I traveled the road of the pioneers and pulled into Salt Lake City last night after spending most of yesterday in Laramie, Wyoming, home of the University of Wyoming. I had hoped to meet with some folks at their foundation, but it's their Homecoming Week and they're swamped. So I gave myself a tour.
My visited yielded one bit of wisdom: take your friends' criticism of a place with a grain of salt. A few years ago I dated a man who got his PhD from the University of Wyoming. He had nothing nice to say about Laramie. I formed an opinion of a windy, cold miserable place. After checking it out myself, my opinion has changed.
Laramie was beautiful on the fine October day I visited. The landscaping on campus wowed me---western gardens mixed with colorful, mature trees. Students were friendly and happy. Their alumni/foundation building is gorgeous.
The city is nestled in a valley on the high plains--7,000 feet above sea level. Mountain sports are nearby. After living in Missoula, Montana, I appreciate the chance to re-create outdoors. Folks in Laramie can do that easily.
I love to travel and check places out for myself. My inner wisdom speaks louder than third-hand reports. Today, University of Utah on Family Weekend with my son Christopher, a freshman here.