We Moved to Wyoming

Since I’ve been talking a lot about adventures, I thought I would share an adventure my family just had. We moved to Wyoming! We have been working towards this for almost a year and it feels so good to actually have made it happen.

Now if you’re not from Wyoming, you might be wondering why on earth we chose to move to Wyoming. Wyoming is one of those states that can be forgotten about when you ask people to name states. Having now lived in 4 different states, I can say that living in the less popular states isn't so bad. I lived in North Dakota for almost 4 years. It wasn’t that bad; just really, REALLY cold! I do have to say though, Wyoming is extremely underrated. The landscape is absolutely breathtaking and intriguingly diverse.

So why did we move? Simply put, because we wanted to. In 2020, we decided we were going to take a family trip to Moab. My husband had an old 4 Runner that he fixed up for off-roading. Something he always wanted to do was go rock crawling in Utah. He showed me areas of where he wanted to go. When I saw Arches National Park, the photographer in me was sold! So we loaded the 4 Runner on a trailer and hit the road! It was going to be a 2 day drive for us, so we decided we would stay the night at our half-way point; Casper, WY.

Now there’s a possibility that Casper was so exciting to see because up until then, the drive was incredibly boring with not much to look at. I still remember coming down the highway seeing the mountain and the city below. I thought, “wow, what a beautiful city”. I have always admired mountain towns. Our stay in Casper was short. We hit the road in the morning and spent the next couple of days in Moab, UT (Watch our experience in Moab here). When it was time to return home, we could have taken a different route but there was just something about Casper that made me want to go back, so we did.

We made it back home, months went by. My husband and I were at a point where we were evaluating where we wanted our future to go. We moved to North Dakota because he got a job in the oil field. We were actually strongly considering moving to Texas but when everything shut down, the oil field essentially crashed. The ties keeping us in North Dakota were no more. It was time for us to consider what our next step in life was going to be. He had this dream for years to live in a state like Wyoming. Two of his favorite authors (C.J. Box and Craig Johnson) are from Wyoming. If you have ever heard of the show Longmire, it is based on a book series that takes place in Wyoming. Anyways, he had mentioned Wyoming to me and it made me think of that beautiful mountain town called Casper. The more we thought about it, the more Casper made sense. It was close enough to the places we love to visit (Moab, Denver, Colorado Springs) but also in a state my husband had always dreamed of. We started researching the area.

In March of 2021 we decided to go visit for a few days. We wanted to explore the town as if we were living there, not just as tourists. Oh did we fall for Casper hard that trip! The people of Casper are exceptionally friendly. We love that there is an emphasis on outdoor activities. We love to be outdoors. It also has a great emphasis on family life. My husband and I both grew up in Columbia, MO. Growing up we loved the town. There was a focus on family life. By the time we grew up and had kids of our own, Columbia lost more and more of that family life appeal. If you are not familiar with Columbia, it is a big college town. It is home to the University of Missouri, Columbia College, Stephen’s College and a few junior colleges. Now I’m not trying to start some huge debate, but it really did seem that when The University of Missouri (MU) switched to the SEC, things changed. Downtown’s focus quickly turned to college life instead of a balance between that and family life. Local businesses soon disappeared and became student housing. It was not the same Columbia I grew up loving. I wanted a town my kids could grow up loving too.

Casper holds the family lifestyle beautifully. We have only been here a little over a month and have loved every minute of it. We have gone:

sledding on the mountain, discovered the importance of snowshoes,

Mountain. Casper Mountain. Casper, Wyoming. Wyoming. Wyoming Photographer.

Taken walks on many of the trails they have to offer. Went hiking on Dinosaur trail,

Dinosaur Trail. Casper, Wyoming. Wyoming. Wyoming Photographer. Nature. Nature Photography

Took in the beauty of black beach. Gone ice skating downtown. My kids love to just walk the streets of downtown (which only makes my heart glow, as that was one thing I loved doing as a kid).

Casper, Wyoming. Nature. Nature Photographer. Black Beach

We have a huge bucket list for the summer. Not just for things in Casper but other parts of Wyoming. Last year, I had an engagement session in Grand Teton National Park, an elopement in Dubois, and an elopement in Grand Teton National Park. Each time I made the drive to Wyoming I got more and more excited about the idea of moving there. At this point we were still discussing it and trying to get things in order so that we could move. In September of 2021, I had the elopement in Grand Teton. My family came along for that, then we made our way to Moab to visit again. When it was time to go back to North Dakota we decided to stay in Casper again. We honestly were just going to look, to be the kids outside the candy store, dreaming of the possibilities. Well we went….and somehow became the land owners of 40 acres! That accomplishment alone was huge for us!

Our goal is to build our dream house on that 40acres. We started thinking about when we should make the move. Should we start building while we still lived in North Dakota? We started looking into what it would cost to sign just a short term lease on our apartment as our lease was up in January of 2022. The cost of signing anything less than a year was insane. So we said no. We found an apartment in Casper that would work for us while we build and that was all she wrote! Looking back, we might have been insane for making that decision. As luck would have it, North Dakota was hit with a snow storm. Almost the entire state was under a no travel advisory. We had no choice but to push back the moving date to a day later. Well the roads did open back up and were drivable but then the frozen tundra decided to show her true colors, or should I say temperatures? It was just my husband and I loading the moving truck with a -45 wind chill. I will never recommend that, ever!

We somehow got it done though. Made the drive and got everything unpacked. It was a rough moving experience but I don’t regret it for a minute! Making the decision to travel to a different state, to create a life we dream of, is one of the best feelings in the world. This is only the beginning of something extraordinary!

Here are some fun highlights of our time in Casper so far.

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