I just spent a week in the wide open, underpopulated state of Wyoming… The real Wyoming, not just the national parks. I stayed with a friend, Tiffany, who I worked with in Kuwait.
I spent my days in Tiffany’s hometown, Gillette, biking around, grocery shopping, hanging out with her family and friends, and watching a lot of House of Cards on Netflix. It was relaxing, uneventful, fun.
There were some highlights.
- We started in South Dakota, in the black hills (I think the natives called them “Black Hills” because they look black from a distance). After spending one night in Tiffany’s apartment in Gillette, we took off for the hills Saturday morning. We met Tiff’s mom, Kris, and friends for lunch, a meal that would be the start of an amazing weekend! I added some extra excitement to the meal when I returned from Tiff’s car (it was unexpectedly cold in the restaurant – I went for my sweater) and asked “Tiff, how good is your sense of humor?”
“Umm… Good, I guess – why?”
“Because I may have locked your keys in your trunk.”
It was a mistake I would hear about for the rest of the weekend. These girls got comfortable with me real quick.
Luckily one of the girls had AAA so key retrieval was free, and I paid for her meal. Later that evening, after drunkenly doing the chicken dance, singing on the tables, and obviously drinking a good amount of beer at Polkapalooza, this girl would be the one frequently calling “CANADAAA”, in reference to me as we laughed through a game of Cards Against Humanity. The game was also interspersed with teachings of my national anthem. As I said, disappointedly, to the crazy Americans, “I know every word of your national anthem, and you can’t even sing the first line of mine!” (I neglected to tell them that, when I taught in Mexico, we sang the American national anthem and the Mexican anthem each and every Friday of the school year) I was quite impressed with AAA girl’s quick learning and motivation to fix that. I felt proud. All 10 of us awoke the next morning to relax by the fire pit, dead with remnants of the night past, and coffee to liven the mind. After some small socializing, we all went our own ways.
Tiffany, her mom, and I went to Mount Rushmore, and did some hiking in the hills. Rushmore was exactly what you’d expect from a tourist site (did you know that no one died during construction? Some did die as a result of all the crap in their lungs, though). The hills were beautiful.
- On Thursday, Kris and I went to Devil’s Tower, which is just an hour or two from Gillette. This super cool land formation has been created slowly over the years (as has every cool and uncool land formation) from eroding rock. It’s a lacolith and was originally underground. Over the years, the earth has eroded, leaving this mound of rock towering overhead.
- On my Wyoming travels, I saw prairie dogs, antelope, and buffalo, as well as sage brush, which is everywhere.
- I went to Tiff’s school one day. That was a great experience and confirmed that I definitely love teaching and can’t wait to get back into it (though travels come first). More information could justify its own post.