Day 7 - Cheyenne, Wyoming
"Wyoming was the 44th state in the USA; it became a state on July 10, 1890!" I told Ziggy. All she could do is look out the window for some cattle, buffalo, or even John Wayne. I was going to tell her she was not going to see John Wayne for sure, but she was really excited about it so I didn't push it.
We arrived in Cheyenne, Wyoming about 2pm. It was a bright, chilly, but comfortable day. Ziggy? All she could think about was John Wayne! Way too much TV if ya ask me. Just when I was going to tell her, a giant of a man, I'd say about 6 foot 6 walked up and said, "Can I give you pilgrims a ride somewhere, YO!?" in a perfect John Wayne voice. Ziggy jumped into his arms and I meowed, "You bet cha can."
He opened the door to a white van and asked if we wanted to visit Irene's Cattle and Buffalo Ranch. Of course, Ziggy and I said yes!!!
We found out his name was Bruce Puffinsnuff and he was from San Francisco and had been a cowhand at the ranch ever since he saw the movie Brokeback Mountain. Don't ask. I didn't.
Of course we agreed and off we went. Ziggy's nose was on the window so much the whole way, there was smudges all over it. Bruce stopped the van and said we had to walk the rest of the way. As soon as we turned the corner, this is what we saw.
When we passed the cattle, me and Ziggy had another surprise. A buffalo! The biggest, baddest buffalo I ever seen. Ziggy went up and introduced herself, but the buffalo had no desire to be around a cat and stomped her off.
Bruce guided us up a hill, and down through a pasture and along a creek leading up to a ranch house. Twenty feet or so from the front door, Bruce let out a holler. "Weeeeeheey! Woooooheey!"
This woman came to the porch and said, "Waz up?"
We walked up and replied, "Hi. I'm Kieto and this is Ziggy."
She said, "You're just in time. Makin some Wyoming Pumpkin Bread. Want some?"
Of course we said, "Oh yea. That would be great."
We walked into the kitchen and it was something else. The aromas of the fresh baked Pumpkin Bread filled the air before us.
I asked her about Wyoming and she said, "The name Wyoming may be derived from the Delaware Indian word "Maughwauwama," which means "large plains. I am one of the last of the Delaware Indians but became American back in 1868. Wyoming was the first state in which women had the right to vote and hold public office. That year, the twenty-member Territorial Legislature approved a revolutionary measure stating: That every woman of the age of twenty-one years, residing in this Territory, may at every election to be holden under the law thereof, cast her vote."
Of course, I had to ask, "If you were alive in 1869, that would make you better than 137 years old. Could that be right?"
She replied, "You haven't had any my pumpkin bread. I eat lots of pumpkin bread. Ya'll want some?
I looked at Ziggy and she looked at me and we both said in unison, "You bet cha!" Here's the recipe!
Wyoming Irene's Pumpkin Bread
Serves Kieto, Irene, Ziggy and Bruce Puffinsnuff!
1 cup corn oil
4 beaten eggs
2/3 cup water
2 cup fresh pumpkin puree
3 cup sugar
3 1/3 cup flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
Grease and flour three standard loaf pans. Mix the oil, eggs, water, and pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin can be substituted if desired). Add the sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir until blended and add the raisins and nuts. Pour into prepared pans and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Will stay moist for days.
Makes 3 loaves.
Eat and you'll live a long time!
Somehow, Ziggy knew about the Delaware Indians. Ziggy reached into her bag and grabbed her Wyoming hat. Or, should I say, headdress.
After eating the bread, a friend of mine dropped by. It was good ol' Ronny Cox. We sat on the front porch and Ronny sang for us. Click here for Goodnight Irene.
We all said our good-byes and Bruce took us back to the main road where we caught a ride to Boise, Idaho by none other than Ruth Buzzi. Don't ask. I'll tell ya tomorrow.
See ya tomorrow in Boise, Idaho :)