THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING
To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.
* * *
Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
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THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING
To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.
* * *
Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING
To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.
* * *
Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING
To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.
* * *
Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING
To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.
* * *
Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING
To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.
* * *
Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info

THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING

To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.

* * *

Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.

RATE THE PIONEER HOTEL - CHEYENNE, WYOMING 

If you’re in Cheyenne and need a place to stay, Daniel Dunbar has landmarked The Pioneer Hotel for you, care of Field Assignment #5 - National Parks, Monuments and Landmarks.

“The Pioneer Hotel is a filthy, halfway house; full of cockroaches and yes, it’s unrenovated… Do yourself a favor, stay anywhere in town but here. No matter how cheap it is, it isn’t worth it.” — Michelle (Yahoo User Reviews)

“had the one the greastest times of my life there party central the people that dont live there make it worse.” — peter zepp (Google Reviews)

“one step above being homeless, very poor people. most on ssi so go in the beginning of the month” — A Yahoo Contributor (Yahoo User Reviews)

“Ok I was last there in 1992, but if it’s anything like it was then, check it out. If you don’t mind an unrennovated, small but clean room with low water pressure, but are interested in the funkiest accomodations in Cheyenne, this is the place… The joint is full of characters.” — A Yahoo Contributor (Yahoo User Reviews)

“… So instead of saying its a bad place, try getting to know those who consider it home and you will find out we are just like everyone else who is just trying to live a peacefull life” — Tammy Smith (Google Reviews)

Guide Note: The Pioneer Hotel is located at 209 W 17th St, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

* * * 

Daniel Dunbar, find him on Tumblr at danieldunbar.tumblr.com

POWDER RIVER COAL - WYOMING
According to the BLM’s High Plains office, every day more than 100 coal trains enter Wyoming empty and leave full, delivering the fuel that powers electricity in 20 percent of homes and businesses across the U.S. Your Guide to Wyoming Christine Tharp sends along this dispatch for American Guide Week Field Assignment #10 - Products and Manufacturing/Industry:


Both these images are related to coal mining in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. The first shows empty train cars on the rails near Gillette, WY. The second is a haul truck wheel displayed at a mine overlook.

* * *
Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
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POWDER RIVER COAL - WYOMING
According to the BLM’s High Plains office, every day more than 100 coal trains enter Wyoming empty and leave full, delivering the fuel that powers electricity in 20 percent of homes and businesses across the U.S. Your Guide to Wyoming Christine Tharp sends along this dispatch for American Guide Week Field Assignment #10 - Products and Manufacturing/Industry:


Both these images are related to coal mining in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. The first shows empty train cars on the rails near Gillette, WY. The second is a haul truck wheel displayed at a mine overlook.

* * *
Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info

POWDER RIVER COAL - WYOMING

According to the BLM’s High Plains office, every day more than 100 coal trains enter Wyoming empty and leave full, delivering the fuel that powers electricity in 20 percent of homes and businesses across the U.S. Your Guide to Wyoming Christine Tharp sends along this dispatch for American Guide Week Field Assignment #10 - Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

Both these images are related to coal mining in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. The first shows empty train cars on the rails near Gillette, WY. The second is a haul truck wheel displayed at a mine overlook.

* * *

Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.

DEVILS TOWERS NATIONAL MONUMENT - CROOK COUNTY, WYOMING

President Theodore Roosevelt made the 1,153-acre tower area the country’s first national monument, September 24, 1906. 

Wyoming, A Guide To Its History, Highways, and People (WPA, 1941)

From the base of a sacred landmark, Clif Doyal tags into American Guide Week with this dispatch for Field Assignment #5 - National Parks, Monuments, and Landmarks:

From the time I was a small child, I had dreamed of seeing Devils Tower, America’s first national monument. As a life-long geology buff, I had extensively studied and pondered the 1,267 foot-tall volcanic monolith. I also knew that the Lakota and other Plains Indian tribes of the region had long-held the towering rock sacred in their ancient folklore. It had taken on an almost mythical status in my mind’s eye and that image was further enhanced by its prominent role in the 1977 Stephen Spielberg movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where it served as a landing pad for alien space crafts. 

Rolling across the prairie lands of the Black Hills of eastern Wyoming in an RV, I could feel my heart beginning to race with excitement as we exited off of I-90 West onto US-14W. I could tell by the map that we were getting close. Shortly after turning on WY-24E, I had looked down to get my camera ready, and when I looked up, there it was! I was immediately struck by the fact that it looked like it had been dropped in from another planet. Bearing absolutely nothing in common with the dark red and yellow sandstone sedimentary rock that it rests on, Devils Tower, formed of a rare igneous stone called Phonolite, was everything I had always hoped it would be: striking, mysterious, and awe-inspiring. Even the moon showed up to make an appearance in the blue sky framing the giant rock. At that moment, I understood why this pIace had fascinated humans for generations. 

It was the beginning of October, and as luck would have it, near the end of the tourist season.  We rolled up to the KOA Campground which is nestled along the banks of the winding Belle Fourche River and there was not one RV in sight! We pulled in and parked and were soon greeted by campground host, Ogdon Driskell, who told us that he ran the Campstool Ranch on which the campground sits. The ranch has been in his family for six generations (His wife, Zannie, is the postmaster at Devils Tower). 

The next morning when I opened the door of the RV, there was Devils Tower right in front of my eyes! WOW! What a view! Was I lucky, or what? Anxious to explore, my friends and I set out to the park. Along the way, we passed several prairie dog towns and I swear the little creatures seemed as happy to be there as we were. As we made our way onto the hiking trails around the base of the tower we could see several climbers scaling the monolith. I was certain that they had much more courage than I did! Continuing on, we came upon an area where Native American prayer offerings of cloth and prayer bundles hung in the pine trees. As we paused in silent reverence, I pondered to myself if we were really just trespassers on hallowed ground. But as a student of history, I felt like it was my job to document this place and pass my knowledge along to others, so they would have a better understanding of the peoples and cultures that existed here on these plains centuries before the White man arrived in America. And, I wanted to share the wonders of this amazing place with others, even if it was just through my recollections and digital photographs, neither of which really does it justice.  

