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>>> Pinedale Online:News:May 2004:Wind River Queen sets sail this summer <<<

Wind River Queen. Photo by Half Moon Lake Resort.
Wind River Queen

The Queen. Photo by Pinedale Online.
The Queen

Custom built paddlewheeler. Photo by Half Moon Lake Resort.
Custom built paddlewheeler

Half Moon Paddlewheeler. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Half Moon Paddlewheeler

Elegant Inside. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Elegant Inside
Wind River Queen sets sail this summer
Half Moon Lake Resort's new paddlewheeler
by Dawn Svalberg
May 19, 2004

The Wind River Queen sets sail this summer on Half Moon Lake for a fun and unique dining experience. The custom-built paddlewheeler is reminiscent of ones that operated in Wyoming in the early 1900s on the Green River. A labor of love of employees of Half Moon Lake Resort near Pinedale, the Wind River Queen will set sail this summer for dinner guests and private reservations. "We will start running June, July and August of this summer" explained Aaron Gesch, Manager of Half Moon Lake Resort. "This is the only operating paddlewheeler in Wyoming."

Actual construction of the Wind River Queen began last spring and was done by David Friend and Brad Reimers. All in all, it took approximately 6-7 months to build. "Everything is custom-built and done by scratch" noted Mr. Reimers, "David was the main builder and gets all the credit for the look. He put his heart and soul into it." At 61 feet long and 13 feet wide, the Wind River Queen is not large if you have been on the paddlewheelers of the Mississippi, but it is comparable with the size vessels that operated on the Green River at the turn of the century hauling passengers and freight between Green River and Utah.

The interior is decorated in turn-of-the-century style décor, with elegant draped curtains, red velvet wall coverings, and finely upholstered chairs. Interior design for the window treatments, flooring, texturing, ceiling and upholstery was done by the Barn Door Design & Interiors in Pinedale. Tables for two by the windows are set with gold-plated dinner plates and silverware, fine glass goblets for water and wine, and luxurious linen tablecloths and napkins. Oil lamps sway gently overhead for lighting ambiance. The ceiling is a reproduction of the impressed painted tin ceilings of that early era. Fine interior woodworking and wrought iron outside railings complete the period look.

Guests must make reservations in advance for the 2-hour dinner cruise on Half Moon Lake. Up to 12 guests can be accommodated for the regular dinner voyage. Meals will be pre-ordered and include a menu choice of prime rib, salmon, crab, lobster, salad, bread, variety of vegetables, and dessert. The base price will be $60 per person, which includes the cruise, meal, tax and tip. There will be a full bar available at an additional charge, but for safety reasons there is a house limit of two drinks per person. A restroom is available onboard. The Wind River Queen can be reserved for private parties and special occasions.

What impressed us the most during our sneak preview of the Wind River Queen on Tuesday was the elegance and fine craftsmanship of the detail work inside and out. In addition, this paddlewheeler is extremely stable in the water. When we were onboard, the winds picked up and brought up some good waves on the lake, but very little of that wave motion could be felt inside. It felt as if the waters outside were perfectly calm. When running, the only noise is the swish-swish of the paddles at the rear of the boat, making this an extremely quiet and peaceful ride. Later this summer, Half Moon Lake Resort plans to offer an additional sunset evening cruise after the regular dinner voyage. This will be a shorter, one-hour trip timed to catch the spectacular orange/red sunsets Half Moon Lake often sees. Watch the local papers for announcements on the opening launch date for the public for the Wind River Queen's dinner cruises.

Half Moon Lake Resort also offers log cabins overlooking the lake for guest rental, horseback riding hour and day trail rides, longer backcountry wilderness pack trips, chartered fishing trips, boat rentals, and restaurant facilities. For reservations and more information about the Wind River Queen paddlewheeler, and Half Moon Lake Resort on Half Moon Lake, call 307-367-6373 or visit their web site:

Elegant decor. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Elegant decor

Beautiful ironwork. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Beautiful ironwork

Elegant dining. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Elegant dining

Paddlewheeler horn. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Paddlewheeler horn

View from pilot house. Photo by Pinedale Online.
View from pilot house

Romantic table for two. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Romantic table for two

Fine table settings. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Fine table settings

View of Half Moon Lake. Photo by Pinedale Online.
View of Half Moon Lake

Top deck. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Top deck

Wind River Queen docks. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Wind River Queen docks

Oil lamps for lighting. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Oil lamps for lighting

Maiden Voyage. Photo by Half Moon Lake Resort.
Maiden Voyage

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