wildfire on the reservation

This morning while I was getting ready for work, I heard a brief news report on NPR about a wildfire on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Immediately I listened closer to catch any references to locations I may know, and was rewarded with a mention of the city of Lander. I’ve never been to the Wind River Reservation, but several years ago I read through most of the mystery books written by Margaret Coel that take place on the reservation. Coel is a native of Colorado, but has spent enough time with the Arapaho and on the reservation to be able to write it well. She based her Father John O’Malley’s St. Francis Mission on the existing St. Stephen’s Indian Mission.1

The two main protagonists in the series are a disgraced Jesuit priest who is a recovering alcoholic and an Arapaho woman who has returned to the reservation after many years away in the city working as an attorney. These two are an unlikely pair of sleuths, and they both have personal baggage that hinders their ability to discern the truth. The novels are as stark as the descriptions of the wind-swept reservation and offer little comfort; however, they are a convenient vehicle for conveying Arapaho history to the ignorant like myself.

  1. The Eagle Catcher (1995)
  2. The Ghost Walker (1996)
  3. The Dream Stalker (1997)
  4. The Story Teller (1998)
  5. The Lost Bird (1999)
  6. The Spirit Woman (2000)
  7. The Thunder Keeper (2001)
  8. The Shadow Dancer (2002)
  9. Killing Raven (2003)
  10. Wife of Moon (2004)

this land is your land

A geographic meme, courtesy of Sorcha. Also, places where US paper currency I have spent in the past four and a half years have gone.

bold the states you’ve been to, underline the states you’ve lived in and italicize the state you’re in now…

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

KY to WA – day two

In the morning, I awoke refreshed, although I would have enjoyed sleeping a few more hours.

In the morning, I awoke refreshed, although I would have enjoyed sleeping a few more hours. This past week’s work of packing, errands, and trip preparation has left me with little time for sleep, and the lack was starting to catch up with me. My body reminds me regularly that I am getting older and am not as resilient as I was in high school and college. Our friends had prepared a satisfying breakfast, which concluded with pictures of their trip to see their daughter and son-in-law in Germany earlier this month. Their daughter is my age, and we grew up together like sisters, only I always got along with her much better than my biological sister (who also liked Cara better than me, so we’re even). Reluctantly, we got back in the car and continued on west towards Cheyenne, our final destination for day two.

Around noon, we decided to stop for lunch, and pulled into an Applebee’s. As we were finishing our meal, Dad overheard the man in the next table say something about, “Would the Eastern Kentuckian stand up.” I thought he had mis-heard the man, since I hadn’t heard him say it. We listened to them a bit more, and I could hear the man saying something about a thing on a car and I realized he must have noticed my front plate which has Eastern Kentucky University written on it. I went over and asked him, and it turns out that he used to teach at Morehead University! He is retired now and was with his wife on a trip to Colorado. Who would have thought that we would be sitting in a western Kansas Applebee’s next to someone who used to live in Morehead?

The rest of western Kansas was uneventful. We stopped at the welcome area just inside of Colorado to stretch our legs, use the facilities, and I located the first geocache of the trip. We passed up three on day one because we were already running late for our twelve hour drive, so it was nice to finally be able to stop and hunt for one.

Kiya had recommended we stop in Ft. Collins for dinner, but we were so close to Cheyenne and our motel room for the night that we just kept on going. This proved to be a good thing. After we checked in and unloaded the car, we went out on the town to find dinner and discovered both the wonderful Chinese/Sushi restaurant where we dined that evening and the quaint caf