Wyoming is one of my favorite states for a variety of reason. Wyoming was the first territory to grant women the right to vote. Although the 10th largest state by area, it has the smallest population with just over a half a million total. Yet millions of tourists annually trek to Yellowstone’s Old Faithful. That means more people visit a single spot within state than the combined total who live there.
While Wyoming became the first territory to allow women to vote, don’t let that fool you into thinking Wyoming was a forward thinking progressive place. Today Wyoming has much to be proud of. In 1894, Estelle Reel became the first woman in the country elected to a state office, that of Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Today a total of 23 women hold seats in the Wyoming Legislature, three in the Senate and another 20 in the house.
However, in 1869, men in the territory outnumbered women six to one. Such an abundance of men and a shortage of women lead to all sorts of problems. Leaders hoped the new law giving women a voice in politics would encourage more women call Wyoming home. Less than three months after receiving the right to vote, Ester Hobart Morris of South Pass City, Wyoming became the first women ever to be appointed a justice of the peace.
Still, Wyoming remained a wild west frontier with a colorful past. In 1897 a man named Henry Lonabaugh spent two years in prison for stealing a horse in Sundance, Wyoming. He later met his partner and together they formed the Wild Bunch. Lonabaugh was better known by his nickname, The Sundance Kid, and his partner was notorious Butch Cassidy.
If you are a fan of history, there is much to explore in the Cowboy State of Wyoming. The ruts of the Oregon Trail provide a vivid physical reminder of the westward push. Independence Rock, fifty miles southwest of Casper, is better known as the Great Registry of the Desert.
Thousands of westbound emigrants scratched their names on its surface.
Fort Bridger, once a trading post established by Mountain Man Jim Bridger, is the only town in Wyoming with direct roots to the earliest days of the Oregon Trail. It is also home to the Mountain Man Rendezvous. Beginning in 1825, Mountain Men, Native Americans, fur trappers and traders met at Fort Bridger on the first weekend of September. They would barter and trade for things needed to survive the winter.
Today the Rendezvous continue, the largest Mountain Man gathering in the nation.
Fort Phil Kearny with the nearby sites of the Wagon Box and Fetterman Fights saw some of the most dramatic incidents in the history of the Indian Wars.
Fort Laramie was the site of the 1868 Treaty that abandoned Forts along the Bozeman Trail while establishing the Great Sioux Reservation including the now disputed ownership of the Black Hills.
Wyoming embraces its past while never loosing sight of what matters in the future. The people are straight shooters with traditional attitudes and strong family values.
When it comes to food, Wyoming isn’t the Cowboy State for nothing. The best steaks, be it beef or buffalo, can be had throughout the state from hole in the wall eateries to fancy saloons.
Wyoming Ribeye Steaks
2 (6 oz) Ribeye Steak, trimmed
1-1/2 teaspoons Salt
3/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
5 tablespoons Butter, divided
6 tablespoons Bourbon Whiskey
2 tablespoons Black Coffee
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
3/4 teaspoon crushed Peppercorns
Parsley Flakes for garnish
Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel. Season the steak with the salt and pepper. Rub seasoning it into the beef. Let steaks rest for 30 minutes on the counter.
Spray a grill pan with cooking spray. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the grill over medium heat. Place the steaks in a hot pan and cook for 2 minutes, rotate 90 degrees and cook another 2 minutes.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan, and flip the steak and cook for 2 minutes, rotate 90 degrees and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the steak from the pan, tent to keep warm and let rest 10 minutes.
Keep the drippings from the steak in the pan, set aside. Crush peppercorns, set aside.
Return grill pan to medium heat, add the bourbon whiskey, black coffee, cream, and crushed peppercorns. Whisk the sauce together, lower heat and simmer slowly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in remaining tablespoon of butter.
Slice steak against the grain. Fan out on a serving platter. Drizzle with sauce, garnish with parsley flakes, serve and enjoy.