Saturday, January 10, 2009

Small town

We have safely arrived in Kentucky. I love my new job and all is well. The thing I'm most excited to post is a picture from my commute, it is spectacular. I haven't taken a camera along for the ride, so instead I'm going to post about a town in Wyoming.

We opted to take I-80 out of SLC because I-70 was getting hammered with a snow storm. It turned out to be an excellent decision. The weather was really pretty good as soon as we got out of Utah.

Of course everyone knows that weather is sort of a weird word to use for what happens in Wyoming. Sure, it snows and rains in Wyoming, but that is really seldom. I'd say that 90% of Wyoming's weather is wind. Is wind weather? Yes, but it's different.

We got out of the snow of Utah and got into the wind of Wyoming. Wind shouldn't influence driving conditions, but in Wyoming it does. As everyone knows, it only snows once year in Wyoming, the rest of the year it just blows the snow from one side of the state to the other.

So we were driving along and it was approaching white-out conditions due to the wind in Wyoming. I was driving the monstrosity truck and my wife was following in the minivan with the boys. I couldn't see much, so I decided to stop at the next exit. (My wife could see fine, she was just following an enormous yellow truck).

We pulled into a gas station in Elk Mountain Wyoming. We asked when the wind would die down so it would be easier to see. They said April. We hung out for about a half hour and ate lunch while we wandered around a really small dingy gas station.

There are about 150 people in Elk Mountain and 800 or so in another small town that wasn't too far away. Evidently there was a mine nearby and then the stores that supported the small mining town. Oh and the guys who plowed the roads, they also lived in these towns.

While there, I was able to overhear some conversation of the towns folk. The guy who plows the local roads came in and was talking about the job he had just applied for (you know, the only job opening in town). He had heard that 25 other people had applied for the job. He proceeded to name them and consider their qualifications one at a time. Some of the applicants evidently lived too far away and would have to move if they were given the job. The conversation then turned to where the new employee would live, if hired since there was just one place in the area that was available for rent, and that was up for argument.

As these guys talked I wondered about the small town life. It sure seems like you wouldn't have any privacy. Everyone seems to know everything about the rest of the town. I thought more about it and all these people are still here. Sure, it's economically difficult to move, but if it's that bad, there is a way to get out. And people don't seem to leave those small towns.

I think that it could be nice to live in a really small town. It could be a tight knit community where everyone is your friend. I think people like it. Knowing everyone around you could really offer some comfort. We're not moving to a small town anytime soon, but I think it has the potential of being a good thing.


Heather said...

Glad you guys got there safe! I've always wondered what a small town would be like, but I don't know if we'll ever try it! :)

Cyclingred said...

Looking forward to posts are your new adventure.

I have moved my family several times and it is always an adventure. One memory of driving through Wyoming is my son jumping off the bed in a motel in Laramie and Cracking his head on a dresser. I have never seen motel staff move so quickly to take the boy and my wife to the ER.

I grew up in a small town. At one time in my life I could see moving back. That is no longer the case. I could see maybe having a summer home in my home town.

Anonymous said...

Mixed bag. People know your paint colors. My new septic tank made it on the front page of the paper!