I remember driving to work in the early morning, probably a Tuesday–based on the sense of whimsy that overtakes me now as I recall things–and quit my job in the big city.
There was no deliberations or explanations that might fester into the typical awkward fumblings of the tongue when people and things are put on the spot. Just a matter-of-fact-here are the tools-take this job and shove it all right up in there with a firm twist.
I recall my boss yelling out as I backed away, setting course towards the giant square in the sky that is Wyoming, “You’ll be back after your first winter!” It was a tough statement to contend. I couldn’t prove him wrong soon enough.
Not even a winter or two, would be all that convincing to the skeptic. They’d chalk it up to some fluke, freak or variation of nature. But for anyone from the sunny Bay Area to last 22-years in a sparsely populated wasteland of sage, snow, and wooden sidewalks, would obviously be absurd.
Instead, it was grand. No Teton pun intended. The Winds are equally as majestic as those other boobs boast. But they appear out of the landscape much further from the road than the postcard shooters would like.
I’ve known the joy of diving into the glacial melt of high mountain lakes. Of being so close to a grizzly that you could taste its musky scent. Having a moose charge you with intent to clobber; and afterwards, eating his cousin out of a crock pot.
Wyoming has been an incredible place to live. I gave it the best years of my life. It gave me some great friends and memories to live with the rest of my days. But today, the Purple Door which buttoned up my house for more than two decades, has been sold. For the first time in 22-years, I no longer have a home on the range.
Thank you Wyoming, for helping me grow up. For teaching me some grand life-lessons, and for taking a chance with me; and finally, for letting me leave when it was time.
It wasn’t easy moving away from the many friends I have there as well, who have touched my life. Come visit. You can leave your winter boots at home.