Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mad Cow Disease

Generally speaking, I am terrified of cows.

I, Kat, who handles timber rattlesnakes in summer camp, chases around wild horses at a rehabilitation farm, works at a kennel full of pitbulls, get all excited when I see a hammerhead while SCUBA diving in the Caribbean, touches fire coral on dare...

Yes, cow are big scary beasts who make terrifying noises in the middle of the night that sound more like zombies eating babies than moos.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

With Winter Comes Introspection for Many...

It's the time of year when the winter, which has been building and blowing for two or three months in most places by now, seems to have settled in for the long haul and people begin to look to spring, still several months off.
Hot chocolate and spirits run low, and no one has the will to unwrap themselves from flannel sheets and wool blankets tucked into the couch. Stuck in the rut of snowdrifts and frozen pipes and icy roads, minds begin to wander, and inevitably they wander to those thoughts of failure and longing that most have been able to sweep under the rugs of summertime and BBQs and holiday cheer and the romance of the first snowfall. But the blanket of winter cannot keep warm those feelings of contentment, and come February, they are packed away with tiki torches and tents, and then the Christmas decorations, to lay dormant until the next season.
Replacing the cozy feelings of hope are rumblings of discontent, fault-finding introspection and repining retrospection. People who, during music festival season, seem comfortable in their own skin, their perfect costume, are now itching to get out of it. Lamentations of "who am I" and "what really makes me happy" litter the blogosphere and facebook and idle conversations over one-too-many pints of beer. It starts out as a philosophical debate with the self, and iterates and reiterates and diminishes into it's very foundation: a discontentment that rarely crosses the line into unhappiness but always teeters into the realm of sad abandon. The seemingly boundless winter makes it easier to focus on the self that we have lost somewhere along the way, and I see the melancholy in faces and facebooks everywhere. Is it necessary? Is it inevitable? Do short winter days and cold winter nights and the inevitable winter confinement alloy without fail into the perfect storm for primordial philosophy and the art of the malcontent? To what end do we unceasingly persevere in our self-criticisms and our "what could have beens"?

Friday, January 14, 2011

You Can't Get There From Here

Wyoming is a state of "100 miles to go" and "You can't get there from here"
Roads that end in the the heat shimmers of the desert
Towns that blend seamlessly into the sand the sagebrush the hills and gas wells
Towns of dirty roads dirty bars dirty homes and dirty faces
Endless ends end in endless mountains and endless prairies
Signs for "here" and "there" really mean "Nowhere" and "Somewhere Else"
Rivers run dry and oil wells flow wet with the heavy hooch that quenches no thirst for spirits
And I drive alone and aware and surrounded by Wyoming
And the sign says "20 miles" but we all know it's unreachable at this pace

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year, New Snowshoe Trail

It seems only fitting to start a new year by doing something that you have never done. There really isn't a lot of spectacular snowshoeing around Lander, at least not like there was when I lived in Yellowstone. I can't snowshoe out my door, dodge some bison, stumble on some wolves and be chased back to the refuge of my Yellowstone River-side home by bighorn sheep.

But Fremont County and surprise you.
Out in Red Canyon, you can pretend you are anywhere
or nowhere at alland you can see for miles around
or you can look down at the wonder of your own footprints.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Funkified New Year

Typical Lander New Year's Eve:

-19 degrees outside.Everybody wears some masks.
Everybody drinks some fancy martinis.
Revelers listen to a local funk band. Yes, a funk band. Local. In Wyoming.
I bet your Wyoming town isn't as cool.
Some photos courtesy of Jonmikel Pardo.