Tuesday, April 12, 2016

State Project: Wyoming

Wyoming is an otherworldly national park. It is a ranger program that ends with the serenity prayer because, ya know, super caldera and we need to love the people we love and we need to RIGHT NOW. In fact, it was the best ranger program I ever attended. I wanted to hug the ranger afterward.

Wyoming is this sign:

And watching oh so many people forget this sign.

Wyoming is like another planet. It is places like this:

It's pretty much like how hell is often depicted, up in that corner of the state.

But Wyoming is more than that, of course. Wyoming is also a long 16 mile drive down a dirt road using directions I copied and pasted from an email weeks before, as the sun sets. Sounds promising, right? It is arriving at this place to stay the night:

And not being at all sure I can do it. I've been at the end of my physical rope before, and I can push onward. I have been at the end of my emotional rope before and I have always managed to find a new rope. But this, this was fear. Palpable fear. Bixby kept looking at me like I was out of my mind. But I don't know anything about our surroundings, I tried to articulate.

But what was really bothering me is that it was so utterly alone.

No cell coverage. No electricity. The door had a combination lock, like a realtor's box, with the key inside. We never saw a single person while we were there.

We stayed the night. Kids slept. Husband slept. I lay on one of the bunks in the front bedroom breathing silently, vigilantly listening to the nothingness.

Sometime around 3 in the morning a car drove past on the tiny rutted dirt road. What. The. Hell.

I managed to sleep sometime around dawn, knowing Bix would be up soon.

In the daylight, La Prele was just as creepy as at night. I am not cut out for isolation.

Wyoming is the terror flip side to Montana's desire.

Have I been to Wyoming? Yes. Still freaking out about it.


  1. It could have been worse. You could have been there in the winter. Gentle breezes at 70mph. Snow up to you know where. Nose frozen shut. You get the picture...
    Aunt C-

  2. Wyoming—so beautiful. I had a freaked-out feeling sort of like that one night in Scotland. I have a new neighbor (a sometimes neighbor) who lives in the city and the quiet here really freaks her out.

  3. P.S. Congratulations on your finish! I'll be proud of myself if I can finish this month. But I'm not betting on it.

  4. Wyoming is high on our list of places to visit. Not so much for the other-planet/hell places (because we have places like that about five hours north of here), but for the wide open spaces, the Grand Tetons, etc.

    For the isolation too. I know that sometimes, too much silence means you just can't sleep. And I grew up in the country. I can only imagine what it's like for a city slicker like you.