Updates From Wyoming
Introduction note: This is not going to be a daily log or anywhere close. I(Christine) wanted friends and family to read how our move went and to get an idea of some of the characteristics of the West before visiting. I think they are wonderful characteristics but some people will visit and think the area is fascinating and some will visit and think it is boring. We'll see...
Before I begin I would like to mention that no matter how great a move is it is always sad to leave a place that's been so good to you, like Dayton has been to us. The past week I was overwhelmed by the wonderful people and activities we will miss in Dayton, OH. Thank you to all of our friends in Dayton who came to our party, made rowing and bluegrass more enjoyable for us, and helped us with so much during this move. We will see you again sometime.
06/14/04 - It was a long day. The final packing always takes longer than one thinks but it was a good day with no surprises. By 5 PM we were all packed, Joe's truck was loaded on the car carrier behind the moving truck, both of us showered, and all last minute errands run. We hit the road about 5:30PM and made it all the way to the Indiana/Illinois border before stopping around Danville for the night. It was wonderful to drive straight into the sun setting in the West. A good omen.
06/15/04 - Today was a long day of driving. Christine in the car followed Joe in the moving truck which moved at about 60-62 mph at good times. We crossed Illinois and Iowa ending up in the Omaha, NE area. Four states down only 2 left. There is not much to talk about when crossing Illinois and Iowa but I really enjoyed the terraced hills in Western Iowa. They were very pretty.
06/16/04 - Another long day but we crossed the border into Wyoming and spent the night in Laramie. As we crossed Nebraska I got increasingly excited about heading West and not having to go back East, it wasn't just a vacation this time. Nebraska was covered with rolling hills. There were lots of rivers and lakes and these areas were usually surrounded by cottonwood trees.
In Nebraska I started seeing signs of the West, I started noticing the long trains and the fact that there were less radio stations. As we drove West there was increasingly more sky as we almost imperceptibly started climbing in elevation. We had started the morning at about 1,040 feet in Omaha and we were at 6, 700 feet when we crossed the Wyoming border. I saw cowboys on horses herding cattle in a large field. The landscape that had been fully green started showing large fields of irrigation equipment and I started noticing oil wells dotting the fields. Around Sydney, Nebraska I started noticing plateaus and a change of landscape. It was much colder as we stopped at the first rest stop in Wyoming to feel good about being in our new home state and before Cheyenne we started noticing regular antelope out in the fields before it got too foggy.
We drove into Wyoming in the rain. Above you can see the sign that welcomed us to Wyoming seen through the window of Joe's moving truck. Rain is very strange for Wyoming but I figure God didn't want to shock us after coming out of the Midwest which some could have mistaken for a rain forest this spring.
06/17/04 - We got an early start this morning and pulled into Green River and found the duplex the school had found for us before noon.
Following are more sights that I took notice off today. Sights that I consider to be signs of the West and the frontier, including serious snow fencing along the highway and gates on highway on-ramps with lights that would flash and signs telling you that if the gates are down the highway is closed and to turn around. We were in Big Sky country today and I love that. I think everyone will know what I mean when they visit. You can see so far. That doesn't mean it is flat. There are striking plateaus, rock formations, and snow capped mountains, some off in the distance and some close to the highway, but yet I can see a whole train that has well over 100 cars on it. When you can't see peaks in the distance if you look you can see large crevices or small canyons dotting the landscape. There are big wide open spaces with only dirt roads, sagebrush, low lying flowers, scattered cows and antelope, electrical lines crossing the landscape, and oil rigs seesawing back and forth.
Between Laramie and Rock Springs we passed a town named Sinclair, WY. Sinclair is an actual town named for and centered around a Sinclair Gas Company refinery located here. This is an excellent example of the constant contradiction you see in areas like WY and AK where there are wide open spaces and the natural sites are amazing but there is also a constant clash between preserving the environment and extracting minerals the environment has to provide.
We got about 3/4 of the truck unloaded today between the duplex and the storage area including all of the furniture. We will finish unloading boxes tomorrow before returning the truck.
1) The first picture above shows our 24' moving truck and how we towed Joe's truck. The motorcycle was in the moving truck and I followed in the car. 2) This picture shows the view from our living room window. 3) The third picture is a random view as we drove through one of the parks in Green River.
06/30/04 - Tomorrow I start work. We spent much of our first two weeks here unpacking and straightening up our new home, taking walks and bike rides around our new town, getting to know our landscape, and getting used to the elevation. We are now living at 6,100 feet. This is not really high but most people visiting us from sea level will notice it. We visited Park City, UT, drove a loop North of town to view the local wild horses and visited Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.
1) The first picture above shows a view driving along a road near our storage facility. 2) Western Wyoming Community College from a parking lot in Rock Springs. I love that you can see the college when coming into town from either direction, it really stands out. I haven't even started work yet and I am filled with pride to be working there every time I see the building. 3) This is a view of Green River taken about 1, 700 feet above the town on the wild horse scenic driving route. 4) Wild flowers along the road, similar to a flower named paintbrush in Arizona but I have not determined if it is the same flower.
1) More wild flowers along the road on the wild horse scenic driving route. Very similar to dessert flowers we have seen in Texas and Arizona. I haven't found the names of the flowers yet. 2) A view of Pilot Butte. This plateau can be climbed and was a landmark for western settlers crossing this country in horse drawn wagons. 3) Wild horses. 4) More wild horses that can be seen along the Wild Horse Scenic Driving Route. These horses are part of the herd that lives in this area of Wyoming.
1) More beautiful wild horses. 2 and 3 are both views within the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. It is a beautiful area and one of the most interesting things is the variety of views and geography you will see while driving around the reservoir.
07/05/04 - We spent this Fourth of July weekend hiking through the amazing Wind River Range. We were 2 hours from our door to the trailhead into this amazing wilderness area and mountain range. We hiked 26 miles in 3 days, we walked through a lot of snow and had a couple serious river crossings while enjoying the constant eye candy of wild flowers, lakes, and mountains. Please check out the Wind River Range Log to see pictures of this range and read Joe's description of the trip.
08/14/04 - Christine has settled in her new job. This feature profile appeared in our local newspaper, the Rock Springs Daily Rocket Miner.
12/19/04 - Our close friend Jackie Bassham moved out here from Georgia in November and took up residence in our basement for the next six months before moving to more socially fertile grounds in Park City, UT. He helped out considerably with some home improvement projects and kept Joe company mountain biking and skiing.
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