Monday, January 14, 2013

-20° Laramie, Wyoming Wanderings

Weather Forecast: Dangerous wind chills. Limit outdoor exposure.

Arriving last night after twelve hours in the car, I was thankful that I'd just reserved a hotel room for the night rather than spending time getting lost in an unfamiliar town. The road across Iowa and Nebraska blurred into a seeming infinity of snow-capped farmland and intermittent trees. An awful lot like North Dakota. I tried to repress the suicidal thoughts at the dull landscape with happiness of knowing what Nebraska and Iowa are like. As the sun went down, the open sky changed to a mesmerizing pastel canvas and I landed in Wyoming, the least populated state in the Union. I've been here twice before- to Jackson Hole and Cheyenne- so I opted to stay in Laramie at the Americinn, which was recommended on TripAdvisor.

The temperatures started dropping like a boulder off a cliff as I got further into the state. I watched my car gauges, and thought I hadn't been in this kind of weather since North Dakota. I pulled into the hotel and quickly was directed to my king size bed in a fancy room. I felt happy to not be hosteling it.

As I unloaded my car, I noticed a faraway car in the loading zone. "Are you from Alabama?" I asked the man in the fleece and jeans.

He affirmed, and so I asked where he was headed. "Oregon," he answered.

I fired off a ton of questions, excited to meet a person as crazy as me. And he did so in return, stating that I was going a long way to see what I thought of Oregon again. He was opening a sunglasses shop south of Portland, and came in with a free pair of Maui Jim's for me. We talked for several hours, discussing life philosophy, the importance of living freely and lightly and not allowing worry to cloud your judgments.

This man was born in Jamaica, and educated in England and ended up in South Carolina for school. He knew of the island culture and the east coast and the problem of chasing your dreams. He asked me if I planned to stay in my field. I said I didn't know. He said, "Find what you love and get paid for it."

So even in Laramie, Wyoming, you can find kismet. Take each day as it comes. Keep swimming. Keep trucking. Keep living.

 Road warrior
 Iowa has the most renewable energy in the USA

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