On a lonely stretch of Interstate 80 in Southwestern Wyoming, the sign that marks Exit 150 reads, “Table Rock Road”. The surroundings there piqued the curiosity of travelers through the area for three decades. Centered in a seemingly desolate landscape on the south side of the highway was a barely noticeable community. Farther south, a piercing, white beacon flashed above a complex of towers and pipes, deceptively dwarfed by the immensity of the surrounding landscape. Nighttime travelers compared the view from the highway to a battleship somehow stranded in the desert.
Those that followed their curiosity, strayed off the highway and turned on to the road that led to the housing complex encountered privacy warnings. Ignoring those, braver adventurers found themselves on a simple paved oval, lined on both sides by well maintained, cookie-cutter houses with trimmed lawns and children at play. Here and there adults casually, but closely watched the intrusion. No one threatened. Many smiled. Those that stopped to ask were reminded that this was a private community, but answers to requests for directions or casual questions were amicably provided.
In recent years, the lights in those homes have died along with the lawns. Half of the community is gone and overgrown as if simply swept away by the Wyoming wind. The remaining homes have been heavily vandalized and show signs of squatters claiming these once-proud homes as their private shelters. The Red Desert is slowly reclaiming the roads, playgrounds and scattered piles of redwood from demolished decks. The privacy warnings are now reinforced with a locked gate and “No Trespassing” signs. This makes the site even more intriguing to some adventurers, who brave a trip over the barbed wire fence to tour this eerie “ghost town in-the-making”. A few have posted tasteful records of their tours. Some have been less tactful with their accounts. All have been left with a sense of wonder.
Soon, however, curiosity seekers will have nothing to seek here. What remains of Table Rock Village is scheduled to be leveled and left to the elements. The sand and sage of the Red Desert will eventually hide the traces of our community and only the memories will haunt this once-vital part of Wyoming history.
For many of us that called it home at some point in our lives, the slow but steady decay of our little oasis has been painful to witness. Its coming demise will leave an incomprehensible sense of loss for many. The people whose lives were touched by Table Rock life, however, remain and the spirit of the community lives on. So, for ourselves and for the curious, we leave our mark here. We invite you to learn why we were there, what we did, how we did it and how a tiny, insignificant speck of civilization in the middle of nowhere helped shape the people we are today. The links at the top of the page will get you started.
We were Table Rock. Table Rock was us.