National Geographic : 1966 Apr
bulldogging, broncobusting (page 556), and wild-horse racing. Afterward there was danc ing in the streets and action in the bars. "Hell on Wheels," they had once called Cheyenne, back in the late 1860's, the years of the town's tumultuous birth as a division point on the westward-pushing Union Pacific Railroad. The U. P.'s arrival set more than the stage for a state. It launched one of the most ripsnorting booms in American history. With the railroad builders came swarms of gamblers, land speculators, claim jumpers, and other bellicose types who looked for trouble and usually found it. Now, the people who had crowded with me 576 into Cheyenne were simply looking for fun and finding it. Northwest from Cheyenne, nearly the breadth of the state away, lies the little ranch ing center of Pinedale. There I looked further back into Wyoming's beginnings. Mountain Men Ride Again Wyoming, some say, got its first reputation because of a hat. In the early 19th century beaver hats were the rage in New York, Lon don, Paris, and Vienna. And in Wyoming trappers and traders penetrated some of the West's best beaver country (and some of its worst Indian country) to furnish the pelts.