* * *

Clif Doyal was born in Oklahoma and grew up in the Ozark Mountain region of southwest Missouri. He currently resides in Nashville, TN, where he works in the music business, running a group of artist service companies. Follow him on Tumblr at clifd.tumblr.com

BOOMTOWN NOW - GILLETTE, WYOMING

The history of power production—synonymous with”boom development”—in Wyoming is a dismal record of human ecosystem wastage. Frontier expansion without adequate planning has left cities crippled by shameful environments which cause human casualties.
—ElDean Kohrs, “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming" (1974)

Two years ago, I searched Wikipedia for my hometown: Gillette, Wyoming. Beyond general history and statistics standard for any town’s biography, one detail about Gillette stood out. It’s the namesake for “Gillette Syndrome,” the term coined by ElDean Kohrs in the mid-seventies to describe socio-economic shifts and community health dynamics associated with boomtowns.
Kohrs’s paper outlining the syndrome was presented in 1974 at the Rocky Mountain American Association of the Advancement of Science meeting in Laramie, Wyoming. At the time, he was clinical director for the Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper and witness to the state’s rapidly growing mining industry. Citing numerous sociology, psychology and historical studies in his paper “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming,” Kohrs links increased rates of “depression, delinquency, and divorce” to boomtown development.
* * *
After my initial Wikipedia search, I found myself driving north of Gillette on Highway 59. Turning onto a road to examine a metal building, I noticed a sprawling, vacant trailer park. The next few hours were spent photographing the park’s individual lots—114 in total.
Until stumbling across the Wikipedia article and vacant trailer park, I was not aware Gillette had such a sordid reputation or scarred landscape due to the mining industry. Sure, the open pits and occasional negative comment about the coal industry existed, but there was no class that taught students about the social and environmental costs of living in a boomtown. At no point in my childhood did I pause to think about skyrocketing rates of depression, crime, or broken families. I was ignorant, but I was a kid. 
* * *
Now, I find myself living in Gillette after a six-year stay in Missoula, Montana. Still feeling ignorant to the rhythm of this town despite having spent most of my life here, I’m trying to decide if ElDean Kohrs is right. Is the syndrome’s namesake “crippled”? Is the mining industry to blame? Is global energy consumption to blame? Or, is anything to blame for Gillette’s fate? Its’ easy for questions to spiral, some answerable and some not. 
* * *
Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
BOOMTOWN NOW - GILLETTE, WYOMING

The history of power production—synonymous with”boom development”—in Wyoming is a dismal record of human ecosystem wastage. Frontier expansion without adequate planning has left cities crippled by shameful environments which cause human casualties.
—ElDean Kohrs, “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming" (1974)

Two years ago, I searched Wikipedia for my hometown: Gillette, Wyoming. Beyond general history and statistics standard for any town’s biography, one detail about Gillette stood out. It’s the namesake for “Gillette Syndrome,” the term coined by ElDean Kohrs in the mid-seventies to describe socio-economic shifts and community health dynamics associated with boomtowns.
Kohrs’s paper outlining the syndrome was presented in 1974 at the Rocky Mountain American Association of the Advancement of Science meeting in Laramie, Wyoming. At the time, he was clinical director for the Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper and witness to the state’s rapidly growing mining industry. Citing numerous sociology, psychology and historical studies in his paper “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming,” Kohrs links increased rates of “depression, delinquency, and divorce” to boomtown development.
* * *
After my initial Wikipedia search, I found myself driving north of Gillette on Highway 59. Turning onto a road to examine a metal building, I noticed a sprawling, vacant trailer park. The next few hours were spent photographing the park’s individual lots—114 in total.
Until stumbling across the Wikipedia article and vacant trailer park, I was not aware Gillette had such a sordid reputation or scarred landscape due to the mining industry. Sure, the open pits and occasional negative comment about the coal industry existed, but there was no class that taught students about the social and environmental costs of living in a boomtown. At no point in my childhood did I pause to think about skyrocketing rates of depression, crime, or broken families. I was ignorant, but I was a kid. 
* * *
Now, I find myself living in Gillette after a six-year stay in Missoula, Montana. Still feeling ignorant to the rhythm of this town despite having spent most of my life here, I’m trying to decide if ElDean Kohrs is right. Is the syndrome’s namesake “crippled”? Is the mining industry to blame? Is global energy consumption to blame? Or, is anything to blame for Gillette’s fate? Its’ easy for questions to spiral, some answerable and some not. 
* * *
Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
BOOMTOWN NOW - GILLETTE, WYOMING

The history of power production—synonymous with”boom development”—in Wyoming is a dismal record of human ecosystem wastage. Frontier expansion without adequate planning has left cities crippled by shameful environments which cause human casualties.
—ElDean Kohrs, “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming" (1974)

Two years ago, I searched Wikipedia for my hometown: Gillette, Wyoming. Beyond general history and statistics standard for any town’s biography, one detail about Gillette stood out. It’s the namesake for “Gillette Syndrome,” the term coined by ElDean Kohrs in the mid-seventies to describe socio-economic shifts and community health dynamics associated with boomtowns.
Kohrs’s paper outlining the syndrome was presented in 1974 at the Rocky Mountain American Association of the Advancement of Science meeting in Laramie, Wyoming. At the time, he was clinical director for the Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper and witness to the state’s rapidly growing mining industry. Citing numerous sociology, psychology and historical studies in his paper “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming,” Kohrs links increased rates of “depression, delinquency, and divorce” to boomtown development.
* * *
After my initial Wikipedia search, I found myself driving north of Gillette on Highway 59. Turning onto a road to examine a metal building, I noticed a sprawling, vacant trailer park. The next few hours were spent photographing the park’s individual lots—114 in total.
Until stumbling across the Wikipedia article and vacant trailer park, I was not aware Gillette had such a sordid reputation or scarred landscape due to the mining industry. Sure, the open pits and occasional negative comment about the coal industry existed, but there was no class that taught students about the social and environmental costs of living in a boomtown. At no point in my childhood did I pause to think about skyrocketing rates of depression, crime, or broken families. I was ignorant, but I was a kid. 
* * *
Now, I find myself living in Gillette after a six-year stay in Missoula, Montana. Still feeling ignorant to the rhythm of this town despite having spent most of my life here, I’m trying to decide if ElDean Kohrs is right. Is the syndrome’s namesake “crippled”? Is the mining industry to blame? Is global energy consumption to blame? Or, is anything to blame for Gillette’s fate? Its’ easy for questions to spiral, some answerable and some not. 
* * *
Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
BOOMTOWN NOW - GILLETTE, WYOMING

The history of power production—synonymous with”boom development”—in Wyoming is a dismal record of human ecosystem wastage. Frontier expansion without adequate planning has left cities crippled by shameful environments which cause human casualties.
—ElDean Kohrs, “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming" (1974)

