Friday, November 26, 2010

Winter in Wyoming

Winter in Wyoming. It's to think about the elements and to marvel at them: I am in awe that you have the power to kill me. The mountains along two-lane highways sit quietly, they breathe softly, heaving. Signs along the road declare entry points to the Overland Trail. The Overland Trail was a stagecoach and wagon route that was an alternative to the Oregon Trail in the early 1800s. Those superhuman ancestors of the West, what do their strong children do now on these prairies that surge into peaks?

At night, in Saratoga, at the Hobo hot springs a man drank milk out of the carton in the steaming pool. He had a paunch and a blonde beard like a Viking. I dreamed his wild-haired progenitors on the flats, trudging stoically in the snowy sea. The next morning small flakes drifted into our room and back at the hot springs they floated into the steam coming off the water and melted mid air. Ice coated thin hairs on exposed body parts and the dusting of icicles on skin made us seem extra fragile, then.

In the woods there were animal tracks. Moose? I kept falling over in the snow shoes and felt my face slowly freeze. The river was frozen, too. L.'s hands froze and he writhed in pain, in the car, as they slowly defrosted. On the drive back to Laramie, everything turned purple.

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