baa baa black sheep



7:28 a.m.

St. Patrick's Day was nice. Even the dog wore green, and I had enough beer to think spelling the word "POOP" on the fridge with the magnets was HILARIOUS. Hilarious enough to photograph.

Friday we got up at four a.m. to drive to the opposite side of the state, in order to check out the town/college where Justin has his phone interview at the end of the month. It was also the end of spring break, and we both needed to get out of town for a day. I'd never been up there, up close to the Montana border.

I always feel an urgent need to try to capture how this state looks on film, but it's just not possible. It's not possible to show the massive expanse, the miles and miles of nothing. I can't show how the sky looks like it will fall in on you, and I can't express the strange isolated but wonderful feeling that grips your mind. Miles in, I start to forget I've known anything else, and these brown basins and crags and plains are all there is in the whole world. Miles away from it, I forget how it is here, and it doesn't really exist to me. All that remains is a tiny bright speck of desolation in the back of my brain.

I want to hate how it is here, which I think is because I didn't want to spend more than two years here. But I can't deny that every now and then, as we pass the miles of cloud and rolling earth, I feel something for it. It's completely different from the swelling-of-the-soul feeling I'd feel when I'd drive around home, in Missouri. I can't compare it to the feeling of overwhelming pride or happiness as I'd pass the warm green fields and thick forests. I felt, there, I could lie my body down on those gentle slopes of green and become part of them, that my body would melt into all the wet growing things and I could house them, I would be them. I knew all those things, I knew all those slopes and hills and rivers.

Here, I felt if I laid my body down, it would be swept away with the never ending wind. It would not melt and grow, it would be dry and scatter away with the tumbleweeds instead.

My words are clumsy and I can not tell you how it is, and I can not really show you how it is.

These are the Bighorns. The town is nestled at the bottom of them. It's a much lower elevation there--our town is over 7000 feet, and this is around 3000, I think. Therefore it felt moister and the grass was greener. It didn't look hard to grow trees, which was exciting.

Cute downtown. Justin and I have a animal-statue-photo tradition.

This is the view of the mountains right before the town.

We liked the town better than the one we currently live in. It was a bit smaller, but they had a wider variety of stores. The community college looked nice, and we poked around downtown. We also drove around neighborhoods to check out housing and schools. We were fairly impressed, which was good, because, well. We had no idea what to expect. I was afraid it would be an even more terrible version of here, and I already dislike it here a ton. But it was cute, and seemed much nicer. So if Justin gets a job there, I wouldn't be dismayed. I would probably be very happy. How about that? Not dismayed! Happy! And if doesn't get the job, we're glad we got to see it, and we had a fun day. Lots of quality Justin and Kara time in the car (eleven hours) which is always a ridiculous time. Our conversations should be recorded for future generations to enjoy. This includes an awesome conversation about how I couldn't poop at a certain gas station because a woman in the stall next to me was PRAYING OUT LOUD as she peed, and it seemed sort of disrespectful to be crapping while someone was having a weird religious moment. We saw six bald eagles, a herd of mule deer, and about fifty bajillion antelope (which is no big deal, since I've seen them in the grocery store parking lot here). But bald eagles seemed fairly fancy.

I got a lot of stuff done this weekend.

Now I have to go to work.

black sheep


Blogger Swistle said...

Not dismayed = good! Praying aloud in bathroom stall = bad and weird.

10:07 AM, March 19, 2007  
Anonymous coffee stained said...

I hope that this town is a good fit for you! It sounds like it may be a nice change.

I know that my Wyoming experience is minimal compared to yours, but I'll share my thoughts from a brief road trip I took once upon a time. In college, I drove from Boulder, CO, North through Wyoming to Yellowstone, then Jackson Hole, then north again through Montana, through Glacier National Park to the Canadian border. It was awesome, amazing and bizarre all at once, and I would love to go back and experience it all over again with more adult eyes. From the Kum n' Go pay by the hour motel we saw somewhere mid-trip in Wyoming, to waiting close to 30 minutes to be waved through an endless construction zone, to Buffalo blocking the road and crazy wildlife everywhere, oh and the scenery... there was some of that too! Definitely one of the better trips of my life.

I can totally see how you would be put off by someone praying aloud in a bathroom stall. That's just downright bizarre. I've never gone to the bathroom on the side of the road as many times as I did during that roadtrip. Fond memories.

11:05 AM, March 19, 2007  
Blogger Mommy Daisy said...

Beautiful pictures. I hope I can get out that way someday. It's pretty boring and flat here in Ohio. Good luck to Justin with the job interview.

12:15 PM, March 19, 2007  
Blogger desperate housewife said...

I used to dream of spending a summer on a ranch in Montana or Wyoming somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Everyone I know bursts out laughing when I tell them this, I guess because they get visions of me running to the bathroom for a sponge bath every time I broke a sweat, or being thrown from a horse. I'm not really your classic outdoorsy type.
But it wasn't the idea of mucking out stalls that drew me, it was the openness of the sky and land and the way you could maybe look in either direction and not see any signs of another human being. I guess solititude and starkness have some appeal for me, a suburban girl who lives half a mile from CVS and Rite Aid.
BTW, praying aloud in a roadside bathroom? Wow. I need information on what exactly was being prayed for or about. Did she know you were there? Was she even using the toilet herself, or was she using the stall as a makeshift confessional?

12:55 PM, March 19, 2007  
Blogger Black Sheeped said...

There was the distinctive tinkling of her urine as she prayed. All I could hear was, "Dear heavenly father, you find me here today in this restroom..." and the rest was too quiet to make out over her urinating.

2:11 PM, March 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I had a metal dinosaur to put in my yard for no apparent reason.


9:03 PM, March 19, 2007  
Anonymous dionna said...

I understand your frustration with photographing wide open spaces. We've lived in NM for almost two years and can never capture the expanse.

12:19 AM, March 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I've had fun reading this. Your baa-baa black sheep are adorable!

3:13 PM, April 10, 2007  

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