I had a good feeling about Laramie from the get-go. Not only does Wyoming have a spectacular reputation of being majestic and cowboy-centric, I had booked us at the famed Cowgirl Horse Hotel, located on Black Elk Road. The Cowgirl is a place for weary cowgirls to hang their hats and put up their boots and just relax. But Phil didn’t need to worry, cowboys are welcomed too.
We pulled up to the house at around 8:30pm, a little later when we had wanted. Fortunately, proprietress Diane was having a girls night with some girlfriends and red wine and the party was just getting started. Her two dogs, Dash and Asia greeted us warmly. Asia is a Belgian Sheepdog and reminded Phil of Kia, his dog back home and he felt a pang of homesickness. The room was adorable. Two huge beds, a shower with two shower heads! Plenty of chickflicks on DVD. We didn’t even have keys! No keys needed here at the Cowgirl.
Diane pointed us in the direction of town and recommended a brewpub, Altitudes. It’s the new hotspot in Laramie. We both had delicious food, Phil had a steak sandwich and I had a buffalo burger. The best thing about the dinner was the “chili beer”, a light lager made with jalapenos. Too bad I was getting the altitude madness bad and couldn’t finish my beer and we turned in early. But with good reason. Diane (who was still up when we got home, swilling that red wine) let us in on a little secret; she and her partner Pam breed Rottweiler’s and there was a litter of 5 week- old puppies living in the stables!
We could barely sleep that night and woke up at 6:45am, bounding out of bed like it was Christmas morning. Diane was still sleeping one off so we explored the grounds by ourselves. We met several gorgeous horses. Pam and Diane house 15 horses at a time. But we couldn’t find any puppies! Heading back to the house we noticed we were being watched by something we later found out was a pronghorn antelope. It fixed us with a death stare, made a strange noise like lasers shooting out of its mouth and bounded away.
Luckily Diane had finally pulled herself out of bed and she knew what was on our minds: PUPPIES! She led the way through the beautiful stables and there tucked in a cozy corner were five of the cutest round-headed little Rottweiler puppy we have ever seen. Phil bonded with little Steve McQueen who kept escaping from the pen and the only girl, a little runt, Diane Jr., warmed up to me right away. We could have stayed there all morning, we could have stayed at the Cowgirl all day, but we finally tore ourselves away from the puppies and Diane, and hit the road.
We made a brief stop in Laramie to see the wide-streeted town in the daytime. I finally bought the straw hat of my dreams from a cowboy who used to live in NYC and go to Broadway shows on a regular basis. We stopped in at the delightful Laramie food co-op, was given a free bag of ice not because we asked for it but because the guy overheard we had a cooler and regretfully left town and headed west toward Nevada