Monday, June 10, 2013

Ames, Buford and The Lonely Tree

Cheyenne, WY   High 87  Low 52

Ames Monument

About 30 miles West of Cheyenne is the Ames Monument. It was completed in 1882 at a cost of $65,000 and was built by the Union Pacific Railroad Company. The monument is off the beaten path a ways so we figured we would be the only folks out there. Not so but Jim was still able to get a couple of pictures without people in them.

ames The monument is 60 feet high and made of granite. It stands on the highest elevation (8,247 feet) of the original transcontinental route. In 1901 the railroad was located several miles south and the town of Sherman which existed for the railroad, became a ghost town and nothing remains of the town.


ames3 The monument serves as a memorial to the Ames brothers of Massachusetts. Oakes (1804 - 1873) and Oliver (1807-1877), whose wealth and influence were key factors in the construction of the first coast to coast railroad in North America.


buford Welcome to Buford, Wyoming, Population 1!  (Now 0)  This tiny town had two big claims to fame.  First,with a population of only 1 person, Buford was the nation’s smallest town.  Sitting at 8,000 feet, Buford is also the highest town in elevation on Interstate 80, the main cross-country route between New York and San Francisco.

The high-elevation town sprang to life in the 1860s as a military outpost amid construction of the transcontinental railroad. Buford's population dwindled when the fort moved to Laramie and the county seat was shifted from Buford to Cheyenne.


However, the town of Buford was sold by Don Simmons for $900,000 to an unidentified buyer from Vietnam in 2012. "Owning a piece of property in the U.S. has been my dream," the buyer said in the statement. Since then, nothing has been done to reopen the town.


Tree Rock

tree1 This small pine tree that seems to be growing out of solid rock sits in the median of I-80 at MM 333. The builders of the original railroad diverted the tracks slightly to pass by the tree as they laid the rails across Sherman Mountain in 1867-1869. Trains would stop here and the locomotive firemen would give the tree a drink from their water buckets. The railroad moved the tracks several miles south.

The Lincoln Highway was built in 1913 as part of the highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific. At this point travelers would stop to view the surrounding mountains which were like nothing the easterners had ever seen. The age of the tree is unknown although limber pines can live as long as 2000 years. The rock is pink Sherman granite.


  1. Now those are some unusual places to visit! :)

  2. Love the little sign with population 1. I'm guessing he's the postman, sheriff and even the undertaker.

  3. I love that tree in the rock, stop everytime I go by it... where are you headed to? Did I miss that somehow or are you just travelin'??

  4. It looks like you guys are putting some miles on the motor home in a hurry. As mentioned earlier, do you have a destination or just running the roads? We always enjoyed the road running part of RVing and do it whenever we can.

    Have fun out there.

  5. 1 ... ha .. well? we have Booge Hollow with it's sign ~ "Population 7...countin' one coon dog" in Arkansas ... it's real close to Chigger Hollow...

    closed now .. hopefully, it will reopen. It's main attraction was the two story outhouse.

    passed it many times but never cared for outhouses ... two stories? funny that I wasn't even curious enough to investigate....

    love that tree... I love trees period. look at that guy...

    1. ahhhh. it's Booger not Booge... I knew you'd want clarification

  6. I'm confused, are you going North on I 25? Or did you go West on I 80?? I thought Billings was somewhere North of Cheyenne... But then Brush, Co is half way to Nebraska.......... Ok I give, you've lost me......

  7. Love the tree. In the middle of hard living....there are those who will prosper in spite of those hard times.

  8. I love that tree, which I first stopped to see in the fall of 1997. I was moving my mom's furniture from CA to VA in a big U-Haul and towing her car behind. At that rest stop I met two ladies who were driving a U-Haul and towing a car from CA to Indianapolis. We had a nice solidarity moment by that tree.

  9. The tree story is so neat! I am said the population of Buford is now 0?


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.