Friday, July 12, 2013

7/12/13 Friday - more WY museums (life is good!)

After checking out of Lander, we headed to St. Stephan's Mission in the southeast corner of the Wind River Reservation. Wind River is home to the Eastern Shoshone in the west, and the Arapaho in the east.  St. Stephan's serves the Northern Arapaho section and is home to a small Heritage Museum.

 The Mission church is highly decorated with paintings, a drum as an altar, stained glass windows that look like parfleches, and other Native American artworks. Beautiful and bright.

Painted ceiling and altar inside the mission church
After the mission, we drove to Riverton. The boys really enjoyed seeing all of the taxidermied animals in the Wind River Heritage Museum. There were also figures from a wax museum depicted characters from the west, like Chief Washakie, Brigham Young, and Charles M. Russell.
Next we had a gorgeous drive north through the Wind River Canyon to Thermopolis, the home of hot springs and also the Wyoming Dinosaur Center.  Bret had a great time reading every label. He especially liked the Archeopteryx - known as "The Thermopolis Specimen," this is the most complete and best preserved in the world, and is the only one in America.
Afterwards we drove to Worland to spend the night. All the inns were full in Thermopolis, there is a motorcycle rally here this weekend.

The Thermopolis Specimen - Archeopteryx

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