Today we drove through the Big Horn Mountains. I am a little embarrassed to admit it, but when I saw them – the massive snowcapped mountains, rising over 13,000 feet behind the yellow, barren Wyoming hills – my eyes filled with tears. I was overwhelmed with the emotion of seeing something I thought I may never see, something I have dreamed of seeing all my life, something many people never have the opportunity to see. The imposing mountains also reminded me of my smallness. I guess I would call it a trembling awe. The landscape of New England is deceptively quaint, manageble, even tame. But out here everything is BIG and wild and unpredictable. The endless sky. The expansive landscape. The storms. The buffalo. In the controlled suburbs of Connecticut, one might forget her place in the world. Out here, though, the landscape sends a lonesome, humbling message: You, my friend, are not in control.
The highest point of the mountain pass is 9666 ft. When we arrived there, we all got out of the car in our shorts and flip flops to play in the snow!
Driving down the mountain, we followed the Ten Sleep Creek through a canyon of red and gold colored rocks, rushing waters and tall pines. Images, that before today, I had only seen in photos or on tv. At the base of the mountain, we had ice cream in the town of Ten Sleep (population 300) in a little store called Dirty Sally’s. I asked our ice cream lady how the town got its name and she said the Indians named the town Ten Sleep because it took “ten sleeps” (or overnights) to travel there from the town of Casper.
Tonight we are at the base of Yellowstone…basically a supervolcano. Now if that doesn’t make a girl feel small, nothing will! Just a few days before our vacation I was reading chapter 38 in the book of Job. How appropriate it is today: “The earth takes shape like clay under a seal, its features stand out like those of a garment.” v. 14. I’m gushing God, but can a person come out here and do otherwise?!