Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wyoming: Oil Wells and Parking Lots, Rainbows and Snow

One of my personal goals for our trip out West was to reset my children’s view of the ‘outside.’ If you ask a typical child in Ohio what ‘outside’ looks like, they will give you a very good description from their three-foot vantage point. They will tell you that there are cars and trees and grass and sidewalks and a road and dirt and bugs (giggle) and worms (giggle giggle) and dead worms (hee hee) and poop (bwaa ha ha ha).

They know exactly what it looks like outside their window.

Some places, like this parking lot in Wyoming, look a lot like Ohio. The children are having a 'dance break.' After the first 1500 miles, you start doing all kinds of silly things.

My children enjoy reading about the National Parks and the United States and other places, so they “know” what other places look like.

It doesn’t look the same in real life. It just doesn’t. My kids need to see very, very different places in books and THEN see them in real life. Because, truly, the pictures in a book are only hints to what a scene feels like and smells like and, well, you get the picture.

It is hard to believe that there is not much grass in India until you have been somewhere without much grass. You expect grass. You might even start thinking that grass is normal.

You might also think that it never snows in June.

You might think that you know which direction a river is flowing just by watching that river. That is, until you realize that the dam is on what you thought was the up side of the river. Trust me, watching a river flowing uphill is very jarring. I will assure you that the Powder River flows uphill – at least from the perspective of a casual observer.

Once you realize grass isn’t a given (or the flow of a river), you might even start to realize that many other expectations are just not to be expected either.

Oil wells might even appear beautiful in the right light.

Eventually, you will realize that the unexpected is sometimes even better than your original plan, if you will only stop to look.

You will also realize that sleeping in Walmart parking lots is free. I've slept at many expensive hotels around the world, except I don't remember that part because my eyes were closed.


Badass Geek said...

If only WalMart had showers in their bathrooms, they'd be the perfect vacation destination.

Annakinz! said...

Yay! Go Wally World! Y'know, if I were you, I'd have to sneak into the Walmart in the middle of the night and just steal something. That would make me feel accomplished.

Brigette said...

I now live someplace where grass isn't normal. At first that seemed very abnormal indeed.

Rivers can flow uphill? Who knew?

Walmart as B&B? I'll say it again -- you are a very good sport. To show his appreciation, Jay should reads Anna Karenina to you as you sip champagne in the bathtub.

OHmommy said...

The river flowed uphill? Wow. Loving your updates MIT mommy... lovely vacay.

MIT Mommy said...

You guys are awesome. I am GOING to write this whole vacation up. I AM. But, not tonight.

Angela said...

Beautiful! I especially love the shot out the side view mirror.