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Wyoming Wonders: Fascinating Facts on the Cowboy State

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If you’re lucky, you’ve been all over the great land of America. However, it is common for most people to stay in their immediate areas without exploring other terrains. Commonly, those not born there, don’t have relatives who reside in the state, or do not ski or bike ride, have never been to the state of Wyoming.

There are numbers of reasons to head to the ‘Equality State,’ but if you need specific convincing, then read over the following fascinating facts.

Basics

Wyoming, the forty-fourth state, entered the Union in 1890. Its name comes from the Native American word “mecheweamling,” which means “at the big plains.” In addition to the ‘Equality State,’ it is known as ‘The Cowboy State’ and ‘Big Wyoming.’ Its state flower is the Indian Paintbrush and national tree is the Plains Cottonwood. It is stocked with five national forests, two national parks, and sixteen state parks. Most know the state due to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National parks in addition to Old Faithful, Flaming Gorge, and a number of Jackson Hole luxury hotels.

Random Facts

Of course, Native Americans resided throughout America before European settlement, but, specifically, the Cheyenne, Crow, Shoshone, Sioux, and Ute tribes lived in the Wyoming region. The United States acquired Wyoming from France in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Robert Stuart pioneered the Oregon Trail, crossing Wyoming in 1812-13.

The western portion of the state was acquired by the United States in 1846. In 1872, Yellowstone was designated the first national park in the United States. However, the park is not altogether Wyoming’s; the lower portions overlap into Idaho and Montana. In testament to its ‘Equality’ nickname, Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote, and in 1925, Nellie Ross was elected the nation’s first female governor. The state’s license plates feature a man on a bronco, yet the name of the beast is “Old Steamboat,” a tip of the cap to a locally popular animal that could not be ridden.

Weather

The expansive state hosts generally semi-arid climates, which is drier and windier than most other U.S. states that host such a range of extreme temperatures. Summers in the state are warm, with averages between 85 and 95 degrees. However, the higher you climb in Wyoming, the lower the temperature gets, especially at night. It’s mostly a ‘dry state,’ with much of the land getting less than ten inches of rainfall per year. However, some of the mountainous areas get up to twenty inches of rain and sometimes as much as 200 inches of snow per year!

Economy

Wyoming’s economy is different from other states in the country. Mineral extraction and tourism are the state’s main sources of income. Actually, the federal government owns half of the state’s land mass and only 6% is owned by the state. Historically, the state relied a lot on agriculture but its importance has waned in recent years, though a whopping 91% of the state is characterised as “rural.”

Peter O’Reilly works for a small travel agency. He enjoys posting his insights online. Look for his articles mainly on vacation and travel sites.

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