The Wilds Of Wyoming Mile Above Sea Level, Published 8 September 1956As I write this I am in the wilds of Wyoming, a mile above sea level and aboard the Special Train bearing the Republicans to San Francisco. That event will be old news when you read this, but the trip itself I feel is worth relating.
I waited for three hours to catch the first section of the City of San Francisco at Perry, Iowa. You have to drive 40 miles from De Moines to catch vour train, Whatever held us up I do not know but the Milwaukee Road seemed not to be killing itself to keep its schedule and the train was quite late at Perry.
When I woke In the morning I had already crossed the Missouri, had left Omaha far behind, and was almost out of Nebraska. We were now on the Union Pacific Railroad. I cut a comer of Colorado at historic old Julesburg, then we plunged back into Nebraska again only to leave the state where the pines began at Pine Bluffs. We crossed into Wyoming at the even mile altitude and at the rate of 10 feet per mile soared up to Wyoming's capital at Cheyenne.
Here we made ready to tackle Sherman Hill. This height of land is 8,013 feet above sea level, and next to the Rio Grande Railway's summits, it is the highest continental divide on any railway. (CPR's highest 5,332 feet; Canadian National's about 3,720 feet).
We tackled this classic course into the clouds with three yellow and red trimmed diesels lugging 17 full cars up over the heights. Finally a tunnel, and we started to drop.
We reached Laramie, the university town. This is the highest university in English speaking North America at 7,151 feet altitude. The university thus is the Highest University of Higher Learning north of the Rio Grande.
Once upon a time, when the raw new state of Wyoming was passing around the loot, Cheyenne got the capital; Laramie the University; Rawlins the state penitentiary; and Evanston the state hospital. Casper got the raspberry but struck oil later and today is better off than any of them. Devil's Slide and Mormon country just ahead.