One night when I was pouring over my atlas with new friends in South Dakota, they pointed out Ayers Natural Bridge Park and I circled it on the map for when I got into Wyoming. Floyd and Shirley mentioned this place was gorgeous and the camping was free.
Ayers Bridge is apparently just a mile south of the Oregon Trail and many emigrants would visit it as they passed through (hence one of Wyoming’s first tourist attractions). It was the homestead of the Ayers family for decades. I believe the story goes that the Native Americans in this area were fearful of this place because a young brave was struck by lightening and killed at the arch, which led to a legend of an evil spirit, “King of Beasts,” who lived under the bridge. Since the Native tribes stayed away, it was a protected place for settlers who came through the area and, eventually, for the Ayers family to settle. Andrew Ayers donated the land to the county back in 1920, making it a public space.
Michael and Erica joined me for two of the three nights I was there before we finally decided to break up our camping love affair and part ways. Much like Cheyenne Campground, Ayers Natural Bridge Park was a respite - a place where we got to explore some of the incredible beauty of this park, but didn’t have this nagging feeling that there was a lot to check off our to-do lists.
We met a couple who was from the area and we spent our second night with them, listening to recounts of crazy life experiences, tutorials on nature’s medicinal plants and how varied they are, and stories of love through World of Warcraft.
Much like a few posts before this, it is also a collection of photographs of my time there.