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Sidewinder Tour Blog Post #17: BEARTOOTH, WYOMING, and OUT of MIND

words are useless. just go

From a favored campground the Custer Nat. Forest, take the gravel to 78, right to Red Lodge -- seems benign enough. Construction is heavy for such a tiny road. Writers should get a job like that. Stand in the sun, wave at cars, wonder at lives passing.

Beartooth Pass. It is south on 212, just a snaking red line in the atlas, nothing to fear -- such lines. Hurry. You don't have time for 11,000 ft passes.


This is the second time, but the first from north to south, which is different, less knee-shaking, or maybe age brings courage for dizzy cliffs.

Snow at the top. Eska fought a Marmot here, a war, this is my mountain, no it's mine, and Eska long gone but there she is, one can feel her on the switchbacks, one sees everything and the world becomes Wyoming at the top in the tundra.

Down down to Cody, just a thumbnail in the Atlas. Miles and miles.

Drive and drive. It is huge and private, motorcycles and Indian slaughters, wildflowers at huge cuts in the earth.

Left. Right, left again, who needs an Atlas here?

South and east.

Music, wind, cows, grass.

Windy River Canyon is a big secret.

Thermopolis, or was that first? tilting to Casper, south toward Cheyenne, hurry, don't hurry, a long day into darkness finally except the moon, which pops up huge, a big orange hijack.

Boulder is lost on the horizon south, so close to Wyoming in the dashboard lights, black letters packed together in a sticky rest stop.


Boulder is delirium. Boulder is kale and jazz and talk again, pet dogs alive, not dead.

The continent spreads this way that way from Boulder.

In the Atlas the continent is just a bunch of pages. Just turn them.

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