Why Here?

Do you ever wonder what possessed people to settle where they did? Like, for example, why some poor bastard in a covered wagon looked around himself and saw this...
... then turned to his wife and said, "Here! Here we shall make our new life!"

I imagine she brushed the dust from her eyes and thought to herself, what the hell is he talking about? He can't be serious! Perhaps he's seen something I've missed... So she turned around to look the other way and saw this...
I like to think that an argument began, eventually leading to a brief scuffle, and the only reason they settled there was ol' Jebediah got to the shotgun first.

Long-time readers of this blog have already guessed where "there" is. That's right, it's Wyoming. So much of Wyoming looks like this, it hardly matters where exactly I took these pictures, but to be accurate, it was just outside the lovely hamlet of Rock Springs, known by some as the methamphetamine capital of the state (a title hotly contested by Cheyenne and Casper). Yes, this lovely landscape is only a few hours from Black Vatican City, and your dear old Pontifex Niger has travelled through this wonderland of dust, scrub, and slack-jawed miners more times than he cares to remember. It's what you expect, really, in a state that proudly named one spot "Hell's Half Acre" and another "Camel Hump" (I wish I was making those up, but feel free to google them both...)

Now before the locals get all up in arms, I will admit that Yellowstone is lovely. It is, however, tucked up in the northwest corner of the state, a good distance from the more densely populated towns. Not far enough, however, to save ANY of us if the Yellowstone caldera decides to blow. The last time it went up, it chucked 240 cubic miles of rock and dust into the atmosphere. Maybe an event like that is what killed this guy...
He's a native too, and now his remains stand in the food court of the community college in Rock Springs (again, I wish I was making that up, but no. They have a triceratops too.).

I suppose if you have to live here, you might as well be comfortable. Julia Ferris felt that way, and when her husband the mining entrepreneur, George Ferris, ("mining entrepreneur" sounds much nicer than "greedy earth-raper" don't you think?) died, she had one hell of a Queen Anne Victorian built for herself in Rawlins, complete with ghosts...
I'll admit, it's a lovely home, and one could imagine being comfy there... until you remember that it's in the middle of Rawlins, which is in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of Wyoming.

All of this is my round-about way of saying that it is REALLY time for me to finish school and move. I don't need much - a sunny place, with a decent university that has a good doctoral program in sociology, or religion. Hell, I'd even entertain the idea of an English degree if the weather was really nice. I just need to survive this place for one more academic year...

10 comments:

Cerus said...

Just need to survive the bald one for six more weeks and then we have one more semester of real work to complete. Hopefully, it shouldn't be too painful.

becca said...

My favorite Wyoming town name: Hole-in-the-wall. Oh, Wyoming . . .

Anonymous said...

I like Muddy Gap, myself. I have fond memories of buying a rock there.

Don't worry, hon. I will help you survive the winter of your discontent, especially if Australia's next on the list. :D

the only bagel in france said...

Ewwww, Rock Springs. My home town. The place where I have to return after France. I guess we DO have the dinosaur, but other than that, flat...desert....nothingness....

What are you doing there anyways?

His Sinfulness said...

Bagel,
I was visiting a friend (the amazing G-Fresh) who is student teaching there... otherwise, I would only go there in order to post bail for a close friend. And then that friend would owe me, BIG TIME.

Teh Dr. said...

Technically you wont find that many places out there that are sunnier than Wyoming.

His Sinfulness said...

I stand corrected, Herr Doktor. What I need, really, is a place where the sun actually warms the air near me. Our sunny days here are sometimes like a cruel joke - bright an beautiful when viewed through a window, but snot-freezing cold when you step outside...

Regis said...

Come on now, Sheridan is quite lovely, and you have to admit that even the more, er, austere parts of the state have their own special beauty. But I can't argue with your assessment of Rock Springs (and the same goes for Gillette, if not more so).

And for the record, dinosaur skeletons = badass, food court or no.

Mayren said...

I think Cailfornia is calling you home .....I know you'd prefer a state with no state tax but you know yourpolitical and personal views would be more embraced here. join us.

((chants a creepy "one of us" in the background))

Annie Mall said...

My hometown used to go by "Hell Town"(Front Royal, VA). I feel your pain.

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