Casper, Wyoming's second-largest city, in the center of the state, was made rich by the stores of natural resources that still pump the economy there.
Before oil and gas were discovered, pioneers crossed paths at Casper via the Oregon, Pony Express, California and Mormon Pioneer trails through the territory's desert and over its mountains.
Casper was named for nearby Fort Caspar, but it's said a shipping clerk misspelled the name on an order. The fort that was built to protect the telegraph office was first called the Platte Bridge Station but was renamed for Caspar Collins, an Army lieutenant who lost his life in 1865 when Native Americans attacked the station.
Rafting and fishing are welcome on this section of the North Platte River. The College National Finals Rodeo, hosted at the Casper Events Center, attracts many spectators each June. Campers find much to do at nearby Casper Mountain.
Casper is 180 mi/290 km north of Cheyenne.
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