A Wild West Respite

9:35:00 AM Brooke Neal 7 Comments

My blog is about our travels, adventures and mishaps in Europe, it is where we live and it is why I've named the blog Out and About in Europe.  But, I am going to take a pause from Europe to share our summer travels in the United States.  We didn't go any place fancy; we stayed with family or friends and we didn't see anything spectacular like the Eiffel Tower or Parthenon.  Instead, I took my children home to the areas I grew up visiting, areas familiar and comfortable to me.  

We flew into Salt Lake City, Utah and immediately drove to Cokeville, Wyoming, a small ranching town where my father was born and my parents have semi-retired.  Cokeville is in the south west corner of the state and if you are headed to Jackson Hole or Yellow Stone you will drive right through it on Hwy 89.   
This photo is a reflection I caught in the side mirror of the truck I was driving.  
Eden fell asleep, so in the quite moments of that drive I realized  how familiar the drive felt to me despite not having lived in the West for the last 13 years.  The undulating two lane road, the sage brush, and the log cabins all seemed to welcome me home.
I have driven past this pioneer cabin my entire life.  I finally stopped to photograph it.
I am not from Wyoming, I did not grow up in Cokeville.  It was my father's home town and it is where my grandparents lived.  As a child I did not enjoy going there, Cokeville was so boring!  No swimming pool, no movie theater, they barely had a grocery store!  My grandmother's two bedroom home was hardly big enough for our 8 person family, so our days were spent outside putting pennies on the railroad tracts, floating make shift boats in the irrigation canal or up at Pine Creek (pronounced Crick).
It is funny how our perspective changes when we "grow up."  Cokeville still doesn't have a swimming pool or movie theater, but it is far from boring.  Tranquil, yes, slow paced, yes, and just exactly what I want when I am there.  Now I am taking my children to grandma's.  We have a few more toys, grandpa has four-wheelers and fishing rods, and grandma is always up for a drive, but the essence is the same.  You have to get out of the house and breathe the fresh air to appreciate the vast beauty of the sage brush covered hills.  
Life out here may be simple, but it is far from easy.  Our ranching cousins are some of the hardest working people I know; their leather hands speak to their work ethic.  My own grandmother often reminded us how spoiled we were as she would relate the difficulties her family faced out on the ranch at Rabbit Creek.  I am happy to be able to share this place with my children, it is a good contrast to our normal lives.


7 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post ... I only see things like this in movies ... you make it real for me ... Thanks so much for sharing this at Our Beautiful World

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    1. Thank you! It was as much a revelation to me--I was surprised at the emotions I felt in going home to a place that isn't really my home.

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  2. What a great post...I agree, there is so much in life you don't appreciate until you get older. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. One summer many years ago I visited the States and yes I do remember those endless two lane roads up hill and down hill, hill after hill. I loved them, they're so different from our Europe roads! So, thank you for taking us along these roads with your beautiful post and photos!

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  4. Fabulous post, love your roads, specially the barbed wire angle!!
    Thanks for sharing it with us at Our Beautiful World!

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