Living in Montana has made me aware of the impact of the land and climate on the way we go about our everyday lives. Passes in and out of the state may clog with snow, leaving grocery supplies on the other side of the mountains. Once spring/summer hits, it’s hard to find anyone at work. They’re too busy fishing, hiking, and exploring the last best place.
But Montana isn’t alone in the impact of the land on the people. The state to our south has it’s own dealings with the ground and what’s underneath it. I recently finished Rising from the Plains by John McPhee. I confess I didn’t understand all of it, but it still gave me new insights into Wyoming, and McPhee is such a marvelous writer.
In our RV life we’ve traveled through the state a number of times. The wind is constant in my memory. It was downright scary driving from Cheyenne to Lander with gusts about fifty miles and hour hitting the the trailer and swinging it side to side on the road. So much of the ground in the eastern half is sagebrush, with pumpjacks rising and falling like robots in the distance, and windmills whirling atop many high points, their silver arms a reflective display.
The west contains the beauty that most of us think about in Wyoming: Yellowstone and the Tetons. Native American reservations hold the middle.
From this background I crafted a place for Kaiden Beck to struggle with his conflicting desires: a job in the energy industry against a home and family. Gerri Keffer has done everything to show her father she’s as good as her brothers, including rising the ranks in the oil field. But is it what she truly wants?
As the pumps ride up and down, and the oil reserves dwindle down, the Wyoming landscape provides a back drop of mountains, plains, and small towns. The local bar that holds fund drives for ailing kids and grandparents. The “fancy” restaurant in the big city. The miles and miles between one place and another. And the wind. Always the wind.
Come along to Wyoming to see where Gerri and Kaiden wind up. Read more about Starting for Home by clicking here.
Oh, and if you’re ever in Lander, do stop at the Cowfish. The food is great!
Starting for Home is available NOW on Amazon and other online bookstores.