Other than a few years at UW in Laramie, my entire life has been spent in Casper. If you would have asked me in high school whether I would still be living here at 30 I would have quickly replied, “No way!” As most of the youth in our city probably do, I spent much of my adolescent years complaining about how boring Casper is and how there is never anything to do. I often fantasized about where I would end up once I had the ability to move on to bigger and better things. Colorado? Virginia? Maybe I could even take a shot at living in another country!
However, over the years I’ve become aware of how much I took for granted. Having lived nowhere else it would be naïve of me to claim Casper is the best place in the world to settle down. I’m sure there are plenty of other cities that I would be proud to call home. But Casper is a really unique town with a lot of special places. Not often do you find a city the size of Casper that has so much to offer its citizens.
First off, our city offers a surprising range of performance art including live theater at the Gertrude Krampert Theater and Stage III; music from the Casper Municipal Band, Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps, Artcore, and the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra; as well as Broadway musicals, concerts, and other acts at the Casper Events Center.
Not to mention several other great places in Casper including a beautiful community college, museums like the Science Zone, Tate Dinosaur Museum, and National Historic Trails Center, the state’s only international airport, a robust and thriving downtown center, ski lodges, speedways, shooting ranges, and so much more…
This is all in a city with less than 60,000 people! Somehow, Casper manages to fit it all into an area that doesn’t take longer than 30 minutes to drive across. Despite having all of the amenities you would find in a much larger city, Casper also manages to provide opportunities to get away from it all. In a short drive you can feel like you are in the middle of the wilderness. Casper is situated on the North Platte River right at the foot of Casper Mountain so whether you wanted to float through the whitewater park or bike on the robust trail system, it’s convenient to do so.
Our citizens recognize the importance of these natural resources and do their part to be good environmental stewards. The Platte River Revival’s Volunteer Day is the largest National Public Lands Event in the country, and hundreds of Casper citizens show up to make sure our river banks remain pristine. There are also lots of dedicated volunteers that work year-round to maintain and expand our trail systems and other recreation spots. These people are what make this my city.
There are so many examples of the good nature of our citizens I would lose track if I tried to recall them all. Whether it’s coming together in support of an injured bull rider at the CNFR or a police officer shot in the line of duty; standing side by side during an eclipse or to raise money for a nonprofit. I am constantly reminded of the compassion, generosity, and comradery of the people that live here. I also take great pride in hearing from out-of-towners how friendly our citizens are. Civility and general politeness is lost in many other areas of the world and I hope Casper will forever continue to preserve its legacy through the acts of kindness and common courtesies we have been known for in the past. Despite the rest of the world appearing to be mired in conflict, Casper can strive to be an oasis from the chaos; a reminder of how simple and enjoyable life can be.
So inhale some of that fresh Wyoming air, marvel at the view, and take a moment to be thankful for everything we have to enjoy in this city of ours. It might not be as exciting or rowdy as Denver or New York City, but then again, that’s what I like about it. Thank you for letting me share with you the past week, and thank you for helping me to make this such a great place to live.
Kyle Gamroth is a Casper native, through and through. He recently took over our Instagram account to share what he loves about his hometown. Interested in sharing your Casper love on our Instagram or Blog? We’d love to chat. Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.