Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Rites of Spring

I got Taco Bell (#3, no tomatoes, Code Red Mountain Dew with six cubes of ice) at the TA truck stop Saturday afternoon and pulled under the freeway to Bigelow Road to enjoy a spectacular view of the Uinta Mountains with lunch. I figured since I was already there and facing south I’d take the back roads instead of getting back on I-80. It didn’t occur to me until I was plowing across the plateau through mud up to the Cadillac’s fenders that perhaps crossing the Bigelow Bench to Bridger Valley wasn’t such a good idea.

Melting snow cascaded in opaque rivers across the dirt road, and playful 4x4 trucks had churned foot-deep trenches in the viscous red clay. The Caddy faltered only once, on the switchback dropping down to the valley floor, where I gave her a little too much gas at a sensitive spot and we went sideways for ten feet before getting straightened around just in time to pass through a gate with a cattle guard. I had washed the car the day before and found it freshly baptized with an aesthetically pleasing spray of terra cotta. I never regret getting muddy.

The evening revolved around Kindra June’s junior prom preparations and the actual event, which, in rural Wyoming, involves the family to such an extensive degree that admission is charged ($5.00 per individual, $15.00 per family- judging by last night’s attendance, the class of 2007 must have raked in some serious revenue). Brian suited smartly up for the daddy-daughter dance and I suppose we were all reminded once again how lucky they are to have found each other, since by Brian’s own admission he knew he loved Kindra – who was then three years old – long before he loved her mother, and without that initial attachment we wouldn’t have an Abbie or a Britan and life would be much different (and, I imagine, a little sadder).

We’re in the throes of the dying winter, blizzard one minute, thaw the next. The wind was so ferocious through the night and into the day that town is littered with cardboard, plastic bags, and tarps that broke free. The streets are bare except for the ragged blanket of sand the City dump trucks doled out in copious measure over the winter. I stood at the window of the control room today and wished to be somewhere tropical.

There are three new tenants in the house and three new businesses coming into town and this summer we will elect a new mayor to replace the remarkable windbag we’ve had to tolerate for three years that passed so fast I can hardly breathe when I try to remember how I spent them. All this makes me feel as if I’m running after the wind, a futile pursuit even now when I feel I’m so close to knowing what I want and getting it, too.

I’m pensive tonight and a little apprehensive, but I remember thinking as I traveled along a sunny ridge yesterday – sure, even as I floundered in the mud – that my life has never been better.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


i have always loved spring in wyoming. a lot of people think wyoming is ugly, but they don't understand how much you appreciate the beauty when you have to search for it. sure hawaii and florida are beautiful, but there is no challenge in finding the beauty in them so they are actualy kind of boring. out here you have to go searching through the sage brush to find the tiny spring wildflowers.

do you remember the "pond" that used to appear every spring in the park by the skating rink? and we would pretend it was some fairy lake, or sail leaf boats in it? i miss that.

March 27, 2006 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger A said...

Of course I remember. I miss that, too.

And it's only rare moments that spring is hard here... I sat there with my tacos Saturday staring at the mountains, thinking there was no place else on earth I'd rather be- mud and all.

I was telling a friend the other day something along those lines, that many people who pass through here are simply not charmed by our drab colors and empty spaces. We know them not to be empty, however.

I think nobody can argue with me that Wyoming is beautiful if they allow me to present the pictures I post here as evidence. She's fairly photogenic, our Wyoming.

March 27, 2006 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger A said...

Oh, and rememnber how much I complained when I moved to California that there were no distinct seasons, and it was so boring?

March 27, 2006 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger a572mike said...

No Distinct Seasons? Oh yeah, you were down in SoCal...

March 27, 2006 at 10:20 PM  

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