Two years ago, I searched Wikipedia for my hometown: Gillette, Wyoming. Beyond general history and statistics standard for any town’s biography, one detail about Gillette stood out. It’s the namesake for “Gillette Syndrome,” the term coined by ElDean Kohrs in the mid-seventies to describe socio-economic shifts and community health dynamics associated with boomtowns.
Kohrs’s paper outlining the syndrome was presented in 1974 at the Rocky Mountain American Association of the Advancement of Science meeting in Laramie, Wyoming. At the time, he was clinical director for the Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper and witness to the state’s rapidly growing mining industry. Citing numerous sociology, psychology and historical studies in his paper “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming,” Kohrs links increased rates of “depression, delinquency, and divorce” to boomtown development.
* * *
After my initial Wikipedia search, I found myself driving north of Gillette on Highway 59. Turning onto a road to examine a metal building, I noticed a sprawling, vacant trailer park. The next few hours were spent photographing the park’s individual lots—114 in total.
Until stumbling across the Wikipedia article and vacant trailer park, I was not aware Gillette had such a sordid reputation or scarred landscape due to the mining industry. Sure, the open pits and occasional negative comment about the coal industry existed, but there was no class that taught students about the social and environmental costs of living in a boomtown. At no point in my childhood did I pause to think about skyrocketing rates of depression, crime, or broken families. I was ignorant, but I was a kid. 
* * *
Now, I find myself living in Gillette after a six-year stay in Missoula, Montana. Still feeling ignorant to the rhythm of this town despite having spent most of my life here, I’m trying to decide if ElDean Kohrs is right. Is the syndrome’s namesake “crippled”? Is the mining industry to blame? Is global energy consumption to blame? Or, is anything to blame for Gillette’s fate? Its’ easy for questions to spiral, some answerable and some not. 
* * *
Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
BOOMTOWN NOW - GILLETTE, WYOMING

The history of power production—synonymous with”boom development”—in Wyoming is a dismal record of human ecosystem wastage. Frontier expansion without adequate planning has left cities crippled by shameful environments which cause human casualties.
—ElDean Kohrs, “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming" (1974)

Two years ago, I searched Wikipedia for my hometown: Gillette, Wyoming. Beyond general history and statistics standard for any town’s biography, one detail about Gillette stood out. It’s the namesake for “Gillette Syndrome,” the term coined by ElDean Kohrs in the mid-seventies to describe socio-economic shifts and community health dynamics associated with boomtowns.
Kohrs’s paper outlining the syndrome was presented in 1974 at the Rocky Mountain American Association of the Advancement of Science meeting in Laramie, Wyoming. At the time, he was clinical director for the Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper and witness to the state’s rapidly growing mining industry. Citing numerous sociology, psychology and historical studies in his paper “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming,” Kohrs links increased rates of “depression, delinquency, and divorce” to boomtown development.
* * *
After my initial Wikipedia search, I found myself driving north of Gillette on Highway 59. Turning onto a road to examine a metal building, I noticed a sprawling, vacant trailer park. The next few hours were spent photographing the park’s individual lots—114 in total.
Until stumbling across the Wikipedia article and vacant trailer park, I was not aware Gillette had such a sordid reputation or scarred landscape due to the mining industry. Sure, the open pits and occasional negative comment about the coal industry existed, but there was no class that taught students about the social and environmental costs of living in a boomtown. At no point in my childhood did I pause to think about skyrocketing rates of depression, crime, or broken families. I was ignorant, but I was a kid. 
* * *
Now, I find myself living in Gillette after a six-year stay in Missoula, Montana. Still feeling ignorant to the rhythm of this town despite having spent most of my life here, I’m trying to decide if ElDean Kohrs is right. Is the syndrome’s namesake “crippled”? Is the mining industry to blame? Is global energy consumption to blame? Or, is anything to blame for Gillette’s fate? Its’ easy for questions to spiral, some answerable and some not. 
* * *
Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
BOOMTOWN NOW - GILLETTE, WYOMING

The history of power production—synonymous with”boom development”—in Wyoming is a dismal record of human ecosystem wastage. Frontier expansion without adequate planning has left cities crippled by shameful environments which cause human casualties.
—ElDean Kohrs, “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming" (1974)

Two years ago, I searched Wikipedia for my hometown: Gillette, Wyoming. Beyond general history and statistics standard for any town’s biography, one detail about Gillette stood out. It’s the namesake for “Gillette Syndrome,” the term coined by ElDean Kohrs in the mid-seventies to describe socio-economic shifts and community health dynamics associated with boomtowns.
Kohrs’s paper outlining the syndrome was presented in 1974 at the Rocky Mountain American Association of the Advancement of Science meeting in Laramie, Wyoming. At the time, he was clinical director for the Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper and witness to the state’s rapidly growing mining industry. Citing numerous sociology, psychology and historical studies in his paper “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming,” Kohrs links increased rates of “depression, delinquency, and divorce” to boomtown development.
* * *
After my initial Wikipedia search, I found myself driving north of Gillette on Highway 59. Turning onto a road to examine a metal building, I noticed a sprawling, vacant trailer park. The next few hours were spent photographing the park’s individual lots—114 in total.
Until stumbling across the Wikipedia article and vacant trailer park, I was not aware Gillette had such a sordid reputation or scarred landscape due to the mining industry. Sure, the open pits and occasional negative comment about the coal industry existed, but there was no class that taught students about the social and environmental costs of living in a boomtown. At no point in my childhood did I pause to think about skyrocketing rates of depression, crime, or broken families. I was ignorant, but I was a kid. 
* * *
Now, I find myself living in Gillette after a six-year stay in Missoula, Montana. Still feeling ignorant to the rhythm of this town despite having spent most of my life here, I’m trying to decide if ElDean Kohrs is right. Is the syndrome’s namesake “crippled”? Is the mining industry to blame? Is global energy consumption to blame? Or, is anything to blame for Gillette’s fate? Its’ easy for questions to spiral, some answerable and some not. 
* * *
Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
BOOMTOWN NOW - GILLETTE, WYOMING

The history of power production—synonymous with”boom development”—in Wyoming is a dismal record of human ecosystem wastage. Frontier expansion without adequate planning has left cities crippled by shameful environments which cause human casualties.
—ElDean Kohrs, “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming" (1974)

