Some non-scenic sights from my recent road trip to Wyoming/Montana.
Bathroom mural and selfie, Regis Café, Red Lodge, Montana
Poison Spider Road, Casper, Wyoming. I wonder if there’s a lurid story behind this sign.
The crab rangoon at Bangkok Thai, Thermopolis, Wyoming, looked like stars
A nasturtium was served with breakfast at the Regis Café in Red Lodge, Montana
Cold grasshopper on sage outside the Wyoming Dinosaur Center
The Regis Café is located in the old Regis Grocery building in Red Lodge, Montana
The human need for decoration can turn almost pathological: cf. this wastebasket in the Paintbrush Inn, Thermopolis, Wyoming
Yellowstone crow. It kept moving around nervously, so it was hard to get a good shot.
Mammatus clouds to the east, Loveland, Colo.
Duet, by Jeff K. Laing, Benson Sculpture Garden
Salmon bowl at Tokyo Joe’s
North of Alma, Colo.
Cumulonimbus cloud building over Fort Collins, Colo.
Storm’s Brewing, by Jeannine Young, Benson Sculpture Garden
I’m keenly missing many things from Southern Illinois—besides my friends, I mean, whom I miss constantly. Maybe it’s time to tally up a few things I like about Colorado and Loveland, to allay a sort of disoriented feeling I’ve been getting lately when I ponder that I really live out here now:
- Cool nights even on hot days.
- Lilacs. The lilacs out here grow much larger and bloom much longer than they do in Southern Illinois. (I guess the cold nights agree with them.) The large lilac in my yard bloomed for a full month this May. And in Loveland there are enough lilac bushes to perfume the air for several weeks.
- Rocky Mountain National Park. Now that U.S. 34 is once again open through Big Thompson Canyon, it’s less than an hour away. Also: The Peak-to-Peak Highway, which runs from Black Hawk to Estes Park, and the drive from Fairplay over the mountains to Breckinridge. I’m itching to do some mountain drives that are new to me.
- The sky. Although I don’t see as much of it as I’d like to, I see enough to appreciate that the clouds are very interesting out here. If it weren’t for the fact that winters and summers are both more extreme out on the open plains, and everything so remote, I’d like to live out there. Since my house has no mountain view, I wish it at least had a good view of the sky. Fortunately, things open out just a block or two from home.
- Benson Sculpture Garden in Loveland, which has more than 100 works of art, mostly bronzes, in a very pretty pond setting.
- Aspens, of course, and columbines, with their lovely molded five-cupped centers.
- Tokyo Joe’s, a “fast-casual” chain where I can get a big bowl of udon noodles, veggies, and wild salmon for $11.65. Oh, and New York–style pizza bought by the slice. Yeah, they have that here! I wouldn’t be my mother’s daughter if I didn’t mention food in some fashion.
- No chiggers! As Calvin Trillin knows, this is never the least consideration in any list of positive attributes.
That’s a start. More later, I hope.
I’m going to return to museums for a few posts now. This is a small detail of a large painting by Cristoforo Monari (1667-1720) titled “Still-Life with Dog and Fruit.” Given the scale of various objects in the painting, I’m assuming these are some kind of crawfish rather than lobsters. (Someone more familiar with crustaceans will undoubtedly be able to set me right.) I must say, the one in the front looks rather fearsome. The work is in the collection of the University of Kansas’s Spencer Museum of Art.
Do I dare to eat a peach?
Why yes, I ate one on the beach!
(You know that beach, my little squirt:
The one where mermaids come to flirt.)
I liked that peach so much, I swear
I’d eat a peach most anywhere.
I’d eat one on a sawdust floor,
I’d eat one standing at your door.
I’d eat one in the golden glow
Of rooms where women come and go.
I’d eat one any chance I got,
I’d eat a peck—that’s quite a lot!
This Prufrock is a silly man
To wonder if he truly can.
He can, I know. I’m sure he could,
If he just told himself he would.
The best things come to those who dare—
Unless they choose to eat a pear.
For that, I make no guarantee.
A pear can’t match a peach, you see!
I did. But I painted it first.
Well, it started as a storm cloud. Then it turned into a flying pie, and artist Wayne Thiebaud came to mind, and it turned into a killer pie. Consider this as outsider art with an in-joke, perhaps.
At Saffron Bistro, Cape Girardeau, Mo.