Wyoming is a special place, where the highways are straight and fences go for days! Where the winds and people are strong. Where the cowboy hangs on to his pommel and his way of life. Where seldom-seen birds like avocets, snowy plovers, white-faced ibis and others, hopscotch across the prairie lakes and ponds en route to and from northern nesting areas. Where the deer and antelope truly play, as the old song says, along migration paths tens of thousands of years old. Where the roads leading to the ranch houses can be longer than the distances many flatlanders drive to work and rough enough to send the UPS trucks into early retirement.
Wyoming is old and well-traveled! She's a part of the first land mass that is now North America to arise from the seas - somewhere down around where Australia is now. She's been drowned by oceans, scraped by glaciers, tickled and stomped by dinosaurs and pestered by drilling and digging humans. And yet she's the home of incredible scenery. Yes, everyone has heard of the Tetons and Yellowstone, and they are indeed special places, usually with too many cars and bear-oggling humans. But for something REALLY special, take a ride out across the open spaces of Wyoming, spaces so vast that they scare the beejeezus out of city folk, where the land meets the edge of the universe. And do it around sunrise or sunset when there are a few clouds on the horizon and the sun's rays are creeping over the edge of the world, giving us lessons in elementary physics. I sometimes envy the people who live out on those isolated ranches, people living a tradition, who don't need string quartets or university lectures. A day of hard work ended by scenes like the two below is enough to leave them - and me - awe-struck and looking forward to another.
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