Two years ago, I searched Wikipedia for my hometown: Gillette, Wyoming. Beyond general history and statistics standard for any town’s biography, one detail about Gillette stood out. It’s the namesake for “Gillette Syndrome,” the term coined by ElDean Kohrs in the mid-seventies to describe socio-economic shifts and community health dynamics associated with boomtowns.
Kohrs’s paper outlining the syndrome was presented in 1974 at the Rocky Mountain American Association of the Advancement of Science meeting in Laramie, Wyoming. At the time, he was clinical director for the Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper and witness to the state’s rapidly growing mining industry. Citing numerous sociology, psychology and historical studies in his paper “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming,” Kohrs links increased rates of “depression, delinquency, and divorce” to boomtown development.
* * *
After my initial Wikipedia search, I found myself driving north of Gillette on Highway 59. Turning onto a road to examine a metal building, I noticed a sprawling, vacant trailer park. The next few hours were spent photographing the park’s individual lots—114 in total.
Until stumbling across the Wikipedia article and vacant trailer park, I was not aware Gillette had such a sordid reputation or scarred landscape due to the mining industry. Sure, the open pits and occasional negative comment about the coal industry existed, but there was no class that taught students about the social and environmental costs of living in a boomtown. At no point in my childhood did I pause to think about skyrocketing rates of depression, crime, or broken families. I was ignorant, but I was a kid. 
* * *
Now, I find myself living in Gillette after a six-year stay in Missoula, Montana. Still feeling ignorant to the rhythm of this town despite having spent most of my life here, I’m trying to decide if ElDean Kohrs is right. Is the syndrome’s namesake “crippled”? Is the mining industry to blame? Is global energy consumption to blame? Or, is anything to blame for Gillette’s fate? Its’ easy for questions to spiral, some answerable and some not. 
* * *
Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
BOOMTOWN NOW - GILLETTE, WYOMING

The history of power production—synonymous with”boom development”—in Wyoming is a dismal record of human ecosystem wastage. Frontier expansion without adequate planning has left cities crippled by shameful environments which cause human casualties.
—ElDean Kohrs, “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming" (1974)

Two years ago, I searched Wikipedia for my hometown: Gillette, Wyoming. Beyond general history and statistics standard for any town’s biography, one detail about Gillette stood out. It’s the namesake for “Gillette Syndrome,” the term coined by ElDean Kohrs in the mid-seventies to describe socio-economic shifts and community health dynamics associated with boomtowns.
Kohrs’s paper outlining the syndrome was presented in 1974 at the Rocky Mountain American Association of the Advancement of Science meeting in Laramie, Wyoming. At the time, he was clinical director for the Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper and witness to the state’s rapidly growing mining industry. Citing numerous sociology, psychology and historical studies in his paper “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming,” Kohrs links increased rates of “depression, delinquency, and divorce” to boomtown development.
* * *
After my initial Wikipedia search, I found myself driving north of Gillette on Highway 59. Turning onto a road to examine a metal building, I noticed a sprawling, vacant trailer park. The next few hours were spent photographing the park’s individual lots—114 in total.
Until stumbling across the Wikipedia article and vacant trailer park, I was not aware Gillette had such a sordid reputation or scarred landscape due to the mining industry. Sure, the open pits and occasional negative comment about the coal industry existed, but there was no class that taught students about the social and environmental costs of living in a boomtown. At no point in my childhood did I pause to think about skyrocketing rates of depression, crime, or broken families. I was ignorant, but I was a kid. 
* * *
Now, I find myself living in Gillette after a six-year stay in Missoula, Montana. Still feeling ignorant to the rhythm of this town despite having spent most of my life here, I’m trying to decide if ElDean Kohrs is right. Is the syndrome’s namesake “crippled”? Is the mining industry to blame? Is global energy consumption to blame? Or, is anything to blame for Gillette’s fate? Its’ easy for questions to spiral, some answerable and some not. 
* * *
Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
BOOMTOWN NOW - GILLETTE, WYOMING

The history of power production—synonymous with”boom development”—in Wyoming is a dismal record of human ecosystem wastage. Frontier expansion without adequate planning has left cities crippled by shameful environments which cause human casualties.
—ElDean Kohrs, “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming" (1974)

Two years ago, I searched Wikipedia for my hometown: Gillette, Wyoming. Beyond general history and statistics standard for any town’s biography, one detail about Gillette stood out. It’s the namesake for “Gillette Syndrome,” the term coined by ElDean Kohrs in the mid-seventies to describe socio-economic shifts and community health dynamics associated with boomtowns.
Kohrs’s paper outlining the syndrome was presented in 1974 at the Rocky Mountain American Association of the Advancement of Science meeting in Laramie, Wyoming. At the time, he was clinical director for the Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper and witness to the state’s rapidly growing mining industry. Citing numerous sociology, psychology and historical studies in his paper “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming,” Kohrs links increased rates of “depression, delinquency, and divorce” to boomtown development.
* * *
After my initial Wikipedia search, I found myself driving north of Gillette on Highway 59. Turning onto a road to examine a metal building, I noticed a sprawling, vacant trailer park. The next few hours were spent photographing the park’s individual lots—114 in total.
Until stumbling across the Wikipedia article and vacant trailer park, I was not aware Gillette had such a sordid reputation or scarred landscape due to the mining industry. Sure, the open pits and occasional negative comment about the coal industry existed, but there was no class that taught students about the social and environmental costs of living in a boomtown. At no point in my childhood did I pause to think about skyrocketing rates of depression, crime, or broken families. I was ignorant, but I was a kid. 
* * *
Now, I find myself living in Gillette after a six-year stay in Missoula, Montana. Still feeling ignorant to the rhythm of this town despite having spent most of my life here, I’m trying to decide if ElDean Kohrs is right. Is the syndrome’s namesake “crippled”? Is the mining industry to blame? Is global energy consumption to blame? Or, is anything to blame for Gillette’s fate? Its’ easy for questions to spiral, some answerable and some not. 
* * *
Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
BOOMTOWN NOW - GILLETTE, WYOMING

The history of power production—synonymous with”boom development”—in Wyoming is a dismal record of human ecosystem wastage. Frontier expansion without adequate planning has left cities crippled by shameful environments which cause human casualties.
—ElDean Kohrs, “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming" (1974)

Two years ago, I searched Wikipedia for my hometown: Gillette, Wyoming. Beyond general history and statistics standard for any town’s biography, one detail about Gillette stood out. It’s the namesake for “Gillette Syndrome,” the term coined by ElDean Kohrs in the mid-seventies to describe socio-economic shifts and community health dynamics associated with boomtowns.
Kohrs’s paper outlining the syndrome was presented in 1974 at the Rocky Mountain American Association of the Advancement of Science meeting in Laramie, Wyoming. At the time, he was clinical director for the Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper and witness to the state’s rapidly growing mining industry. Citing numerous sociology, psychology and historical studies in his paper “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming,” Kohrs links increased rates of “depression, delinquency, and divorce” to boomtown development.
* * *
After my initial Wikipedia search, I found myself driving north of Gillette on Highway 59. Turning onto a road to examine a metal building, I noticed a sprawling, vacant trailer park. The next few hours were spent photographing the park’s individual lots—114 in total.
Until stumbling across the Wikipedia article and vacant trailer park, I was not aware Gillette had such a sordid reputation or scarred landscape due to the mining industry. Sure, the open pits and occasional negative comment about the coal industry existed, but there was no class that taught students about the social and environmental costs of living in a boomtown. At no point in my childhood did I pause to think about skyrocketing rates of depression, crime, or broken families. I was ignorant, but I was a kid. 
* * *
Now, I find myself living in Gillette after a six-year stay in Missoula, Montana. Still feeling ignorant to the rhythm of this town despite having spent most of my life here, I’m trying to decide if ElDean Kohrs is right. Is the syndrome’s namesake “crippled”? Is the mining industry to blame? Is global energy consumption to blame? Or, is anything to blame for Gillette’s fate? Its’ easy for questions to spiral, some answerable and some not. 
* * *
Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info

BOOMTOWN NOW - GILLETTE, WYOMING

The history of power production—synonymous with”boom development”—in Wyoming is a dismal record of human ecosystem wastage. Frontier expansion without adequate planning has left cities crippled by shameful environments which cause human casualties.

