EVANSTON, a small railroad town on the Wyoming border, was named after a Union Pacific surveyor, James Evans, who surveyed land for the initial Transcontinental Railroad in 1868. So being first on the scene has a hidden benefit of naming rights. The original tent town was a temporary terminal "at the end of the tracks" until the rail construction moved west, but an abundance of local lumber, coal, and water made it a natural refueling station. The town's permanence was assured when a railroad service facility was built here making it a major stop between Ogden and Cheyenne.
The Wyoming border along with this thriving town was a welcome change after many miles of sagebrush, distant horizons, and open range I've crossed since the Wasatch mountains. It's nice to see a bit of human development of interest in the middle of big sky country -- and enjoy some relief from those breezy winds.
Here's an interesting fact: if you want to avoid people, come to Wyoming. Although Wyoming is the ninth largest by area, it's the least populated state in the country with just over 580,000 total inhabitants. Even tiny Rhode Island has more residents! I guess that's why they have a buffalo on their state flag. "Give me a home where the buffalo roam..."
Week 12, Miles 854