Wyoming by Phone

By Colleen LaMay

2 a.m.  Sept. 30, 2015

I set the cruise control to 80 mph, a speed that seemed certain to get me a speeding ticket in my new-old home of Virginia. All day Tuesday, I drove through Wyoming. The speed seemed insanely fast,  but the speed limit was 75 across the entire state, and traffic was minimal if you didn’t count the long-haul trucks.  I listened to parts of two books on tape: a murder mystery, “The Secret Place,” by Tana French, and “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary,” by David Sedaris, who always makes me laugh.

In between, I talked to friends and family on bluetooth, which is to me a new-fangled technology that makes people’s voices come out of my dashboard, plain as day, and I don’t have to lift a finger. Very cool.

With no one to complain,  I set the temperature inside the rental vehicle nice and warm, enough to make most people sweat, and cranked hit-makers from the 1980s on my satellite radio, including Tina Turner, Elton John, REO Speedwagon (I had forgotten about them entirely.), Foreigner and others. I wailed along as they sang hits from my college days.

Outside, I passed the beautiful and the mundane. Wyoming has towering rock cliffs of red and green in the West, giving way to rolling brown hills in the East. I saw herds of deer and cows, giant billboards advertising fireworks and every few miles, truck stops. They weren’t pretty, but inside were things I needed — coffee and bathrooms. I stopped often, always topping off my gas tank and scraping the remains of bugs, sticky as jam, off the windshield.

Here’s a few pictures I pulled off my phone.  My camera holds many more, but those will have to wait a few days. Bedtime.  I’m a  night owl, and for the next four days, no one can tell me I should go to bed. I like that, too.  I recommend the open road.

Lupine Ridge

By Peggy Simson Curry

Long after we are gone,
Summer will stroke this ridge in blue;
The hawk still flies above the flowers,
Thinking, perhaps, the sky has fallen
And back and forth forever he may trace
His shadow on its azure face.

Long after we are gone,
Evening wind will languish here
Between the lupine and the sage
To die a little death upon the earth,
As though over the sundown prairies fell
A requiem from a bronze-tongued bell.

Long after we are gone,
This ridge will shape the night,
Lifting the wine-streaked west,
Shouldering the stars.  And always here
Lovers will walk under the summer skies
Through flowers the color of your eyes.
From Red Wind of Wyoming, Third Edition by Peggy Simson Curry, published by Sage Books. Copyright © 1955 by Peggy Simson Curry. Reprinted with the permission of the Estate of Peggy Simson Curry. All rights reserved.

Published by: mrslamay

Colleen LaMay was a newspaper reporter and copy editor for nearly 30 years in Idaho before she became a public school teacher in Northern Virginia. She moved across the country when her husband received a job transfer in 2010.

Categories Travel1 Comment

One thought on “Wyoming”

  1. Colleen, this has so much to recommend it I don’t know where to start. It reads like a National Geographic article with the quality of the text and pictures. The post is incredibly poignant: a woman traveling alone having to leave that which is so familiar to set out on a quest of self-discovery and reconnection only to arrive in a home that is not a home and to lead her life there, a “stranger in a strange land.” I am touched and overwhelmed by every aspect of this, including the design of the blog itself. Brava, incredible writer!


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