A Quick Word: Wyoming v. South Dakota

Wyoming gave us chapped lips, black lungs, and a stern disbelief that the state will ever recover from the ravenous oil and gravel interests that have descended upon it like vultures on weeks-old roadkill. Remember that this is a state that has elected Dick Cheney innumerable times—the man never got kicked out of office, just eventually promoted (dubiously ‘elected’) to the position of Vice President of the country in the dreaded 2000 elections.

Wyomingans didn’t like us. As soon as we crossed the state line it seems that smiles turned upside down, the air thickened and became visible, and the land became more desolate and hateful than the desert that the Jews wandered around for near a half-century. The gas station folks I saw didn’t smirk at our car; they were too busy bickering with one another about whether they were going to visit McDonald’s, Burger King, or just buy the gas station pizza, cadaverous and stagnant under the convenience store heat lamps. There were cracks and holes in their roads and their faces. I understand now why this place is referred to as “The Badlands,” (because they are bad).

Rapid City, South Dakota is, by contrast, a land fit enough for any god—a beautiful land once you leave the buffer zone of its border with Wyoming. When we reached Rapid City last night, we had to “wash off Wyoming” before we felt comfortable touching the beds in our hotel room.

6 comments on “A Quick Word: Wyoming v. South Dakota

  1. Seems to me you should give this state a chance. I thought the Badlands were beautiful with the rugged land and rock formations. I am not “just another pretty face” either. Judge not unless you want to be so easily judged.

    • After reading this entry anew I am realizing that you might have been a bit road weary and maybe the weather was hot enough to give you a sense of how it could be to be a nomad wandering in a desert…it truly is a long way between. The hotel room bed must have been a comfort.

  2. Christy says:

    Grass is really greener on the other side of some fences. Never been to Wyoming. I haven’t seen South Dakota. As you know, there are good and bad people in every place, in every color, in every religion, and so on. You just have to look through the bad, around it, over and under it. Travelling through a place, you don’t have time to mine for goodness and grace. You bring out the best in people, so I am certain you would find some good there, if you had time enough to dig.

  3. C.W. Keating says:

    Wyoming is basically “Mad Max” with fast food. As someone who (briefly) traveled through there, I can say that, yes, it’s basically a hell worthy of Dante. Errr, maybe of a much less friendly Dante.

  4. unionstrongamerica says:

    I may have been hard on Wyoming, but I must say that the best parts of Wyoming are those Federally protected lands, like Yellowstone, that Teddy Roosevelt kept safe from unmuzzled capitalistic interests and kept safe for future generations.

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