Shell woman’s podcast teaches listeners about Wyoming

Shayne Mazur

Podcast host Carla Mowell first got into podcasting when “This American Life” started posting show episodes online in the mid-2000s.

“I had an office job, so when I was doing things that were more tedious I would put on an episode of ‘This American Life,’” she recalled. “Ever since then, when I got really into podcasting, I realized I wanted more.” 

Mowell was disappointed early on by the lack of Wyoming podcast content. “When I searched, I didn’t find anything that scratched the itch I had.” 

Her podcast “Wyoming My 307” seeks to correct that absence, setting out to explore “the people, culture, wildlife, geology and history of the least populated, and most wonderful, state in the U.S.” She released her 10th episode at the end of August.

“My goal is to highlight a diversity of voices from Wyoming. We have such a stereotype in Wyoming of what a Wyomingite looks like. And I love Western culture…we don’t have a lot of diversity, but we have a lot more than we highlight.”

Taking a page from “This American Life,” “Wyoming My 307”  is a thematic podcast—each episode consists of three segments linked by a common theme. Those segments include a guest interview bookended by “Wyoming Wildlife,” where Mowell shares information on Wyoming species, and “Dot on the Map,” which highlights a town in Wyoming. 

“My commitment is to have at least one episode for every town in Wyoming, every ‘Dot on the Map,’” Mowell said.

So far, Mowell’s episodes have tackled subjects like World War II in Wyoming, Wyoming’s history of flight, the life of a game warden and growing up gay in Wyoming. 

“I spent quite a bit of time even before I started the podcast just thinking through topics,” Mowell explained. She finds inspiration and possible guest speakers from a variety of sources including newspapers, magazines, books and accounts she follows on social media. “Then I start building out the idea as a whole.”

The collection of Wyoming books and publications in her home speaks to Mowell’s prolific research habits. “I’m continuously researching, always. Borrowing, buying, or reading books at the library. That part is forever…I go down these rabbit holes that are fascinating.”

Mowell writes up her podcast’s show notes in a companion blog where she provides a summary of each episode and pictures of the places she references. Mowell noted the blog has been a better access point for an older generation and those with special needs. 

“Explaining podcasting to people has been part of what I’ve had to do, especially the older generation who might not be as attached to their dang phone as the rest of us.”

Mowell set some unofficial rules for her podcast early on. One is to never feature a town she hasn’t visited. She wants to immerse her listeners in the “vibe” of an area she’s personally explored rather than list information they can find online.

Mowell also aims to interview Wyomingites, though she allows more leniency on that front. Her fourth episode “Words of Wyoming” explores Western language with linguist Grant Barrett, co-host of NPR’s “A Way with Words” and one of Mowell’s podcasting heroes. 

“I can’t believe I scored this interview. I was like, so fangirling,” Mowell laughed. She emailed the show asking for book recommendations on Western language for her own podcast “and within half an hour, Grant Barrett himself was emailing my butt!” Barrett offered to come on as a guest. “He was so gracious. He spent extra time, because I was still new to podcasting, and he helped me.”

“Wyoming My 307” has amassed a “steadily growing” audience. As of this article, the show has over 5,500 downloads. Most of Mowell’s audience is in the U.S. but she’s collected a smattering of international listeners as well. 

One show element she’s working to improve is regularly releasing episodes, a key to maintaining an audience’s attention. Two new grandchildren have kept Mowell busy, so much so that eager listeners have messaged her about when to expect more episodes.

“I do love and appreciate that energy of eagerness, of people wanting to hear the next one, and that does give me a boost too. But it’s my passion project; it’s not my job,” Mowell said. Unlike bigger productions, she doesn’t have a team behind her. “I’m a solo podcaster…directing, producing, editing, fact checking, I’m doing all of that. I’m okay giving myself a little grace on how often it comes out.”

Future episodes will feature Wyoming bars, architecture, the Pony Express and how to read a cemetery. Mowell is currently at work on an episode about cryptocurrency, and she’s excited about an upcoming interview with Jordan Dresser, Chairman of the Northern Arapaho Business Council.

“I do feel like an ambassador for Wyoming,” Mowell said. “I hope my podcast helps both people from Wyoming and outside of the state learn more about Wyoming and our diversity. Those of us who live here, for us to appreciate it, and those of us who are just zipping through, to slow down a little bit. There’s a lot more to Wyoming.”

“Wyoming My 307” is available on multiple podcast platforms such as Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Podbean. The show can also be accessed from Mowell’s blog at