ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Cross Country Descent Into the Laramie Plains

Updated on February 13, 2019
juneaukid profile image

While teaching at the University of Wyoming for 25 years, Richard F. Fleck enjoyed his free time cross country skiing in and around Laramie.

Beginning of the trail
Beginning of the trail

Cross Country Descent

Three families from Laramie trusted my judgment that a winding canyon paralleling Interstate-80 would indeed come out onto the Laramie Plains not far from where we parked two of our four cars. The Flecks, Robinsons and Wieblers all met at the foot of Telephone Canyon to park two of our cars. My wife and Joe's wife had to study for exams the upcoming week and missed out on this upcoming adventure. We all crowded into two bigger SUV's with our cross country skis and drove up I-80 to the Happy Jack Road Exit where we parked and unloaded our skis.

Beginning of Our Desent

Big Jim Wiebler started to sing auf Deutsch some German folksongs as we all clipped into our skis. My three children and I along with Joe Robinson and his daughters followed Jim and Fran Wiebler with their two daughters. We quickly descended a very snowy slope in mid-January and whizzed past jack pine trees. Jim continued to sing out loud as jolly as could be.

"Oh-oh," Jim shouted.

"What's wrong," I shouted down to him.

"The canyon has divided into two canyons! Which one should we take, Dick?"

I noticed that the one to the right followed too closely in its descent the noisy interstate highway. So I suggested we hook to the left. Surely that canyon won't come out on the Laramie Plains too far away from the other.

"Right you are!" shouted Jim.

Choosing the Wrong Canyon

So all eleven of us veered to the left and whizzed along passing a herd of antelope who simply stared at us humans in wonderment. We descended and descended at a fairly good speed, sometimes getting hung up in concealed sagebrush. Boy, it had gotten cold! I guessed we should be halfway down the canyon to Laramie, but it seemed to take a good bit longer than I had anticipated.

Finally an hour later, we coluld barely discern the Laramie Plains below. Fran gleefully suggested we take a break because she carried a surprise for us in her backpack. We all leaned against some stunted pines in the forest surrounding us as she poured hot chocolate into paper cups for all the children.

"Where's ours?" asked Joe Roninson.

"Not to worry!" Fran shouted. She proceeded to pour brandy into cups for each adult and said "Cheers!" What a gal, I thought to myself. Brandy hit the spot as we shoved off to ski and ski downward, ever downward until at last we reached the valley floor of the Laramie Plains. But wait a minute! Was that the cement plant we saw across the way? Since the cement plant is a good seven miles south of town, we knew we were all in for a long overland jouney to get to our two cars.

Out on the Frozen Prairie

I hadn't realized how many icy rills and knolls and gulleys a winter prairie has! As the children started to complain, good old Fran stopped and pulled out of her pack candy bars for all of us. A much better choice than canned sardines that I brought! We skied up an down icy ravines for what seemed like hours. The sun began to set. Where the hell is Laramie?? Finally, under dark sky, one by one of our expedition of eleven skied through backyards of peoples homes just off of the interstate highway.

One gentlemen came out onto his back porch and shouted, "Where the hell have all you guys come from?"

Joe Robinson, in a mirthful mood, shouted at the top of his lungs "Fort Collins!" We all roared with laughter. We had skied far but not that far. Fort Collins, Colorado is sixty-five miles to the south. None the less we all felt like we had skied sixty-five miles. It was a pleasuable moment to crowd into our cars and drive back up to get the other two heavily frosted vehicles and drive back to our home for a nice cookout that my wife and Joe's wife helped prepare in our absence. I guess they wondered why it took so damned long for us to ski down a canyon.

Warning: It is best to take the well marked University of Wyoming Trail that is north of the interstate at Happy Jack.

Laramie Plains

Winter Sports

Have you ever cross-country skied?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)