Confused in the Desert
As I type this I sit in Green River, Wyoming. I wont go into it all but this is vacation and a test run to see if I we are moving out here permanently. This is my fourth time the this amazing state. Each time I have come out here to play and hunt but this time is different. Yes I did the normal things but I have also been evaluating my surroundings with a critical eye, asking can I leave my current world and relocate to this magnificent place.
For me the answer is a simple yes. For my family of four other people it is a bit more complex. When I am out here my soul is at peace. No other vacation spot has affected me this way. Some of it is good friends are here, however it is bigger than that. The abundance of natural environments and the few limitations out here just resonate deeply with me.
However I had an odd experience and it confused my instincts about this place. We have been making the rounds of Green River and it’s sister town Rock Springs to see what life is like. If you know anything about Wyoming then you know there is not a Starbucks on every corner, I have not seen a Best Buy in more than 800 miles and you may need to drive hours for things you want or need (Wants and Needs become something to really evaluate here). So our exploration has been important so my family knows the limitations of living in this new place. The odd experience came when we visited the Rock Springs mall to see what was there and to expand out knowledge of consumer venues in this part of the state. This was your typical home town mall, two anchor stores and and assortment of other places to burn your cash. But for the first time in my trips to Wyoming I felt a sudden and deep sense that I really did not want to be here.
I still have not quite placed or processed the entire feeling but I think it came down to, this is what I have back east. Lines of shops pulling at your senses to consume, people trying to randomly grab your arm and rub their lotions on you as you pass so you’ll spend $100.00 at a kiosk. This is on the heals of driving for hours and never seeing another human being, climbing to the top of a Butte at the end of a two track and looking over 60 miles in all directions and not a house or a car in sight. The feeling is still unsettling to me, it shook the foundation of my resolve about coming to the amazing place.
I have been pondering often lately how we are changing ourselves, our society and our minds through the constant pull of news feeds, status updates, consumerism and convenience. These are all first world problems but more and more we export them everywhere. At the store in Green River yesterday where I did not have a mass selection of micro brews but had to “settle” for a solid big brewery IPA the guy at the counter asked me “Why would you come to Green River, there is nothing here.” My answer to him was “Exactly.”