April in Wyoming

Last week it seventy degrees, sunny, and we were picnicking in the park. This week we’re shoveling sidewalks, scraping windshields, and making new friends for ourselves out of fresh snow. Spring in Wyoming is never uninteresting.

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Residency @ Shortgrass Steppe

Every year, over winter break, Colorado State University lets UW MFA students stay at their research facility at the Shortgrass Steppe in northeastern Colorado. Located on protected land, shortgrass plains stretch as far as the eye can see. It’s a great place to spend a few, secluded days writing or watching coyotes and antelope do their thing.

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A Weekend in the Bighorn Mountains

Neltje, a friend of the Creative Writing Program, has generously offered use of her cabins along Crazy Woman Creek in the Bighorn Mountains to MFA students. Last weekend, Brad Watson and six graduate students drove up from Laramie to spend the weekend enjoying the outdoors.

IMG_0794The road to “Big Crazy,” the biggest of Neltje’s cabins, and the only one with running water and electricity.

IMG_0795Kat Williams, apparently ecstatic to be on the porch of Big Crazy.

IMG_0785Ammon Medina and Alec Osthoff look down onto the valley from the porch of Big Crazy.

IMG_0788The view descending from the mountains on a very primitive two-track.

IMG_0800“Mini Crazy,” the primitive cabin closest to Big Crazy, which sits just beside Crazy Woman Creek. It’s heated by a wood stove, which we had to feed through the night, as it dipped into single digits outside.

IMG_0805Liz Kulze, Kat Williams, Carly Fraysier, Alec Osthoff, and Ammon Medina hike a trail up to “White Lightning,” another of Neltje’s primitive cabins.

IMG_0808Beautiful rock formations along the trail that Neltje has appropriately named the “good rocks.”

The Snowy Range in Fall

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Laramie’s a pretty cool place but, for my money, one of the best things about living here is the close and easily accessible Snowy Range. It’s particularly spectacular in the fall. A few of us took advantage of the unseasonably beautiful weather to hike a long loop through the mountains.

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Liz chills, Lilly eats a boiled egg (she does this a lot), and Liz’s creature Archie stumbles and slips among the rocks. That’s Lost Lake in the background. Mostly I (this is Dominick, your friendly MFA blogger, by the way) watched trout rise and regretted not bringing my fishing rod.