—ElDean Kohrs, “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming" (1974)

Two years ago, I searched Wikipedia for my hometown: Gillette, Wyoming. Beyond general history and statistics standard for any town’s biography, one detail about Gillette stood out. It’s the namesake for “Gillette Syndrome,” the term coined by ElDean Kohrs in the mid-seventies to describe socio-economic shifts and community health dynamics associated with boomtowns.

Kohrs’s paper outlining the syndrome was presented in 1974 at the Rocky Mountain American Association of the Advancement of Science meeting in Laramie, Wyoming. At the time, he was clinical director for the Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper and witness to the state’s rapidly growing mining industry. Citing numerous sociology, psychology and historical studies in his paper “Social Consequences of Boom Growth in Wyoming,” Kohrs links increased rates of “depression, delinquency, and divorce” to boomtown development.

* * *

After my initial Wikipedia search, I found myself driving north of Gillette on Highway 59. Turning onto a road to examine a metal building, I noticed a sprawling, vacant trailer park. The next few hours were spent photographing the park’s individual lots—114 in total.

Until stumbling across the Wikipedia article and vacant trailer park, I was not aware Gillette had such a sordid reputation or scarred landscape due to the mining industry. Sure, the open pits and occasional negative comment about the coal industry existed, but there was no class that taught students about the social and environmental costs of living in a boomtown. At no point in my childhood did I pause to think about skyrocketing rates of depression, crime, or broken families. I was ignorant, but I was a kid. 

* * *

Now, I find myself living in Gillette after a six-year stay in Missoula, Montana. Still feeling ignorant to the rhythm of this town despite having spent most of my life here, I’m trying to decide if ElDean Kohrs is right. Is the syndrome’s namesake “crippled”? Is the mining industry to blame? Is global energy consumption to blame? Or, is anything to blame for Gillette’s fate? Its’ easy for questions to spiral, some answerable and some not. 

* * *

Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.

OREGON BUTTES, WYOMING

Located on the northern edge of the Red Desert in Wyoming, the Oregon Buttes rise 1200 ft. above the desert floor. Pioneers on the Oregon Trail looked forward to passing this prominent landmark because it marked the halfway point of their long journey between Independence, MO and the Pacific Coast. Nearly 300,000 emigrants passed by the Buttes on their way west between 1843 and 1863. Today it is a remote wilderness study area, prime raptor habitat, a rockhound’s paradise, site of ancient Indian Tepee rings and the main calving area for the only herd of desert elk in Wyoming.

* * *

KC O’Connor is a Guide to Wyoming for The American Guide. He’s a writer and photographer based in Lander, Wyoming. Follow him on Tumblr at kcowyo.tumblr.com and on Twitter.

KIRWIN, WYOMING

The booming of the avalanche, flung back and forth between mountain walls, resembles heavy cannonading.

Wyoming, A Guide To Its History, Highways, and People (WPA, 1941)

Established in the late 1800s, Kirwin was a small gold mining town located in the remote Wood River Valley in northwest Wyoming. At its peak the town had 200 residents and 38 buildings, including a hotel, sawmill and post office. In 1907 a devastating snowstorm dumped over 50 feet of snow in 8 days. An avalanche rushed down the mountainsides burying the town and killing several residents. When the pass was cleared, the remaining residents quickly abandoned the town with only what they could carry, leaving sheets on the beds and dishes on the tables. Today remnants of the mining equipment and a few structures remain, offering the hearty traveller who makes the trek up to Kirwin, a unique look into the past.

* * *

KC O’Connor is a Guide to Wyoming for The American Guide. He’s a writer and photographer based in Lander, Wyoming. Follow him on Tumblr at kcowyo.tumblr.com and on Twitter.

WOMEN COAL MINERS - POWDER RIVER BASIN, WYOMING

Although called the land of the cowboy, Wyoming is by no means solely a man’s country. Its great seal bears the words ‘Equal Rights.’ Here women have shared the adventures, hardships, and accomplishments with men.
—Wyoming, A Guide To Its History, Highways, and People (WPA, 1941)

Coal mined in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana accounts for more than 40 percent of U.S. coal production. The 12 active mines in the Wyoming portion of the basin are centered around Gillette, Wyoming, the self-proclaimed “Energy Capital of the Nation.” The coal mines of the Powder River Basin directly employ approximately 6000 workers.  
Women began employment at the coal mines soon after Belle Ayr Mine opened in the early 1970s. At first, the small percentage of women employees were mostly in clerical and administrative positions, but the number of women working in production soon increased as other large mines opened in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Most figures today state that women make up about 20 percent of all production crews in the coal mines of northeast Wyoming.
The Campbell County Rockpile Museum in Gillette, Wyoming is currently hosting a new exhibit, Women Coal Miners of the Powder River Basin, examining gender and culture in what is often seen as a masculinized profession.  Featuring the photographs of Annalise Shingler, this exhibit shares the stories of fifteen women coal miners and officially opened on July 9, 2013 with a presentation by Dr. Jessica Smith Rolston, author of the upcoming book Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West.  Rolston—a native of Gillette and the daughter of a mine mechanic—did her research through participant observation at four mines in the PRB, interviewing numerous miners, managers, families, ranchers, and residents.  
Dr. Rolston argues that the coal mines of the Powder River Basin are a “success story for integrating women into a non-traditional field.” She cites as evidence the 20 percent of women on work crews in the PRB—significantly higher than the eight percent average nationally—and the fact that, generally, women in the West have high workplace satisfaction. 
Rolston found that women used two different approaches to making relationships in the workplace: some diminished the significance of gender, while others emphasized its importance. Rolston says women are negotiating between the two strategies on an everyday basis, but their male co-workers are also adjusting to changes in the workplace. The need for workers has led to “less restrictive notions of gender” and this unique dynamic has “played a key role in the rapid expansion of the energy industry in the American West.” 
Images - Annalise Shingler; Words - Robert Henning
(Special thanks to A/G Guide Christine Tharp for coordinating this dispatch)
* * *

