My impressions of Wyoming were formed when I was twelve, after reading Mary O’Hara’s “Flicka” trilogy. These books chronicle the lives of the McLaughlin family who live on a horse ranch in Wyoming. It’s really a coming-of-age story about Ken, the younger son, who seems to disappoint his father at every turn. In the end, however, humans and horses come to term with each other.
So here it is over fifty years later, and I’m finally getting my dose of Wyoming. After leaving Laramie yesterday we spent the night two hundred miles down the road in Rock Springs, which is the point where one leaves the Interstate system and resorts to two lane highways to get to the Tetons and Yellowstone.
We spent last night in an Econo-Lodge, which does not deserve any more attention than mentioning we left there this morning. Taking state route 191, we climbed north through desert-like terrain which then morphed into forest and back again. Along the way were roadside stops that chronicled the passage of earlier pioneers.
Tonight we are “camped” at Cowboy Village in our own two room cabin. It’s charming, and it’s scarcely rustic once you get past the log walls both outside and in. We have hot running water, two televisions, special shampoo, and Internet access. It‘s probably more civilization than our forerunners could even imagine.
At the same time, I’m struck with the ruggedness of the country, its beauty, and its power to intimidate. I’m also struck with memories of my youth about Wyoming. So far, they do not disappoint.