 70% of treatable raptors are released for A Second Chance At Freedom. Several days each week they provide education programs somewhere in the region.

The program started in 1979, as a student club rehabilitating injured raptors. It has grown to seven staff members and 200 volunteers who put in thousands of hours each year. On average they take in 275 birds every year, although some year the number is much, much higher.

I would encourage you to visit the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program online at www.RMRP.org and browse this comprehensive site. Learn about the educational programs they offer and when and where you can meet their birds. I believe in what they do at RMRP, and hope that you will check them out.

 

It’s a celebration of Celtic music this weekend in Cheyenne

The Colorao band Skean Dubh is just one of many bands playing at the Cheyenne Celtic Music Arts Festival.

Read all about the FREE  Cheyenne Celtic Music Arts Festival, happening this weekend in Cheyenne, Wyoming, by clicking here.

The Elders light up Colorado

P1020913Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer (The Elders at Loveland’s Foote Lagoon on  July 9, 2009)  

Celtic music is in my blood, literally. My Scottish and Irish genes co-mingled to make me an undeniable descendant of the Celts, complete with red hair and freckles and a propensity to sunburn. From childhood the tunes of the fiddle, drum and bagpipe have inspired me to move. Throughout my life I have loaded up on Celtic music CDs from Celtic Women to the Proclaimers, if the music was related in some way to Ireland or Scotland, I had to have it.

Over four years ago, at Loveland’s Foote Lagoon, I was introduced to a band called The Elders, and I am now a disciple. Since that fateful summer evening, my husband and I have seen the Elders perform over a ten times. We have bought all their CD’s and regularly give their CD’s as gifts (we are working to convert others to The Elders discipleship).  

Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, The Elders formed in 1998, and have gone on to become a successful and well loved band. Every summer they pull in over 3,000 people to Loveland’s Foote Lagoon, making them the most popular group by far to ever play the venue. This year, the band broke it’s own record by drawing over 4,000 people to the Northern Colorado venue.

The Elders live show is a must-have life experience. Their on-stage energy is truly infectious. Though the group calls their style “Arse-kickin’ music from the heartland,” front man Ian Byrne, from County Wicklow, Ireland gives the band an authentic Irish flare. The talent of the band members is mind blowing. Guitarist Steve Phillips, violinist Brent Hoad, bassists Norm Dahlor, drummer Tommy Sutherland, and keyboardists Joe Miquelon, always appear to be having as much fun as the audience. I especially love watching Brent Hoad; he flies through the notes on his fiddle at such a furious pace I expect to see smoke rising from the strings.

The audience at an Elders show is diverse and depending on the venue, there are often entire families in attendance. When the band visits the Loveland, a number of pint-size dancers collect at the edge of the lagoon and predictable end up in the murky waters.

The Elders are also gifted songwriters. From fish tales and pub tales to more somber themes such as the historical struggles of the Irish, each song tells a story and paints a picture. I particularly enjoy the fact that the words of each song are intelligible and singing along becomes inevitable.    

There will be many chances this summer to see The Elders perform live. Last night the band played at the Foote Lagoon in Loveland and here’s where they will be over the next several days.

July 10, Cheyenne, Wyoming – on the Plaza – free, 5:30 p.m.

July 11-12, Littleton, Colorado – Colorado Irish Fest – both evenings

July 14, Aspen, Colorado – Belly Up  – free show, starts at 10:00 p.m.    

July 15 Crested Butte, Colorado –  Wednesday night summer concert series- Red Lady Stage at  5:30pm

To see The Elders entire schedule, go to www.eldersmusic.com.

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