Roaming in Wyoming
I was in Wyoming for work last week.
Before I get started with my review of this experience, I feel that I need to air out my misconceptions concerning this state. This will give you a better understanding of my response to the experience.
What I expected:
Sheriff Longmire in a hat, on a horse, in about 10 feet of snow, or 100 degree desert weather.
A waffle house, general store, and someplace famous for their chili that is run by a lady named Miss Patty.
Native Americans EVERYWHERE.
At least one buffalo.
What welcomed me the first day:
Not a single thing on the list above because Longmire lied to me.
6 “Asian” restaurants and 1o Mexican places
The Walmart where every single People Of Walmart photo was taken.
While we were driving to Rock Springs, Wyoming from the Salt Lake city Utah airport (a.k.a The land of numerous wives), I observed that the landscape looked similar to West Texas. Dry, covered in dirt, with sad little scrubby plants, and a few out of place flowers. It looks like a desert. At any moment you expect a band of cowboys to come riding down the ridge to attack a wagon train or some crap.
On our first full day we started to notice some storms off in the distance. A phenomena I haven’t witnessed since I left the flat lands of Florida. And then it started raining and raining some more. In fact, it did not stop raining for two days. Yet for some unknown magical, mystical, middle of nowhere, bullshit reason my lips chapped and the inside of my nose crusted over with a blood infused cement booger hybrid. Every morning I woke up and praised Jesus that I didn’t asphyxiate in my sleep.
We had asian food, steak, sushi (because it was different than the Asian food place) and the free dinner the hotel provides. Much to our surprise we didn’t actually die from eating sushi and it was the place everyone recommended when we asked where to eat. The steak house was a steak house, there was booze, meat, 70’s wood paneling and the necessary taxidermy that provides just the right amount of testosterone overload to season your steak. This was the nicest place around. Everyone that worked there wore bow ties and looked appropriately miserable.
We stopped at Walmart for snacks and at some point we were transported to middle earth. It was like a strange middle america petting zoo filled with normal creatures dressed exotically. It’s like the Fashion train stopped at the Little House on the Prairie and everyone got the hell off. I learned at lot about the possibilities of layering. For example, I was unaware that one could layer various pieces of leopard print lycra with intermittent layers of bright red lycra that had been sold by the acre. They didn’t really have a “No Shirt, No Shoes, no service” policy so much as a “Cover your naughty bits ’cause Jesus is watchin'” policy. It seemed to work for them. I’m pretty sure that everyone has a plaid couch and a deer painting somewhere in their house.
What they lack in current fashion options that aren’t plaid or camo, they make up for by being just about the nicest people on the planet. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone one say anything stronger than “well they’re somethin’ else, I guess…” as a negative remark. Though that could be the midwestern version of “Bless their heart”. After three days I started to recognize people, by day four we all started to say “Hi” to each other. I think it’s the water. The urge to start teasing my hair grows with each passing moment and I considered buying aqua net on more than one occasion. If I pickup a three wolf moon picture I give you permission to cut my hand off and ship me back to California.
Other than the Walmart, there was a strip club somewhere that I was never able to locate called the “The Bareback Saloon” and oddly enough, considering the name, was suppose to be mostly naked ladies not dudes. There wasn’t much in the way of entertainment other than a few bars and a drive thru liquor store. I don’t drink anymore so bars turn into a weird exercise in freaking out social drinkers by ordering a coke and watching them try and figure out if I am a recovering alcoholic or pregnant. The answer is neither by the way. I just can’t drink alcohol in any amount without getting migraines.
As if the rain wasn’t enough of a pain in the ass, at some point during the week the temperature decided to dip into the 20’s at night and maybe squeaked into the 50’s and 60’s during the day. I had exactly one jacket. Im pretty sure it saved my life. I didn’t realize until I walked to the car one morning that I had on brown steel toe boots, brown man-pants, and my brown jacket. I looked like a giant walking turd. My options were continue to look like a poop or freeze my tits off. I chose warmth. On the topic of freezing to death, we were informed that it can snow 12 months out of the year in Wyoming and the question still remains, why do people live there? We finally had to ask what all the weird fences were next to the road. It turns out they require fences to stop the snow drift from closing down roads. These are not temporary structure brought out in the winter. These are permeant fixtures because the frost giants like to visit year round.
The day we drove to the airport to fly home, we stopped at Little America (combination truck stop, diner, motel and final resting place of your last scrap of dignity if you sleep there) for breakfast. It was the only place with trees for about 300 miles. They have road signs starting from 100 miles away and they are posted just about every 50 feet in case you missed the last one because you were distracted by the splendid vistas.
Road sign 600 of 900000.
look at this picture, now imagine this but for hundreds of miles with the occasional Butte thrown in for variety.
Little America was built whenever classic diners were just diners. All the buildings are brick with colonial white columns. The whole place looks like a slasher movie set in the 1950’s. Except there is a dinosaur in front of the restaurant and the random nightmare penguins on all of the roofs.
We enjoyed a decent meal and completed out 3 hour drive to the nearest international airport that happens to be in another state.
We arrived home safely and my body is happy to be at sea level. My skin is eternally grateful for the humidity. My brain trembles at the possibility I will be returning to Wyoming in the near future. Next time I will know to bring a parka, a teasing comb, my hair spray and a bottle of angel tears to moisturize my skin.