I made it to Laramie and decided to check out the Wyoming Territorial State Prison. Laramie is a small college town and there isn’t a whole lot to do there, but there is the prison. I was actually really happy I checked it out! There are a ton of cool old buildings on the site and the audio tour is very informative. Some outlaws make infamous by western movies (such as Butch Cassidy) were incarcerated there and the truth was normally not quite as exciting as the legends. The prison ran a broom factory on site and part of the prison had been used by the university at one point, so not only could you learn about prison life, but you could also find out about farming and old-fashioned broom making.
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The first natural wonder I stumbled upon was Mono Lake. From a distance I was in awe of the beautiful colors reflecting off the water and interested in the strange formations coming up from the water. I found out that the water in Mono Lake is actually really salty, saltier than the ocean. I walked up to the edge, it had an alkaline smell. Gulls hang out and nest there before making their way to the Pacific on little islands of rock in the lake.
I met Hamid at a nearby Starbucks. I wanted to be extra cautious Couchsurfing with someone new to the community. My first impression confirmed all the stereotypes I had of Southern Californians: healthy, attractive, tan, linen pants, sandals, beanie, man jewelry, shades, kinda metro. I go to shake his hand, and he tells me he’s a hugger. He has a really laid back, generous vibe.
I ask if we can go to Target before his place, because I need to pick up, “you know, some bread, some pretzels…. lettuce.” He gives me a smirk, “I have pretzels, I have bread. I have too much of it.”
Later at his place, I realized he was right. He shopped at Cosco and had a giant jar of pretzels. In Woodland Hills, the neighborhood was vivid with spring. Hamid’s yard had a forest of rose blossoms in the front. It’s a beautiful spacious house, a grand piano is the focal point of the granite and light filled living space. Musical instruments and speakers fill the rest of the surface.