Hell’s Half Acre

On my recent visit to Casper…

I flew by Hell’s Half Acre just outside of Powder River, Wyoming.
Unable to shut down my blue streak…
aka…
my patriot blue Dodge Durango…
I vowed I would capture it on my return trip.
And I actually remembered…
Back when I was a child…
this roadside stop was popular.
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Hamburgers…
ice cream…
pie…
and cold drinks…
were offered at a long counter with stools…
as well as tables along the sunny windows…
A gift shop full of miscellany straight from China…
although promoting Wyoming…
was stuffed in corners and offered many temptations for those of us age 14 and under.
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That building now rots in the dryness…
windows boarded…
tourists long gone.
But the reason they stopped remains…
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Over three hundred acres in actuality…
Hell’s Half Acre is a surprising gap of erosion at its finest.
I’ve always wanted to hike among the desolate mounds…
but I’ve always respected the signs of NO TRESPASSING.
Hell’s Half Acre…
if my memory serves…
was originally Hell’s Kitchen.
But when the original owners sent off for their first order of post cards…
their order was returned with “Hell’s Half Acre” instead of “Hell’s Kitchen”.
Wyomingites rarely waste money…
so instead of replacing the order…
they changed the name.
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A minor footnote…
a Coleman cooler ad was filmed here…
as was Starship Troopers…
Both, I’m sure, you can recall…
classics that they were.

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