Austere Landscapes, and Mindscapes

I woke up in Greybull, Wyoming, on the morning of July 19. Somehow, I knew that I had gotten myself into a passel of thorns, again, and had no one else to blame.  The town of Greybull had no Internet service, due to a phone company issue.  So, I did my laundry, while watching a cheesy Charles Bronson film.  A thug caught Charles lurking in his apartment’s kitchen.

Thug:  “What are you doin’ here?”

Charles:  “I’m makin’ a sandwich.”

Tussle ensues, and Charles throws the thug through a plate glass window.

Laundry’s done, as the thug’s girlfriend screams, over the body of her dead tormentor.

I headed out, across the rugged moonscape that comprises some of the finest fossil digs in the country, around the small town of Shell.  There is some irrigation being done, on the outskirts of town, and it works, nicely.

SAM_5458  SAM_5459

All around Shell, though, there are fossils in this slice of the Great Basin.  The remnants of life forms, from the Cambrian to the Pleistocene, are being found almost on a daily basis, by paleontologists working on energy company-owned lands.  The signs said,”No Stopping or Parking on Road” and “Watch for Trucks”.

I pulled off on a side road.  That’s my drawback, as a human being.  Someone asks me to do something reasonable, and I find a way around it.

SAM_5461  SAM_5462

The austerity of this place masks the wealth of knowledge that is slowly being extracted from its depths.  It begs the question:  What will future excavators make of the likes of me, if my bones are found, perhaps in a similar moonscape, 10,000 years hence?

SAM_5463   SAM_5465

SAM_5466   SAM_5467

In the end, it was the sky, the gorgeous blue, that told me:  “Move along.  This land belongs to the dead.  You only imagine yourself so.”

So, a short time later, I encountered the opposite of this basin.  I found Shell Canyon and its Falls.  See you tomorrow.

10 thoughts on “Austere Landscapes, and Mindscapes

  1. Our area of Oklahoma has had so much rain this summer, it is freakishly green, stirring the feelings of *out of control* in me. Too lush. These views from your camera, though barren, tend to bring about a sense of peace for me. I needed it. And your writing on this one, love the interjections.


    • I’m glad this brought you peace. I have to throw in these tidbits, for my own healing and to make the piece more interesting. I’m glad you appreciate them. Have a safe day, Tamy. 🙂


  2. “What will future excavators make of the likes of me, if my bones are found, perhaps in a similar moonscape, 10,000 years hence?”

    I’ve often wondered this. How many others have…?


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