Poor Old Rock Springs
"A Brief, Though Sad, History"
Heading back from Yellowstone Park to Keystone Colorado, Rock Springs seemed an ideal overnight stop off point, being situation on the I 90 junction with the US 191. And yes it is, there are plenty of hotels to choose from and it is also very popular with truckers (and seems to cater for them pretty well judging by the number of trucks parked up for the night).
The town however has a bit of a sad history - originally a mining and railroad town in the mid 1800's situated in Sweetwater County, so called because of the lush river which ran through the area - the river has since dried up, well these things happen..........
Rock Springs itself was named after the freshwater spring which arose in the area. However the mining operations caused the spring to fail, thus leaving the town without a freshwater supply until the 1920's, before which time all water had to brought in by rail and Bitter Creek was used as the town's sewer.
So that's the potted history of poor old Rock Springs, Sweetwater County, Wyoming.
The town now sems to be thriving - with mineral extraction being the main local industry, plus its proximity to the Interstate, and is now Wyomings 4th largest city with its population of over 18,000 (YES the comma IS in the right place!).
"Econo Lodge versus The Outlaw Inn"
As I said earlier, we had chosen Rock Springs due to its location, it was virually half-way on our journey. Normally I would have booked a hotel on line but our hotel's connection in West Yellowstone the night before had been playing up and so we decided just to arrive and book something on the night.
Arriving into town from the North we passed several hotels and motels, but were looking specifically for a room with wireless access. We had been on the road since 10 that morning and it was now approaching dusk, and so were not too fussed about where we stayed so long as it was clean, comfortable and connectable. - my three C's. As we neared the intersection we were presented with two, what seemed like ideal, options: The Econo Lodge on the right and The Best Western, Outlaw Inn, on the left. The decision was made since the right turn was obviously the easier turn to make.
Enquiring as to availability, there was a room, and yes it was smoking, the rate was within my budget,. I then double-checked that they had wi-fi internet access in the rooms (I have seen wi-fi advertised in other hotels to find it was in the lobby only). OK this is exactly what we wanted AND I had noticed a liquor store across the road :)
"The Outlaw Won!"
Check-in no problems, room was fine, did my usual 1st night routine: light cigarette, put coffee on, check the drawers for Gideon's (John Thing!), then leaf through the guest info folder. No problems so far, poured cofffee and got laptop out - HA!
Wi-fi internet access - this is something I am saving up stories about!
After an hour, speaking to three different technicians, on the help-line I still had no internet access (though I have now learned how to "ping" servers!).
That was it, phoned reception, told them I was checking out and not paying for the night - that wasn't a problem actually, the receptionist just cancelled the booking (I hope).
And so over the road to the Outlaw it was, and here the connection was fine!
There will be tips to follow on both hotels, and apart from the failed connection at the Econo Lodge, the hotel itself would have been ideal.
As to the town, we never did get to visit, having had a long day and an early-ish start the following morning.
To sum up: Rock Springs is an ideal stop-off point en route and according to the Econo Lodge's Guest Info, there are several bars and restaurants within easy walking distance, plus several of the restaurants do deliveries to rooms there. And of course the liquor store is across the road!