2 Doors Down

We have a really, really tasty burger place in town that even has gluten free buns. They are delicious. I knew I had found my new home when I discovered this joint. I opened the phone book today when I was putting it away and I came across something that made me laugh and laugh.

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If you look under ‘doors-frames’ there is an entry. It says “2 Doors Down”. They sell neither doors nor frames They sell burgers. Yummy, yummy burgers. With a gluten free option and endless fries. I still laugh and laugh! I don’t know when I will get over it. I love Wyoming!

Fort Fred Steele & Beyond

I travel a lot for work. I am usually going somewhere in Wyoming every week. It’s pretty awesome because it gets me out of the office and also allows me to see some pretty cool things while I drive around the state. A couple of weeks ago I took a trip to Lander and Worland with a stop-over in Thermopolis, which is quickly becoming my favorite town. Hot springs, baby!

So anywho, on this particular trip I made a pit-stop and saw a sign for Fort Fred Steele. (http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/Site/SiteInfo.aspx?siteID=20)

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My curiosity got the best of me and I thought I would check it out. Just a mile or so down the road from the rest area it didn’t seem too off the beaten path to take a quick look around. It was pretty cool. Not much is left of it, mostly a ghost town at this point, but still really neat to stand in a place run-down by time and the relocation of a road. I have an affinity for lonely and abandoned places and this one surely fit the bill.

The site of the fort is really pretty. It sits on the North Platte River and there are actual trees there! I must be too “westernized” at this point where a grove of trees could actually be a novelty. After growing up in MN, where trees and actual forests abound everywhere, I never thought I could get used to a place where a tree is a rarity. Such is life, though.

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Most of the buildings are gone and the few that do remain are little museums that were closed for the season when I rolled through. After looking in the windows I decided I would like to return and bring the kids with me for a tour and a history lesson.

The two chimneys are all that are left of the officer's quarters.

The two chimneys are all that are left of the officer’s quarters.

Enlisted barracks. 12 men in this tiny area which also included a kitchen. The sign said there was little room for anything besides cots and no real entertainment for the enlisted men. In the desolate Wyoming winter I can only imagine what they went through!

Enlisted barracks. 12 men in this tiny area which also included a kitchen. The sign said there was little room for anything besides cots and no real entertainment for the enlisted men. In the desolate Wyoming winter I can only imagine what they went through!

An old stove found in the enlisted barracks.

An old stove found in the enlisted barracks.

I made it to Lander, got what I needed there and high-tailed it out of town because a storm was coming and I wasn’t driving a trusty-SUV (and to be perfectly honest that scared me). I drove to Thermopolis that night and had a good soak in the natural hot springs hot tub at the hotel. Lovely! Also, no snow that night so double bonus.

On the way to Thermopolis I drove the project I was working on and so I had some time to explore the Wind River Reservation. Beautiful piece of countryside. The storm was moving in and it looked awesome coming over the mountains.

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Storm rolling in from the west over the Tetons.

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It was a grey day but that didn’t stop the scenery from being gorgeous as I took the southern pass over the Big Horns.

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As I drove up into the mountains visibility became increasingly worse and soon I was driving through this:

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However, there is always a silver lining! The fog cleared and I came upon a lovely grove of fall trees. The only way it could have been better is if there had been a bright blue sky. I still thought it was awesome how the fog cleared and the first thing I saw were the trees. Maybe it was the fact that there were trees… I’m not taking bets.

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We have trees!!

When we moved to Wyoming I think I looked at every house in our price range. My poor Realtor. It was hard to find the perfect house because I was used to having more choices like I did in the Denver area. 

I narrowed it down to two houses after a week of searching. One was south of town near the train tracks and the other was close to Brian’s work. The one south of town had a larger back yard but the one near the airport had a perfect layout. I went with the layout instead of a yard. I think it was the right choice, but my choice meant that we didn’t have any trees. Not one tree. And we are in town.

Outside of town it is very difficult to grow trees because of the wind and the snow. In town it is much easier. There were a few rose bushes and a couple of other plants but it wasn’t enough for me. If we’d purchased some acreage I could have dealt with it better. We don’t have any acreage. We have a small lot. Not one tree. I was so depressed when I looked outside every day and saw my neighbor’s trees and knew that we didn’t have a single one. 

Perhaps it sounds silly but I love trees. I grew up in places where trees were abundant and didn’t need any coaxing to survive. Here, it’s a completely different story. They just don’t grow.

Last week Yaya came home with a pine tree sapling that we needed to plant. Unfortunately, we were once again covered in snow and I couldn’t plant the tree. On Saturday we hit 70 degrees and I planted the dang tree. I was so excited to see our first tree go into the ground! I think I was more excited about that little tree than I was when I bought my first house!!

It’s so nice to see things growing in your own yard. 

I have never lived where I didn’t have trees. It was bizarre to me. After my victory over our barren lawn I went on a plant buying spree. In addition to the pine tree we are now the proud care-takers of an aspen tree, an apple tree and a cherry tree. We also have a lilac bush and a blueberry bush.

It’s the little victories that count!

The tree that started it all:

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Boston

United Boston

Like everyone else I was horrified by what happened in Boston yesterday at the marathon. I lived in Wenham, MA, for two years in High School and I have always considered Boston my city. I moved around A LOT while I was growing up but MA made my heart feel home. Maybe it’s because my family had been in MA since the Mayflower and only left in the 1920s or maybe it’s that something about the state just calls to me. I don’t know the reason but my heart broke when I heard about the bombs at the marathon. Like a bunch of other people, I knew people at the race and I know people that work close to where the explosions happened. I was shaken, and the fact that I am in Wyoming made it much harder to handle the news. I wanted to be there so that I could be with the people that I care about and know first-hand that they are OK. I am so, so sad for the people who were injured or lost loved ones. It sucks that this happened in my favorite city. It’s selfish of me to have wished it happened somewhere else but it is what it is and I don’t think that I am alone in the sentiment wherever terrible things happen. Human nature, I guess.

The bombing was a senseless act of terror, plain and simple, and it is not ok. One thing I know, when the dust settles and people start to recover, is that we will all stand together and get through this. The people of Massachusetts are some of the nicest, most caring people I have ever met. I may not stay in touch with my old friends like I should but  I do know that if something were to happen they would be there for me. People may have preconceived notions about what Bostonians are like but the majority (because let’s face it, there are some bad apples everywhere), despite the sometimes gruff and sometimes brutally honest exterior, would give everything for someone who is suffering. I think that spirit was shown yesterday when the bombs went off and instead of running away so many went back to help their fellow citizens or continued running to donate blood to the victims despite just having finished a freaking marathon! Not just the people of MA but people from everywhere around the country and the world pitched in to help the wounded.  What a testament to our resilience!

Whoever committed this act will hopefully be found quickly and brought to justice. On the off-chance that we never figure it out, those who did this should know that those of us in this country DO stand together and support one another. We WON’T be torn apart because of senseless acts of violence. It didn’t work on 9/11, or during any other act of terror, and I pray that it won’t happen because of this or any other things that may be hard and that may happen in this country. The terrorists, whether domestic or foreign, will not bring us down. I hope we can stand united against the forces of evil in this world and move forward in a supportive way that helps our fellow man. I think we can prove to any terrorist that they can’t beat us no matter what they try.

I Love Boston