Robert Henning is The Rockpile Museum registrar and curator of the coal mining exhibit.  He hails from Iowa, holds a master’s degree in museum studies, and currently lives in Gillette.
Annalise Shingler currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado. By day she’s a teacher, by night she’s a whole person involved in fitness, art-making and sometimes fascinated by delicious tea and Marvel superheroes. Find more of her photography and art at annaliseshingler.com. 
Zoom Info
WOMEN COAL MINERS - POWDER RIVER BASIN, WYOMING

Although called the land of the cowboy, Wyoming is by no means solely a man’s country. Its great seal bears the words ‘Equal Rights.’ Here women have shared the adventures, hardships, and accomplishments with men.
—Wyoming, A Guide To Its History, Highways, and People (WPA, 1941)

Coal mined in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana accounts for more than 40 percent of U.S. coal production. The 12 active mines in the Wyoming portion of the basin are centered around Gillette, Wyoming, the self-proclaimed “Energy Capital of the Nation.” The coal mines of the Powder River Basin directly employ approximately 6000 workers.  
Women began employment at the coal mines soon after Belle Ayr Mine opened in the early 1970s. At first, the small percentage of women employees were mostly in clerical and administrative positions, but the number of women working in production soon increased as other large mines opened in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Most figures today state that women make up about 20 percent of all production crews in the coal mines of northeast Wyoming.
The Campbell County Rockpile Museum in Gillette, Wyoming is currently hosting a new exhibit, Women Coal Miners of the Powder River Basin, examining gender and culture in what is often seen as a masculinized profession.  Featuring the photographs of Annalise Shingler, this exhibit shares the stories of fifteen women coal miners and officially opened on July 9, 2013 with a presentation by Dr. Jessica Smith Rolston, author of the upcoming book Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West.  Rolston—a native of Gillette and the daughter of a mine mechanic—did her research through participant observation at four mines in the PRB, interviewing numerous miners, managers, families, ranchers, and residents.  
Dr. Rolston argues that the coal mines of the Powder River Basin are a “success story for integrating women into a non-traditional field.” She cites as evidence the 20 percent of women on work crews in the PRB—significantly higher than the eight percent average nationally—and the fact that, generally, women in the West have high workplace satisfaction. 
Rolston found that women used two different approaches to making relationships in the workplace: some diminished the significance of gender, while others emphasized its importance. Rolston says women are negotiating between the two strategies on an everyday basis, but their male co-workers are also adjusting to changes in the workplace. The need for workers has led to “less restrictive notions of gender” and this unique dynamic has “played a key role in the rapid expansion of the energy industry in the American West.” 
Images - Annalise Shingler; Words - Robert Henning
(Special thanks to A/G Guide Christine Tharp for coordinating this dispatch)
* * *

Robert Henning is The Rockpile Museum registrar and curator of the coal mining exhibit.  He hails from Iowa, holds a master’s degree in museum studies, and currently lives in Gillette.
Annalise Shingler currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado. By day she’s a teacher, by night she’s a whole person involved in fitness, art-making and sometimes fascinated by delicious tea and Marvel superheroes. Find more of her photography and art at annaliseshingler.com. 
Zoom Info
WOMEN COAL MINERS - POWDER RIVER BASIN, WYOMING

Although called the land of the cowboy, Wyoming is by no means solely a man’s country. Its great seal bears the words ‘Equal Rights.’ Here women have shared the adventures, hardships, and accomplishments with men.
—Wyoming, A Guide To Its History, Highways, and People (WPA, 1941)

Coal mined in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana accounts for more than 40 percent of U.S. coal production. The 12 active mines in the Wyoming portion of the basin are centered around Gillette, Wyoming, the self-proclaimed “Energy Capital of the Nation.” The coal mines of the Powder River Basin directly employ approximately 6000 workers.  
Women began employment at the coal mines soon after Belle Ayr Mine opened in the early 1970s. At first, the small percentage of women employees were mostly in clerical and administrative positions, but the number of women working in production soon increased as other large mines opened in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Most figures today state that women make up about 20 percent of all production crews in the coal mines of northeast Wyoming.
The Campbell County Rockpile Museum in Gillette, Wyoming is currently hosting a new exhibit, Women Coal Miners of the Powder River Basin, examining gender and culture in what is often seen as a masculinized profession.  Featuring the photographs of Annalise Shingler, this exhibit shares the stories of fifteen women coal miners and officially opened on July 9, 2013 with a presentation by Dr. Jessica Smith Rolston, author of the upcoming book Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West.  Rolston—a native of Gillette and the daughter of a mine mechanic—did her research through participant observation at four mines in the PRB, interviewing numerous miners, managers, families, ranchers, and residents.  
Dr. Rolston argues that the coal mines of the Powder River Basin are a “success story for integrating women into a non-traditional field.” She cites as evidence the 20 percent of women on work crews in the PRB—significantly higher than the eight percent average nationally—and the fact that, generally, women in the West have high workplace satisfaction. 
Rolston found that women used two different approaches to making relationships in the workplace: some diminished the significance of gender, while others emphasized its importance. Rolston says women are negotiating between the two strategies on an everyday basis, but their male co-workers are also adjusting to changes in the workplace. The need for workers has led to “less restrictive notions of gender” and this unique dynamic has “played a key role in the rapid expansion of the energy industry in the American West.” 
Images - Annalise Shingler; Words - Robert Henning
(Special thanks to A/G Guide Christine Tharp for coordinating this dispatch)
* * *

Robert Henning is The Rockpile Museum registrar and curator of the coal mining exhibit.  He hails from Iowa, holds a master’s degree in museum studies, and currently lives in Gillette.
Annalise Shingler currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado. By day she’s a teacher, by night she’s a whole person involved in fitness, art-making and sometimes fascinated by delicious tea and Marvel superheroes. Find more of her photography and art at annaliseshingler.com. 
Zoom Info
WOMEN COAL MINERS - POWDER RIVER BASIN, WYOMING

Although called the land of the cowboy, Wyoming is by no means solely a man’s country. Its great seal bears the words ‘Equal Rights.’ Here women have shared the adventures, hardships, and accomplishments with men.
—Wyoming, A Guide To Its History, Highways, and People (WPA, 1941)

