A Collection of Local Contributions, Based On A Local Theme
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Autumn in Medicine Bow
Trees afire with autumn's blaze
Nights awhirl with the winds of Fall,
Walks beneath an azure blue sky
Time of the year you're ten feet tall.
The coyote sings from closer in
Than the haunts he trod in summer days,
He knows the roaring white'll be here soon
The song of winter he will then raise.
Mule deer wander through our town
Seeking food and shelter from the cold,
The fawns nearly doe-sized now
The bucks showing antlers bold.
People gathering around a fire
The seasonal cycle turns,
We share summer's stories and happy times
And from another each learns.
Copyright 2008 Karen Heath
To the wonderful folks and soon to be neighbors in Medicine Bow:
Let my wife and I tell you of our experience a couple of years ago. I am currently serving in the US Air Force and in early 1998; I received orders to Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Before the move, Patti noticed an ad in the Bolling Air Force Base (Washington DC) newspaper advertising land in Wyoming. We thought about it and called the number. I talked to a man by the name of Bob Duca and the land was the Cassidy River Ranch. After speaking with Bob, Patti and I thought why not take a look? We had been looking for rural type property to settle on when I retire from the military, but we had not thought this far west!
Before our plane ride to Germany, we boarded a Greyhound in Syracuse, NY (close to our home town) and headed west. 42, yes, 42 hours later we hit in Laramie. Our advice is if you have any other means to travel, TAKE IT!! Anyway, we rented a car and started toward Medicine Bow. After checking into the Virginian and taking a badly needed bath, we decided to start looking around the "local" area (as Scottie would be showing us the land the next day). We soon found out what "local" means. We drove around and noticed you couldn't throw a rock without hitting a pronghorn. But what we really noticed was the fact of how clean the air was, how genuine the people were and once you got used to the altitude and the pace of life, it was one of the most wonderful places we'd ever been. And once we got a look at the land, the choice was obvious.
We bought our 80 acres and building begins in approximately nine years. We're looking at house plans and what to name our little piece of beauty. People often ask us, "Wyoming? People actually live there?" And we just smile and nod. Patti and I are from a farming community just east of Lake Ontario in upstate New York so we know what living in the "sticks" is. I spent four long years in DC and will NEVER live in a metropolitan area again. We look forward to building our house and whatever else we wish to on our land. We also look forward to raising our son, Skyler (nine months) in the area.
I hope this letter puts a smile on some of your faces and let's you know how much we appreciate a place like Medicine Bow. There aren't too many places like it left and we will help in any way we can to see it stays like that!
Kent and Patti Delano, 27 June 2000
Here be Dragons
Wings long stilled and fires long cooled
Naught but rounded backs
and perfect rows of jagged rocks for spines remain
to echo flaming breath and gleaming skin on moonlit nights.
Skin now freckled
aged with grass and sage
and some a cozy cottage perched upon a haunch.
Sailors spoke of monstrous beasts
in lands beyond uncharted seas.
One could almost think that they had seen
Copyright, 2000, Laura Wheeler
Photo of one of the "dragon back" ridges between Medicine Bow and Rawlins.
Photo by Kevin Wheeler
Another photo of a "dragon back" ridge in Carbon County.
Photo by Kevin Wheeler
SpringSpring came today to Wyoming
Not a cloud was in the sky
The sun shown with gentle insistence
The softest of breezes blew by
Out in the yard we all gathered
To enjoy such a beautiful day
We don't want to miss this fine weather
We just wish it were here to stay
Spring came today to Wyoming
We enjoyed this delightful sneak-peek
For though it was spring just this morning
It'll be winter again by mid-week
copyright 1999, Laura Wheeler
When you are in Wyoming be sure to look up. What the land lacks in the sky makes up for. Capricious and fickle, the sky is always rapidly on the move, and changes minute to minute, providing a new display each time you look.
Photo by Laura Wheeler, copyright 2000
Medicine Bow Definitions:
Traffic Jam - When two vehicles stop in the middle of the street so the drivers can talk out the windows to each other. This can force other drivers to drive around them for as long as a half an hour.
Fancy Restaurant - Any place where you have to take off your hat before eating.
Small Town - Any place with less than 500 people.
Large City - Towns with a population of more than 2000 residents.
Mild Breeze - Anything which doesn't uproot trees.
Lawn - The area of your yard that you don't have to shovel manure out of.
Shrubs - What people plant in their front yards to feed the deer.
Garden - Bunny Food.
Local - Anything within an hour's driving time.
Passing the Buck - What you do when you don't hit him.
copyright 1999, Laura Wheeler
No one could ever call it beautiful country. It is too unlovely for that. At times, it is striking, and it is often interesting.
The sage hills of southeastern Wyoming change their looks only a few times each year. In the spring, the alpine desert flowers spring up as a treat for the observant, sprinkled sparingly among the blushes of green that spread for a short time across the gentle slopes. In the winter the wind bullies the snow into fantastic landscapes. Once you have seen the shapes of the snowdrifts huddled behind the sage clumps, you seem to see their shapes everywhere. The very hills themselves seem just an overgrown drift. And so they are.
The land here is ruled and shaped by the wind. And for the long term residents, the same seems true! Just as the snow is sculpted and swept into spectacular scenes, the people take on a character peculiar to coping with harshness bigger than themselves. Time becomes relative. When the wind makes the snow flow across the ground in a dense fog that obscures the road, appointments are postponed with a casual attitude. "We'll go next week." Plans are tentative until you are there. No one lives crouched in their houses fearing storms. Most people go about their lives, ignoring the weather till it rouses up in indignation to demand that we respect its power. And respect it we do. But life must go on anyway.
The hills seem barren. Gray and brown are the predominant colors. The grass grows green, then fades to a yellow-brown. The sage sports a soft gray-green, the shade coveted by the Martha Stewarts of the world. When yellow blossoms spring up from the dust, even they seem to be tinged with gray. It takes snow to bring drama to the landscape. In the bitterest cold we see something approaching beauty. Spectacular whitecaps foaming up on a sea of dirt, created by fancy from the mini-drifts behind each tuft of dry grass and every clump of sage brush, and the sea nothing but the scoured land in between. Meringue Mountains, baked with perfectly browned peaks hide on lonely roads, where none but the adventurous, and the imaginative will ever see them. Some who look see only the blending of wind blown dirt and snow on the side of a hill.
Those hillsides that seem so barren on first appearance team with life. A trip to town becomes a lesson in zoology. Antelope seem to appear magically from the hillsides. Like an optical illusion. You cannot quite see it until you know the trick of it. Once known, you can see nothing else. Prairie dogs pop up along the road. Ground squirrels play dodge-em with the cars. Deer stalk haughtily along the roadsides, coolly observing the traffic. Hawks stand sentinel over the area beyond their fence posts, seemingly defying us to enter their realm. The barrenness was the real illusion.
The wind and the cold can be bitter, cruel, and hard to bear. Many come, and do not stay. It is too much. Others come, and burrow in, become part of the lasting tradition of this land. Our pioneer forbears trod the ground here, leaving a mark that cannot entirely fade with the visible signs. The very cold seems to evoke their images, and encourage our determination. Those who desire to leave, find a way. Those who see something more than brown and gray, and feel something more than wind, find a way to stay. And when they endure, they become something just a little more that what they were. Just like the land has, as it has conformed to the demands of the wind. Because the wind may remove the features common to areas that claim the title of beautiful, but it gives it in return a spectacular character that we find no where else.
Copyright 1999, Laura Wheeler
12 year resident of Medicine Bow
This local landmark has the shape of a sand dune...
Photo by Laura Wheeler, copyright 2000