Day 5: Typewriters of Wyoming (Continued)

Yesterday we started out in Laramie, WY and ended the day in Salt Lake City, UT.  My daughter and I decided to hit a couple antique malls in Laramie before leaving town. It’s a college town (University of Wyoming) and a pretty big city for Wyoming, so the typewriter prospects were good.

Bart’s Flea Market
2401 Soldier Springs Rd, Laramie, WY 82070

Bart’s is a huge standing flea market that occupies what looks like a former grocery store.

Well, this looks promising:

We were greeted at the door by a raccoon: Howdy, pardner!

There were about 50 separate booths, but among them all we could only find one typewriter:

Brother Select-O-Riter – $69.00

Huh. Well, onto the next antique mall:

SALS Antiques
1575 N 4th St, Ste 107,  Laramie, WY 82072

SALS was conveniently located next to a Goodwill. Looks like another old grocery store.

It was huge (almost as big as Bart’s) and packed with interesting stuff. But no typewriters. Not a single one.

The gentlemen at the counter seemed bemused when I asked about typewriters. They rarely got them and the big ones were hard to sell. He had an old black Underwood (very heavy) at home that was broken that he couldn’t sell. He wished he could sell it to me but he didn’t have it at the store.

Another gentleman in the store told me he had three typewriters, but they were in west Laramie and would I like to come see them? I thanked him and told him no, we were just passing through.

My daughter and I then walked next door to see if there was anything at Goodwill. There were no typewriters at Goodwill.

I took the opportunity to yell at some unsupervised kids who were playing in traffic in front of Goodwill. “YOU KIDS: GET OUT OF THE TRAFFIC,” I yelled. That was deeply satisfying. I could do that all day.

We hopped in the car and headed west.  See those snow covered peaks way off in the distance? Those are the Rocky Mountains.  That’s the only time we saw snow covered peaks all day.  Instead we ascended to high flattish-lumpy desert that got progressively more barren as we climbed.

photo: daughter Echevarria

Up, up, up we went and it became increasingly arid. Alkalai flats and sagebrush began to appear. We saw groups of pronghorn antelope.  Sadly no pictures of the pronghorn, but here are some desert horses hanging out.

photo: daughter Echevarria

Out of nowhere popped an oil refinery – like Gas Town in Mad Max.

photo: daughter Echevarria

I had mapped out a first stop at an antique store in Rawlins, WY.  It had a pretty little downtown, but many vacant shop fronts.

301 Plaza
420 W Cedar St, Rawlins, WY 82301
CLOSED

Sadly, our destination had gone out of business:

Back in the car.  Fortunately, I had thrift shops mapped out in Rock Springs, WY which is a largish town with a community college.

We were up at about 7,000-8,000 ft. We crossed the Continental Divide twice (long story)

Rock Springs was a bust in terms of typewriters: one thrift shop was closed and two others had no typewriters.  There were lots of empty store fronts in the historic downtown area.

Back on the road.

photo: daughter Echevarria

We couldn’t get a data connection on my phone to research thrifts and antique stores in towns further down the road.  Fortunately, my husband back in Virginia texted us a list of shops in a town called Evanston, WY, so we made a stop.

Some stores on the list were closed (either permanently or for the day), but we found one open:

NU2U Thrift Shop
221 10th St Ste 1, Evanston, Wyoming 82930

This thrift shop is housed in what was formerly the post office and court house:

It’s a grand old building, and it was a little jarring to see the racks and shelves jammed into the space.

The old building directory is still up:

There was one typewriter there – a gray and mustard combo:

Singer (rebranded Smith-Corona) electric – $20

Back in the car for our last bit of road to Salt Lake City, I thought about the typewriters I saw (and didn’t see) in Wyoming. I had hoped to find untapped troves of typewriters in wilds of Wyoming.  I saw just three: one in Cheyenne, one in Laramie, and one in Evanston. Was I looking in the wrong places?

More likely I saw few because they are few and far apart.  It’s a state with low population density – second lowest density state after Alaska with 6 residents per square mile.  Few people = few typewriters. And they’re all spread out. It may be that I actually did pretty good spotting three in Wyoming.

We made our way to Salt Lake City, UT descending the Wasatch mountains into the Great Basin.

photo: daughter Echevarria

This morning we’ll try our luck typewriter spotting in Salt Lake City.

7 thoughts on “Day 5: Typewriters of Wyoming (Continued)

  1. Wyoming is pretty darn desolate. I hope you’ll find some exotic typewriters in SLC—it’s a pretty cosmopolitan place due to all the Mormon converts from abroad.

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  2. Big Sky country even though Montana uses it for their motto I find Wyoming just as wide open and beautiful as MT. Yep, sparsely populated like MT and AK, but if Mrs. M would let me I’d live there. Ok, for typewriters. Never know where they will be spotted. Generally around cities, but surprisingly sometimes where least expected.

    Happy typewriter hunting.

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