Happy New Year! Changes Coming for 2013!

Well, the world survived another “milestone”. December 21, 2012 has come and gone and we’ve made it to 2013.

Unfortunately, Table Rock Village didn’t survive 2012. As recorded in earlier posts, the demolition of the remaining homes has been completed and little evidence remains that a comparatively small group of unique people once carved out a great life there. Soon, travelers across the Wyoming Red Desert won’t give this area a second glance. A few trees that clearly weren’t a part of the original landscape will be the only monument to what was once our home. Almost.

The real testament to the village lies in what those of us who lived there gained from the experience. I don’t need to explain that to Table Rockers or, for that matter, anyone who knows Table Rockers. As for the rest of you, I’m sorry that you will never know.

So, for myself, I hope that the restoration of that portion of the Red Desert to near its original state will be part of a new era of change. No more ghost town. No more squatters. Just the memories of what we had there and the knowledge that we’re better, stronger individuals for experiencing that lifestyle and sharing it with a select few. Let the pronghorn and prairie chickens raise their families there again. It was always their home; we just invaded it for a while.

Pronghorn Family

A young pronghorn family inspects the restoral project. Photo: Lori D. Maciel Crandell

2013 will bring changes to this site, as well. Obviously, some content changes will be needed, to go along with the changes in the landscape. I also plan to rework the membership and posting process, in the hope that more past residents will share some stories here.

That brings me to the final item in this post – the book about life at Table Rock that I’ve been promising to write. 2013 will be the year that this book is completed. How it’s completed will depend greatly on the response I receive to this final shout out to Table Rockers to share their experiences and thoughts, here, via email or via Facebook message to me.  I hope you’ll all help me create a fitting record of a place and a lifestyle that deserve to be remembered.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2013!

About Dana

I spent 7 years at Table Rock with my wife, daughter and son. After transferring in from the Amarillo, Texas survey crew, I worked as a Plant Operator at Table Rock Processing Plant and later as a General Technician. Like most Table Rockers, life in Table Rock Village and working (and playing) in the Wyoming Red Desert had a great impact on the person I became. I now make my living as a freelance writer and I am working on a book about Table Rock and how it shaped the lives of the residents. I hope to share the stories of fellow Table Rockers as well as my own.


  1. Lisa Vermillion

    I think the original 32 families have a very different experience than all the other families that came behind us. We in a way were the pioneers forging a path for all that came later. Living in the motel at Rawlins for 3 months waiting for the houses to be complete is a story in it’s self!
    We knew which house would be ours so we would go out to Table Rock each weekend to watch the progress. Week by week families moved into their home leaving fewer and fewer of us to make due at the motel. Randy and I moved into our home, our first home I might add, on Dec 10, 1977. It really was the first chapter of our life together.
    I spent a total of 15 years at Table Rock. I formed friendships that will last my life time. I am saddened by the fact that the Village is no longer there, but that was just wood and concrete, my memories are forever mine and can not be torn down and buried by a bulldozer!
    Lisa Vermillion

    • Dana

      Thanks for the comment, Lisa. I’m sure that you and Randy, as well as the other 32 original families have some unique stories to share about your experiences. I’d love to be able to include them along with tales from those of us who came along after the Village was in place. In fact, the very fact that each person and family that lived there has a unique perspective is the reason I’d like to have as much input as possible.

      As for me and my family, it was September of ’79 when we moved there and I’m sure you remember that winter. My original Wyoming experience was much earlier. I had the interesting experience of living in the motel at Shoshoni while surveying 30+ miles of pipeline between Moneta and Riverton. That was enough to make me think carefully before bidding the job at Table Rock. In the long run, I’m glad I did, of course and wouldn’t trade my 7 years there for anything.

  2. Omit*** Dwight****omit

    Well writ Dana…well writ….I also noted lisa comment, I also eventually…in my mild way looked down on newcomers…figured I would know them a summer then they would be gone, no sense in getting to know them very well. It was fun to private think…the ohhh you ain’t seen nothhig yet…ohh seen how you talk next year…ohhhhh….Lisa has a point…loving being there was a special..the reason you book it…peace Dana

    Sagebrush Sally…
    While waiting for the hierarchy of the village to take me into its folds…I was trailer housed in Whats a matter…Those were days of bar not closing,,,big men inhabited with more money than brains…And just as railroad boomtown’s doxies followed the caravan…. One such was Sage Brush Sally….She was a rose beyond its bloom…no longer offering special favors…just normal favors…and she was a barfly, hovering over the paychecks….always there….I once sat down..she was a northern gal…had aspirations towards Arizona ..easy to do in -16 and 3 months of same. Simple gal with simple wants…living life as she knew it to be. It was days before she was missed in the hubbub of the bar as normal. Questions were asked with no answers…She bedded across the tracks, but close enough to be gone in a flash…It came…She was missing, a mystery….Two summers later kids playing in head high sage building forts and running trails ran across a yellow blond wig….Peace

  3. Omit*** Dwight****omit

    Let me add another…I ran for awhile the desert springs wells…..If ran backwards as I sometimes needed and did…I was always at continental dived road and a truck turnout at the top beyond the rest stop….I chained here many times before heading toward the 11 mile draw well and road…I often took a leak against a snowbank to the side of turnout and piled proper for yellow graffiti. When the workday was done and we sat infrot of our TV’s we heard about missing persons in the west….this was before they become too numerous to mention and broadcast….One missing person was notable to me,,,she had a tattoo, this was before it became a rage…I talked with the hawks and eagle and felt…..the next spring a body was found in a thawing snow drift at the Continental Divide turnout identified by a butterfly tattoo or her ankle…Peace

  4. Katie

    I lived in Rick Springs for a bout a year and since then, I’ve been strangely fascinated with the “ghost town” of Table Rock. We used to drive out and explore on the weekends. I would love to see pictures of it when it was in its hay day if anyone has any?

  5. Katie

    Thank you!! I really can’t explain my obsession with this little town-but every now and again, I find myself researching and coming back for more! I’m so excited to have found this website! We moved to Rock Springs from Ohio in 2008 and stayed until the end of 2009 and while we were there, a friend of our’s told us of this “ghost town” and so off we went to find this mysterious Table Rock! As soon as we pulled off the highway, I was in love! We ignored the No Trespassing signs and traveled into the town. I wish I could find the pictures I took that day-it was the most surreal feeling I’ve ever felt! I don’t think I said 2 words while we were there..I was so busy just taking it all in.
    I later found out that some of the homes had been moved to Rock Springs and that became my other favorite area.
    Just wanted to thank you for the website, stories and pictures! I wish I could have seen Table Rock back when you all lived there!

    • Dana

      Hi Katie,

      In many ways, Table Rock was just as much a mystery to Residents of Rock Springs when it was occupied. Lots of folks wondered what we were up to there.

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