The first time I ever heard of Thermopolis, Wyoming, was when a cartoon character popped out of a hole and read the sign with much juicy lisping. It made me laugh, but at the time, I didn’t know it was a real place. Now I know it’s not only real, but also a very nice place, and I go there fairly often.
On the edge of town is Hot Springs State Park. Famous for its hot mineral pools, the park has picnic areas, walking trails winding around the hot springs and a beautiful formation known as the Rainbow Terrace. Still, the naturally hot mineral water is the star attraction, and there are many ways to enjoy it. There are indoor pools, outdoor pools, waterslides, hot tubs, even a vapor cave — all celebrating the soothing, maybe even healing, powers of the hot springs. Motels in the park have their own hot pools.
A great day, year-round, includes a trip to the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, a stop for espresso and a book or gift at The Storyteller and a good long soak in the hot springs. Want more? Have a massage. A couple of miles south of Thermopolis, you can drive through the beautiful Wind River Canyon to Boysen Reservoir or try the fishing, rafting and camping along the Big Horn River.
Photo and story by Barbara Graham, a Cody-based mystery writer whose books are set in East Tennessee instead of Wyoming because, well, that's where those imaginary friends happen to live.