Coal mined in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana accounts for more than 40 percent of U.S. coal production. The 12 active mines in the Wyoming portion of the basin are centered around Gillette, Wyoming, the self-proclaimed “Energy Capital of the Nation.” The coal mines of the Powder River Basin directly employ approximately 6000 workers.  
Women began employment at the coal mines soon after Belle Ayr Mine opened in the early 1970s. At first, the small percentage of women employees were mostly in clerical and administrative positions, but the number of women working in production soon increased as other large mines opened in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Most figures today state that women make up about 20 percent of all production crews in the coal mines of northeast Wyoming.
The Campbell County Rockpile Museum in Gillette, Wyoming is currently hosting a new exhibit, Women Coal Miners of the Powder River Basin, examining gender and culture in what is often seen as a masculinized profession.  Featuring the photographs of Annalise Shingler, this exhibit shares the stories of fifteen women coal miners and officially opened on July 9, 2013 with a presentation by Dr. Jessica Smith Rolston, author of the upcoming book Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West.  Rolston—a native of Gillette and the daughter of a mine mechanic—did her research through participant observation at four mines in the PRB, interviewing numerous miners, managers, families, ranchers, and residents.  
Dr. Rolston argues that the coal mines of the Powder River Basin are a “success story for integrating women into a non-traditional field.” She cites as evidence the 20 percent of women on work crews in the PRB—significantly higher than the eight percent average nationally—and the fact that, generally, women in the West have high workplace satisfaction. 
Rolston found that women used two different approaches to making relationships in the workplace: some diminished the significance of gender, while others emphasized its importance. Rolston says women are negotiating between the two strategies on an everyday basis, but their male co-workers are also adjusting to changes in the workplace. The need for workers has led to “less restrictive notions of gender” and this unique dynamic has “played a key role in the rapid expansion of the energy industry in the American West.” 
Images - Annalise Shingler; Words - Robert Henning
(Special thanks to A/G Guide Christine Tharp for coordinating this dispatch)
* * *

Robert Henning is The Rockpile Museum registrar and curator of the coal mining exhibit.  He hails from Iowa, holds a master’s degree in museum studies, and currently lives in Gillette.
Annalise Shingler currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado. By day she’s a teacher, by night she’s a whole person involved in fitness, art-making and sometimes fascinated by delicious tea and Marvel superheroes. Find more of her photography and art at annaliseshingler.com. 
Zoom Info
WOMEN COAL MINERS - POWDER RIVER BASIN, WYOMING

Although called the land of the cowboy, Wyoming is by no means solely a man’s country. Its great seal bears the words ‘Equal Rights.’ Here women have shared the adventures, hardships, and accomplishments with men.
—Wyoming, A Guide To Its History, Highways, and People (WPA, 1941)

Coal mined in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana accounts for more than 40 percent of U.S. coal production. The 12 active mines in the Wyoming portion of the basin are centered around Gillette, Wyoming, the self-proclaimed “Energy Capital of the Nation.” The coal mines of the Powder River Basin directly employ approximately 6000 workers.  
Women began employment at the coal mines soon after Belle Ayr Mine opened in the early 1970s. At first, the small percentage of women employees were mostly in clerical and administrative positions, but the number of women working in production soon increased as other large mines opened in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Most figures today state that women make up about 20 percent of all production crews in the coal mines of northeast Wyoming.
The Campbell County Rockpile Museum in Gillette, Wyoming is currently hosting a new exhibit, Women Coal Miners of the Powder River Basin, examining gender and culture in what is often seen as a masculinized profession.  Featuring the photographs of Annalise Shingler, this exhibit shares the stories of fifteen women coal miners and officially opened on July 9, 2013 with a presentation by Dr. Jessica Smith Rolston, author of the upcoming book Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West.  Rolston—a native of Gillette and the daughter of a mine mechanic—did her research through participant observation at four mines in the PRB, interviewing numerous miners, managers, families, ranchers, and residents.  
Dr. Rolston argues that the coal mines of the Powder River Basin are a “success story for integrating women into a non-traditional field.” She cites as evidence the 20 percent of women on work crews in the PRB—significantly higher than the eight percent average nationally—and the fact that, generally, women in the West have high workplace satisfaction. 
Rolston found that women used two different approaches to making relationships in the workplace: some diminished the significance of gender, while others emphasized its importance. Rolston says women are negotiating between the two strategies on an everyday basis, but their male co-workers are also adjusting to changes in the workplace. The need for workers has led to “less restrictive notions of gender” and this unique dynamic has “played a key role in the rapid expansion of the energy industry in the American West.” 
Images - Annalise Shingler; Words - Robert Henning
(Special thanks to A/G Guide Christine Tharp for coordinating this dispatch)
* * *

Robert Henning is The Rockpile Museum registrar and curator of the coal mining exhibit.  He hails from Iowa, holds a master’s degree in museum studies, and currently lives in Gillette.
Annalise Shingler currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado. By day she’s a teacher, by night she’s a whole person involved in fitness, art-making and sometimes fascinated by delicious tea and Marvel superheroes. Find more of her photography and art at annaliseshingler.com. 
Zoom Info
WOMEN COAL MINERS - POWDER RIVER BASIN, WYOMING

Although called the land of the cowboy, Wyoming is by no means solely a man’s country. Its great seal bears the words ‘Equal Rights.’ Here women have shared the adventures, hardships, and accomplishments with men.
—Wyoming, A Guide To Its History, Highways, and People (WPA, 1941)

Coal mined in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana accounts for more than 40 percent of U.S. coal production. The 12 active mines in the Wyoming portion of the basin are centered around Gillette, Wyoming, the self-proclaimed “Energy Capital of the Nation.” The coal mines of the Powder River Basin directly employ approximately 6000 workers.  
Women began employment at the coal mines soon after Belle Ayr Mine opened in the early 1970s. At first, the small percentage of women employees were mostly in clerical and administrative positions, but the number of women working in production soon increased as other large mines opened in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Most figures today state that women make up about 20 percent of all production crews in the coal mines of northeast Wyoming.
The Campbell County Rockpile Museum in Gillette, Wyoming is currently hosting a new exhibit, Women Coal Miners of the Powder River Basin, examining gender and culture in what is often seen as a masculinized profession.  Featuring the photographs of Annalise Shingler, this exhibit shares the stories of fifteen women coal miners and officially opened on July 9, 2013 with a presentation by Dr. Jessica Smith Rolston, author of the upcoming book Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West.  Rolston—a native of Gillette and the daughter of a mine mechanic—did her research through participant observation at four mines in the PRB, interviewing numerous miners, managers, families, ranchers, and residents.  
Dr. Rolston argues that the coal mines of the Powder River Basin are a “success story for integrating women into a non-traditional field.” She cites as evidence the 20 percent of women on work crews in the PRB—significantly higher than the eight percent average nationally—and the fact that, generally, women in the West have high workplace satisfaction. 
Rolston found that women used two different approaches to making relationships in the workplace: some diminished the significance of gender, while others emphasized its importance. Rolston says women are negotiating between the two strategies on an everyday basis, but their male co-workers are also adjusting to changes in the workplace. The need for workers has led to “less restrictive notions of gender” and this unique dynamic has “played a key role in the rapid expansion of the energy industry in the American West.” 
Images - Annalise Shingler; Words - Robert Henning
(Special thanks to A/G Guide Christine Tharp for coordinating this dispatch)
* * *

