Wyoming Pt. II

Back to the Eastman Ranch for another stint of beauty, the cowboy carnival, horses, and a whole new season in the Bighorn Basin. 

(If you happened to miss the first round, check here for an introduction.)

Phil and I find so much clarity of mind when we get the chance to abandon the city for a while, welcoming the stillness of the ground and sweeping majesty of the Wyoming sky. It's a lifestyle I could easily get used to - the feeling of working for results beyond money. Tilling soil, planting fruits and vegetables to harvest in the coming season, and caring for animals who in turn care for us are all rewards that far outweigh monetary value. These are things that reconnect us with life, and remind us of what we are, where we come from, and what we owe our lives to. 

We attended the Cowboy Carnival, a very small yearly town gathering with various contests such as the sharp shooter, best pie, sheepdog herding, and handmade quilts. There were mounds of various meats to try, each butchered by the farmer who raised them, along with rolls and baked beans, both probably from a tin. Oh, and pies. Many, many pies. 

The rest of the week consisted of weed pulling, garden prep, handy work, mucking, dinner making and poetry reading, as well as a surprise visit from my dad. He's the one in the red sweater.

When I was a kid, my dad told me that his favorite animal was a swallow, being charmed by their clear joy in simply being. The unabashed fun they are willing to display is something he admires. I caught him in a moment of wonder, surrounded by a chorus of little black wings, dipping and swimming through the crisp wind.

Two Weeks, There and Back

Phil and I took a necessary road trip (with reasons which you will learn more about in a later post), and made a few pit stops between Los Angeles California, and White Sands in New Mexico. 

The first stop was Tucson. I kind of fell in love with this place. The culture was vibrant, and there was just enough hippie to suit my needs. Things like organic grocery stores, weird book shops, spaces to roam and grab either a cheap beer or an imported red are must haves and this place was stocked. 

We stopped to say hello to Phil's grandmother. If you remember Maria from the Welcome To Wyoming post, this would be her mom. She could only accommodate us for a few hours in the morning since she had guests staying over and they had plans to go to a museum for the day. She goes out to see plays and musical performances, while maintaining her art collection which has been a project for her since her twenties. She is now 92.

We then ventured on to White Sands for an incredible few days working with Tiny Atlas Quarterly. A wild honor. Details will be kept limited since there'll surely be more to come from that side of our trip - so I'll talk about the other thing that happened while we were there. Phil and I met a traveling couple from Canada, living out of their "Armageddon Bus" until their house is finished being built on their farm. Meet Erin and Jesse. 

Here it is. Glorious, isn't it? They bought this bus and proceeded to fully gut it, replacing the bus seats with a custom made fold down bed (the bottom containing shelving units), as well as a stove and toilet. They also kept a photo album of the buses progress. Their pups Willow and Cedar rode with them too. Great company.

We stopped at the closest place to get a coffee - which happened to be Arizona's own Bedrock City, a dilapidated tribute to the Flintstones in  the most geographically appropriate location. Definitely worth checking out. Oh, and coffee is only 5 cents.  

The Grand Canyon. For safe measure. 

And a last days visit to our favorite hot springs. More details to come soon.