Tag Archives: Sheridan

The REAL Visit to the Mint Bar and Drive-Thru Liquor Stores…Really? Yes, Really.

The notorious stuffed wolf at the Mint Bar--yep, I saw it; it exists.

For all those who read my early “pre-trip” post about the iconic Mint Bar in Sheridan, Wyoming, I thought I best create a permanent (translate: online) record of my actual visit. Yes, I did go…while they are closed on Sunday nights, they are open at 10 a.m. on Monday morning. While I didn’t DO a shot, I did GET a shot…of the notorious stuffed wolf that stands nobly above the main bar on a shelf reserved for taxidermy of various origins. I also got t-shirts, and was super-pleased to meet the owner (yes, there and working at 10 a.m. on Monday morning).

Booze takeout? In Sheridan, sure....

It wasn’t just the Mint Bar that fascinated us in the realm of the alcoholic in Sheridan…we were amused to no end by the idea that a) they had liquor “takeout” that you could order and stick under your arm before you shoved back your barstool and stumbled for the door; and b) they had liquor DRIVE-THRUS….yes, I know, Wyoming isn’t the only state to host this phenomenon, but that makes it no less amazing in my eyes. A good idea to let people drive up to a window and order a handle of Jack with the motor running? As a former bartender, it seems a dubious proposition at best….

The drive-thru liquor store down the street from our Sheridan hotel. Yes, I agree, the construction is suspect.

But that detracts not from its charm, from an Eastern girl’s perspective…

Day One: Dorie McCullough Lawson’s New Children’s Book TEX Visits the Wymont Ranch

Pausing to let the cows get out of the road on the way out to Wymont.

Martha and I landed in Sheridan around 1:30–the Beechcraft wound its way safely along the Bighorn Mountains and while I gripped the seat desperately and tried hard to think “pretty clouds, pretty clouds,” Martha assured me the ride was one of the smoothest she’s been on in a plane that size.

The Sheridan Airport is a HOOT! It is tiny, and it appears most (small) planes go in and out, with Denver as the primary destination. At one point when we returned our rental car later in the afternoon, Martha and I were the only people there…except a lone bunny rabbit we saw hopping along the runway.

TEX at the Wymont Ranch

Our rented Camry trucked us out toward the mountains to the Wymont Ranch, home of Mimi and Dick Tate, and the setting for Dorie McCullough Lawson’s forthcoming children’s book TEX. We brought an advance copy of the book to give to the Tate’s and enjoyed a truly amazing afternoon on their ranch, learning about the horse and ranching history of the area (I had NO IDEA polo was played West of the Mississipi!)

Mimi and Dick took us up to a neighboring ranch (Eaton’s–the oldest dude ranch in the US) and gave us the grand tour…introducing us around and being generally fabulous hosts.

For dinner they recommended the Wyoming Rib and Chop House back in Sheridan, so (by this point FAMISHED) we trucked it back to town for some MEAT (and wine). Best steak I’ve had in a long time, and cooked to MR perfection…

Alas, the Mint Bar was closed on a Sunday night….

This morning we’re off to King’s Saddlery, and then the Padlock…

What’s a Beechcraft Have to Do with Horses?

Tomorrow we leave at 8 am for Sheridan, which means we are at Boston-Logan at 6:15. For those who know me, they understand that the sleep I manage tonight is due to the exhaustion amounted in the days prior…as much as I love to travel, I HATE to fly.

People are often puzzled by my fear. I am not neurotic (or at least, no one has told me I am). I am fairly daring by nature, even foolish on occasion. I ride ski lifts without pause. I balk not at the flimsy fair rides that visit the local village of Tunbridge, Vermont, every year. I ride horses, for goodness sake.

But flying, oh flying. I count babies and holy men and take a pill and hope for sleep. And that’s on a BIG plane.

Tomorrow we are flying on a Beechcraft from Denver to Sheridan. These planes have propellers. Well, I know most planes have propellers, but these have propellers I can hear and see.

This post will either save me or doom me.

Tomorrow evening, we shall see.

Til the Mint Bar, I hope….I’m thinking of vast ranges and distant horizons….and getting on a horse, from the ground.

The Mint Bar–Whiskey, Please

The Mint Bar in Sheridan, Wyoming, has been the locals' watering hole of choice since 1907.

So, I’ve discovered that there is what we on the East Coast might call a “dive bar,” but what in Wyoming you call a “cowboy bar,” and it is right in Sheridan and perhaps even within walking distance of the hotel we’ll stay in on Sunday night, prior to making our way out to the Padlock Ranch some 20 miles or so away.

Imagine looking up and seeing this guy after a couple of drinks...

Nice barkitty....

They say the Mint Bar (I keep thinking of ice cream, don’t you?) has been around since 1907, catering to the gunsmiths, trail guides, and saddle makers who called the town home, and that it even hosted a speakeasy “in the back” during Prohibition (back then I guess it was called the Mint Saloon). Now, of course, it does a fine business of lining up the tourists–according to TripAdvisor, I should make it a destination because of a stuffed wolf from the turn of the century that is apparently larger and more impressive than any wolf one might come across today (does one come across wolves regularly in Wyoming??) However, when I visited the website, I was far more taken with the friendly badger and bobcat affectionately named “Barkitty.”

My husband and I have made it a habit to visit local watering holes wherever we might find ourselves–two of our very favorite happen to be Los Ojos in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, and the Mineshaft in Madrid (we have family in Albuquerque). Generally they do feature taxidermy, a pool table, and excellent local flavor–as a former bartender, I find them a great way to get a sense of a new place, its people, its politics, its music, and of course, its drink of choice.

At the Mint, I assume it will be whiskey.

Now, the question is, will Martha let me drag her there??