Robert Henning is The Rockpile Museum registrar and curator of the coal mining exhibit.  He hails from Iowa, holds a master’s degree in museum studies, and currently lives in Gillette.
Annalise Shingler currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado. By day she’s a teacher, by night she’s a whole person involved in fitness, art-making and sometimes fascinated by delicious tea and Marvel superheroes. Find more of her photography and art at annaliseshingler.com. 
Zoom Info

WOMEN COAL MINERS - POWDER RIVER BASIN, WYOMING

Although called the land of the cowboy, Wyoming is by no means solely a man’s country. Its great seal bears the words ‘Equal Rights.’ Here women have shared the adventures, hardships, and accomplishments with men.

Wyoming, A Guide To Its History, Highways, and People (WPA, 1941)

Coal mined in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana accounts for more than 40 percent of U.S. coal production. The 12 active mines in the Wyoming portion of the basin are centered around Gillette, Wyoming, the self-proclaimed “Energy Capital of the Nation.” The coal mines of the Powder River Basin directly employ approximately 6000 workers. 

Women began employment at the coal mines soon after Belle Ayr Mine opened in the early 1970s. At first, the small percentage of women employees were mostly in clerical and administrative positions, but the number of women working in production soon increased as other large mines opened in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Most figures today state that women make up about 20 percent of all production crews in the coal mines of northeast Wyoming.

The Campbell County Rockpile Museum in Gillette, Wyoming is currently hosting a new exhibit, Women Coal Miners of the Powder River Basin, examining gender and culture in what is often seen as a masculinized profession.  Featuring the photographs of Annalise Shingler, this exhibit shares the stories of fifteen women coal miners and officially opened on July 9, 2013 with a presentation by Dr. Jessica Smith Rolston, author of the upcoming book Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West.  Rolston—a native of Gillette and the daughter of a mine mechanic—did her research through participant observation at four mines in the PRB, interviewing numerous miners, managers, families, ranchers, and residents. 

Dr. Rolston argues that the coal mines of the Powder River Basin are a “success story for integrating women into a non-traditional field.” She cites as evidence the 20 percent of women on work crews in the PRB—significantly higher than the eight percent average nationally—and the fact that, generally, women in the West have high workplace satisfaction.

Rolston found that women used two different approaches to making relationships in the workplace: some diminished the significance of gender, while others emphasized its importance. Rolston says women are negotiating between the two strategies on an everyday basis, but their male co-workers are also adjusting to changes in the workplace. The need for workers has led to “less restrictive notions of gender” and this unique dynamic has “played a key role in the rapid expansion of the energy industry in the American West.” 

Images - Annalise Shingler; Words - Robert Henning

(Special thanks to A/G Guide Christine Tharp for coordinating this dispatch)

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Robert Henning is The Rockpile Museum registrar and curator of the coal mining exhibit.  He hails from Iowa, holds a master’s degree in museum studies, and currently lives in Gillette.

Annalise Shingler currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado. By day she’s a teacher, by night she’s a whole person involved in fitness, art-making and sometimes fascinated by delicious tea and Marvel superheroes. Find more of her photography and art at annaliseshingler.com

WHERE THE WHITE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE RED DESERT - SOUTHWEST WYOMING

At the conclusion of the Upper Cretaceous time all of the existing rock of the earth’s crust, throughout the Rocky Mountain region, was thrown by mountain-making movements into a succession of folds. The larger upwarped areas formed the mountainous areas and the intervening larger downwarps produced the basins… No part of Wyoming escaped these movements, although some areas were affected more intensely than others… While we can measure the thousands of feet of rock that have been removed from the crest of the mountains, we shall probably never know their maximum heights, for they were being reduced by erosion at the same time that they were being elevated.

Wyoming: A Guide to Its History, Highways and People (WPA, 1941)

Part of the Green River Formation, and containing hundreds of ancient carved figures within its sandstone walls, White Mountain is part of the Rock Springs uplift in southwestern Wyoming. Here it drops off into the high altitude Red Desert, measuring a vast 9,300 square miles. The Red Desert is home to rare elk herds, pronghorns, big horn sheep, wild horses and the Killpecker Sand Dunes, the largest living dune system in the U.S.

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KC O’Connor is a Guide to Wyoming for The American Guide. He’s a writer and photographer based in Lander, Wyoming. Follow him on Tumblr at kcowyo.tumblr.com and on Twitter.

KING’S SADDLERY - SHERIDAN, WYOMING

You’ve been roped and saddled, bridled and straddled;
I’ve spurred and I’ve quirted you, too;
You’ve squealed and cavorted, you sunfished and snorted,
As ‘round the corral you flew.
Your eyes all afire with one mad desire,
To pound me down there in the dirt;
But to do it, old fellow, there’s no streak of yellow
Beneath this old blue flannel shirt.
—”Pitch, You Old Piebally, Pitch” quoted in Wyoming, A Guide To Its History, Highways and People (WPA, 1941)

It doesn’t get much more Western than King’s Saddlery. In addition to its well-known saddles, ropes, and tack, King’s boasts an expansive collection of Old West memorabilia ranging from ornate saddles to Native American beadwork.  Found behind the main storefront, the Don King Museum pays homage to frontier craftsmanship and culture from northeast Wyoming and beyond.  
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Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.
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KING’S SADDLERY - SHERIDAN, WYOMING

You’ve been roped and saddled, bridled and straddled;

I’ve spurred and I’ve quirted you, too;

You’ve squealed and cavorted, you sunfished and snorted,

As ‘round the corral you flew.

Your eyes all afire with one mad desire,

To pound me down there in the dirt;

But to do it, old fellow, there’s no streak of yellow

Beneath this old blue flannel shirt.

—”Pitch, You Old Piebally, Pitch” quoted in Wyoming, A Guide To Its History, Highways and People (WPA, 1941)

It doesn’t get much more Western than King’s Saddlery. In addition to its well-known saddles, ropes, and tack, King’s boasts an expansive collection of Old West memorabilia ranging from ornate saddles to Native American beadwork.  Found behind the main storefront, the Don King Museum pays homage to frontier craftsmanship and culture from northeast Wyoming and beyond.  

* * *

Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.

This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.