Sunday, August 14, 2005


I'm back in Laramie after a week in Illinois, where it was hotter and more humid than a boiler room in hell. Nothing too exciting went down on this trip; mostly I sat around and read. That first Sunday my mom and I drove up to Chicago to see my sister and her family, but other than that. . . nothing too major.

Although come to think of it I did walk to the UI campus and back (my mom lives about a mile from campustown in Champaign). Two things stick out in my mind about that walk. First, the temperature was over 100 degrees. Now, I've seen 100 degrees before in various places like Wyoming, Phoenix, Kentucky, and Illinois, and let me tell you something: 100 degrees in Illinois is hotter than any other 100 degrees you'll ever see.

The other thing is that visiting the UI campus is always like stepping into a parallel universe. While the classroom buildings and quad haven't changed at all, the surrounding businesses in campustown seem like shallow iterations of more profound times. That doorway can't be where my friend puked after a night in Murphy's. This corner can't be where I almost got my ass kicked because my girlfriend lipped off to a phalanx of frat boys.

I think the first few years after graduation were the worst. UI is huge, and only a year later I didn't recognize anyone during a stroll through campus. It was like strangers had broken into my friends' apartments and taken all their clothes.

And so other than the walk, Champaign was uneventful. On Tuesday night my friend Liz came over (I met her well after I graduated) and we polished off a bottle of wine and just hung out on my mom's porch.

On Wednesday my stepdad carted me down to Taylorville, where my stepmom met us and took me down to Edwardsville. I lived in E'ville as recently as a year and a half ago so I still have friends there. Three of them came over on Thursday night for a BBQ; Friday was spent hanging out with my nephew on the lake, and I flew back yesterday.

A quick note here about the weather. Remember how I said Champaign was hot? It was hotter in Edwardsville. When my stepbrother dropped me off at the St. Louis airport, stepping out of his car was like stepping into a wall of superheated jello.

In Denver it was 55 degrees and drizzling: we got soaked as we walked to the plane. Surprisingly, the flight into Laramie wasn't nearly as sporty as it usually is. Laramie, of course, was chilly. I had to wear my Carhartt coat just to walk to a few blocks for dinner.

Today I'll be organizing my room. We have our first official staff meeting tonight, and then two weeks of training, and then school begins.


Blogger Chris L. Sanders said...


We missed you down at Coal Creek the other night! I was telling everyone it was really weird because I went up and did the Medicine Bow Peak loop the Wed just before you all were up there. Had a blast. Give me a call next time you go do something.

I took a few pictures as well. I put a link to them on my blog:

I went down and climbed Torreys a few days ago. I got caught in this freak snowstorm at the top and couldn't see. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it across the saddle to Grays. All in all, it was a good time though. Next weekend I'm going over to the Cirque of the Towers with a guy from work. I'm not sure how much backpacking we'll get done because we'll only have a few days up there before we both have to be back to work.

I think I saw you walking up Grand when I was coming back from Wal-Mart today. Was that you? I couldn't see really good as I was cruising along pretty good but you're about the only bald guy I know in Laramie (except for one of the EMT/firefighters but even he has a little hair!). I'm just giving you shit, I think it looks great!

That's some funny shit in your last post! You better just hope that one of those "rat fuckers" doesn't end up reading your blog! I hear things have really gone down the shitter since Orr broke it off last spring! Take care Paul and hang in there through training!


11:06 AM  

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