Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Footprints

Yesterday, Brewer the Brewmaster Dog and I had the esteemed pleasure of putting the very first footprints in the new snow at Popo Agie Falls.
It doesn't happen often, as the trail is extremely popular, but I guess midday on a Wednesday in the off-season is the time to enjoy the Gateway to the Winds. We had the trail and the falls all to ourselves, nothing but the din of the river and the hum of the wind through lodgepole pine and naked aspen to fill our ears.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How Did We Get Here?

How did we become a generation of semi-nomadic professionals?

We have real jobs, real dreams, real aspirations, real lives. 20 years ago, this meant we also owned homes and settled down and became regulars at bars and had regular garden parties and raised our kids together forever.

But somehow we've managed to "settle" into a lifestyle of happy malcontents, satisfied with interminable restlessness, an insatiable appetite for what now and what's next. Nomads used to carry all their possessions on their backs and would never buy into the modern ideal of having a "real" job. But this is the 21st Century, and instead, we've become career-oriented vagabonds.

We, the au courant breed of pioneers, we aren't trapped by what we are; instead we take what we are - our real jobs and real salaries and real benefits and real relationships and real furniture and, above all, our impressive resumes of a life well-lived though we are still rough 20-somethings - with us, rolled and folded into carry-on suitcases that fit into the overhead compartments of our lives. We jostle and haul and rearrange and live one airplane-single-serving at a time. We're just as comfortable setting up house and practicing our interior decorating skills as we are living from the trunk of a car and out of suitcases, but we always have our laptops on and our internet running in case we get an important email from work. You could say that we search for "meaning," but we've also never bought into cheesy cliches. We're just.... searching.

Maybe we don't even know why.

The reason for the introspection is a simple one: our good friends Corey and Elizabeth are moving to Michigan, a career move, as have been all their moves. They illustrate our generation: we move constantly to keep the best job, instead of falling victim to institutional loyalty and "climbing the ladder," because climbing doesn't really fit into our particular skill set. We saw them off with a parade of 12 people and 12 dogs through the wilderness, a perfect Lander farewell. They will be greatly missed. Good luck guys!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

First Snow of the Season!

The snow falls with thick, wet thuds on the roof of the shoddy plastic shed. I can hear it, thwop thwop, through the window, falling heavily from the metal roof, and I can smell the spongy air, saturated with winter.

I sleep fitfully for the noise and dream of frozen rivers and mulled cider and catching snowflakes on the tip of my tongue.

In the morning, the sun doesn't rise exactly. Instead, the dampened glow of a frosted morning blossoms slowly through cracks in the window shades, and I know, just know, that there is fresh snow outside.

One Travel Bloggers

Hello everyone!

Today is an auspicious day, as I am writing for the first time over at One Travel! Check out my prose and my post over there!

Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's That Time of Year...

The summer has oozed out into fall, creating a tenuous truce between the intense prairie sun and the restless thrust of Rocky Mountain winters. The crisp dew that glitters in the yard as the sun rises will soon give way to a June-like warmth. You wear your warm puffy vest in the morning to ward off the frost and Wind River chill, only to strip down to a light t-shirt on your ride home. The 30-40 degree upswing confounds the body temperature as it struggles to keep up.

This is also the time of year when the haze of all the wood stoves in town begins to settle into the valley. I can stand in the backyard, bundled in fleece and delicately sipping hot coffee, and take in the yellow of fall cottonwood and the smoky mist that hovers above Lander’s bungalows and old mining cabins. We have several friends who heat primarily or completely with wood, which can be a hassle but always smells to me like Christmas morning. We’ve been using our own stove nearly every morning, stuffing it full of pine and aspen so that it warms the tile underfoot.

But I keep looking to the mountains, to the snow on the peaks visible from our windows, new snow that is already starting to dwindle in the unseasonal warmth of November. Despite the short, chilly summer, I am ready for those long winters for which the wide-open Wyoming spaces are so known.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Fall has come to the North Fork of the Popo Agie River.

Yes, I'm just as confused as everyone else, especially considering this is what it looked like out here this time last year: