Tag Archive | small town

Circus Trip 2018: Sheridan

Day 10, Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Sheridan, Wyoming is a cute little town…  It is a place where the Old West meets cute, kitschy shops and apparel boutiques.  King’s Saddlery Shop is one example; Don King began making saddles in 1946, and opened the shop in Sheridan shortly after.  It is a traditional saddle shop, the kind that you just rarely see anymore.  They sell everything tack related, from all types of saddles to ropes, saddle pads, bits and bridles and every other tack imaginable.  Their saddles are beautiful!

King’s Saddlery also has a museum.  The collection of saddles and other tack is huge, ranging from side saddles, cutting saddles, roping saddles, parade saddles and even some English saddles.  And yes, in case you don’t know, there is a different saddle for every type of riding.  The museum also has all sorts of bridles, spurs, a wagon or two and other riding accessories.  Some of the tack was owned by famous people, and many of the saddles were designed and made by the Don King and his sons.  There were many ornate and unique artifacts here; the shop and the museum are truly labors of love!

After visiting King’s I spent a bit of time wandering the downtown streets of Sheridan, poking around in a few of the shops.  I also checked out some of Sheridan’s cool sculptures – I like when towns have artwork for people to enjoy outside.  However, I was feeling lonely.  I had been on the road for ten days at that point, so it was bound to happen; the majority of my time was spent alone.  It happened from time to time on my trip, and I always tried to have a balance of being gentle with myself, but also still pushing myself to not just give up and quit.

It was lunchtime, so I went and found the Black Tooth Brewing Company and ordered a beer, and got some Pad Thai from the food truck parked outside.  I sat outside in a shady spot and enjoyed a bit of time relaxing.  I would love to visit this brewery again with someone!

 

 

 

 

MI Road Trip: Cemeteries and Beer

Our first couple of days on our Michigan trip were really relaxing, as they were all about family. My grandmother is 97, so she isn’t really out partying, unless you count her semi-regular appearances at church. She lives in a very small town (population about 1500), so there’s limited opportunity to do much of anything. Her town consists of a bank, grocery store, hardware store, gas station, library, post office, coffee shop, second hand clothing shop, all in one pizza, hotdog, sandwich, ice cream restaurant and three antique stores. And that’s pretty much it – it is truly a one stop light town.

I wandered over to both cemeteries during those couple of days; the old cemetery with lots of Civil War Veterans (they stopped burying people here in the 50s or 60s, I believe), and the new cemetery with several Civil War Veterans and many other historical graves, but current burials as well.  Sadly, the old cemetery has deteriorated since I was there last, with somebody doing rubbings on the older gravestones that have left ugly marks.  Many of the stones have fallen over, and graves have sunken.  There are several stones stacked against a tree; their bases lost to time.

Jon reading the gravestones in the old cemetery

Jon reading the gravestones in the old cemetery

A gravestone damaged by rubbing in the old cemetery

A gravestone damaged by rubbing in the old cemetery

My grandfather is buried at the new cemetery, so I always like to go over and say hello. Plus, I find cemeteries to be very peaceful, so I’m always happy to go and wander among the graves.  I always explore the older graves; and this cemetery has several from the 1800s.  Many are in very good condition, and I enjoy reading the names and dates.  Some are in bad shape, having fallen over and sunk into the ground.

A Civil War Veteran’s grave in the new cemetery – with the Grand Army of the Republic star

A Civil War Veteran’s grave in the new cemetery – with the Grand Army of the Republic star

I also got very familiar with the Panera Bread in nearby Kalamazoo, because it has Wi-Fi and Grandma’s internet service was on the fritz. I spent over 3 hours there working on a job application; I must have done well on it, because it was the application for the job I now have! Jon and I also visited Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo with my cousin – I considered it a treat after having wrapped up my application. I had been before with my cousin, but it was Jon’s first time. He was very impressed with the beer and the atmosphere. I love the quirky look of the bar, the collection of African masks, and of course, the beer.

The wall of beers at Bell’s Brewery

The wall of beers at Bell’s Brewery

We tried a couple before we settled on our choices; I had the Thump Yer Pumpkin Ale, which was a light beer with a hint of sweetness and flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. It is a seasonal ale, so it isn’t available all the time. Jon had a glass of the Oracle – a Double IPA; also a seasonal beer, available in the late summer, early fall. It is made with Pacific Northwest hops varieties, and has citrus flavors mixed with extreme bitterness.

We were there in the later afternoon, before the after work crowd showed up, and it was pretty quiet. It was certainly someplace we will head back to next time we are in Michigan!

 Have you been to Bell’s Brewery or had their beer?