Our 2021 Road Trip #20: The Wyoming Way

Wyoming landscape.

Mountains! Forests! Mountains with forests on them! We were definitely not in Indiana anymore.

From the ancient buffalo graveyard it was a four-hour haul to our next attraction deep in the heart of the Cowboy State. It wasn’t long before we zoomed past the exit to Devil’s Tower, passed the longitudinal coordinates for Woodland Park, CO, and would officially drive The Farthest West We’ve Ever Gone in Our Lives.

(Anyone who’s ever seen the Pacific Ocean or had use for a frequent-flyer program is free to be unimpressed. We humble bumpkins claim our little personal victories wherever we can.)

MS Windows wallpaper!

Why stay home and stare at classic Microsoft wallpapers online if you have the chance to see the real thing live?

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. We were each raised in a household that couldn’t afford annual out-of-state family vacations. We’re geeks more accustomed to vicarious life through the windows of pop culture than through in-person adventures. Eventually we tired of some of our self-imposed limitations and figured out how to leave the comforts of home for the chance to see creative, exciting, breathtaking, outlandish, and/or bewildering new sights in states beyond our own, from the horizons of nature to the limits of imagination, from history’s greatest hits to humanity’s deepest regrets and the sometimes quotidian, sometimes quirky stopovers in between.

We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

Technically not even 2020 stopped us. We played by the new rules of the interim normal and wandered Indiana in multiple directions as safely as we could. This year the long-awaited vaccines arrived. For 2021 we agreed we had to go big. Our new primary objective was Yellowstone National Park, 1500 miles from Indy…

Wyoming clouds!

The horizon is sending us smoke signals.

Along the way we couldn’t stop taking photos of all the landscapes and panoramas and prints and wallpapers that comprise the natural totality of Wyoming. We stopped in Gillette for lunch and a glimpse of a roadside curio or two…

Rock Paper Scissors!

A self-explanatory sculpture called Rock, Paper, Scissors by Warren Cullar and Kevin Box.

Gillette animal art!

A bit of bonus art near RPS.

…and then we continued into the wild, wondrous west. With the exception of our lead photo (which chronologically slots into tenth position), all photos in this entry are presented in the precise order in which they were taken. Sometimes I’ll play with the timeline a tad for effect, but in this case the effect I’m going for is an illustration of the visual whiplash to be had as the Wyoming terrain changes from one square mile to the next.

forested Wyoming mountains!

“PASS WITH CARE” warns the sign on a nearly deserted interstate on a Monday afternoon.

clouds and green tracts!

Sometimes there are trees, sometimes not.

Wyoming cloud invasion!

Sometimes you have to squint to catch evidence of human civilization.

mountains are coming!

When my son was a kid, he insisted real mountains had snow on them, unlike those fakers in the Appalachians. Real mountains were definitely coming.

forest and water drops.

A light rain didn’t last long. Storm clouds soon wouldn’t be a problem as they’d been the first two days.

cliffs and trees!

A companion to our lead photo, snapped a few seconds after. I couldn’t decide which one to cut.

southwest-looking cliffs!

Welcome to cowboy movie country.

trees on cliffs!

One challenge to this leg of the trip: the three-hour stretch after Gillette had precious few bathroom stops.

Georgia O'Keeffe country!

Some of the scenes reminded me of this Georgia O’Keeffe print we have hanging in our living room.

mesa and big sky!

Deep and wide, deep and wide.

stratified mountains!

Big, bold strata for the geology geeks out there.

big sky cattle!

Cattle implied we were back in civilization, or at least a rustic microcosm thereof.

To be continued!

* * * * *

[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for other chapters and for our complete road trip history to date. Follow us on Facebook or via email sign-up for new-entry alerts, or over on Twitter if you want to track my faint signs of life between entries. Thanks for reading!]

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Our 2021 Road Trip #20: The Wyoming Way — Midlife Crisis Crossover! | Ups Downs Family History

  2. Pingback: Midlife Crisis Crossover! – Featured Blogger of the Week November 5, 2021 | Ups Downs Family History

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