Wyoming Pt. I -- Snow Summer

I graduated May 18th and said goodbye to my parents, grandparents who’d come for the occasion, and my sister. Then I spent the night celebrating and saying goodbye to my friends and to the place that had changed my perspective on life, sharpened my thoughts, words, and images, and served as my home for the past four years. The next morning, I left New College at 9 A.M. and tried not to look back as I headed for my next adventure—Wyoming.

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Eventually, some folks came by and towed us out—but not before they got their truck stuck in the snow too. It took four hours and a lot of digging, but we all finally made it out.

Moral of the story? There’s probably a few, but one poignant one is this: small cars don’t do well out here in Wyoming. More on this later.

Wyoming is beautiful, and in many places, untamed. I’m learning a lot out here, even if most of the time I’m too tired to to photograph or write about it.

xx

M

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Sometime back in February, I panicked.

I was going to graduate. Okay, cool. However, I had no idea what to do next and I really, really didn’t want to stay in Sarasota for the summer. So I got on www.coolworks.com and started firing applications for jobs in hopes of landing something far away from home. And I did.

A ranch in southern Wyoming needed cooks and was willing to take ones without experience. So the day after I graduated, I finished loading my car and headed north for the Rockies and Medicine Bow, still covered in snow in late May.

Being in a kitchen means long hours, exhaustion, and an intense learning curve. It’s a completely new set of skills and although this set of skills is one that I find deeply compelling and rewarding, I worry about overloading myself with life changes and sensory data.

Oh well!

Only a few weeks after I’d started working on the ranch, my lovely friend Azia, another recent New College grad and fellow photographer, swung by for a visit while traveling cross country. We drove up into Medicine Bow National Forest in her Buick, took some photos around Mirror Lake, and then tried to get deeper into the woods via an unpaved and still snowy road.

Bad idea.

Driving along, we began to wonder if an ancient Buick was really the right vehicle for traversing the wilderness. After a few minutes of debate, we turned around and headed back for paved roads and civilization… only to slide into a snowbank and get stuck.

Armed with a small hatchet and a trowel Azia had intended to use for digging poop holes at primitive campsites, we attempted to dig her car out of the snow. It didn’t work.

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