Returning to Wyoming for the second time

Eddie Poe
Instead of a childhood filled with horseback riding, fly-fishing, or hunting jackalope (ha-ha), I grew up trying to master the art of eating crabs.

I was greeted by snow-covered mountains off in the distance and hundreds of miles of untouched land.
For the second time in less than a year, I completed a near cross-country trek to a part of the country I had never laid my eyes upon, let alone called home. The only concern that was coursing through my brain was the fact that I’d be making the trip on my own. Yes, 30 hours and 1,900 miles of solo, crammed driving.
So, I did what I’ve become accustomed to doing. I packed up all of my belongings, prepared a well-thought-out playlist of podcasts and music, and said goodbye to those closest to me.
When I exited Interstate 25 and pulled into Douglas after three days of driving, I couldn’t help but replay the memories of my first visit to Wyoming. The glorious Upper Geyser Basin. The imaginary Tetons, a wonderful, yet terrifying, bison jam. Horseback riding followed by a cowboy-style steak dinner and playing a game of risk for a wondrous photo-op with a group of elk.
But that was nine years ago.
The very naive 16-year-old version of myself was much more worried about his cell phone and how his friends were enjoying their summer back home at the time. Yes, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons were like nothing I had ever seen before. It was all surreal in the most beautiful way possible. Unfortunately, the depths of my appreciation were absent at the time and that version of myself deserves to be reprimanded for it.
Born and raised in northern Maryland, just a short drive down the road to Baltimore and our nation’s capital, I wasn’t quite exposed to the types of natural wonders that you can expect to find in Wyoming. For a reference point, the tallest peak in Maryland can be found in the western part of the state along a part of the Appalachian Mountains — Hoye-Crest, a summit along Backbone Mountain — which sits at 3,360 feet. And as for wildlife, I’ve seen more than enough deer and squirrels to be overly curious of other types of species.
Instead of a childhood filled with horseback riding, fly-fishing or hunting jackalope (ha-ha), I grew up trying to master the art of eating crabs, taking summer trips to the beach and idolizing my sports hero — Cal Ripken Jr.
A sports fanatic through and through, I spent most of my early years envisioning myself as a professional baseball player with millions of dollars and a reputation as iconic as John Elway’s — look at me attempting to relate to my new neighbors.
As a sports reporter, I hope to tell as many unique stories about the Converse County community that my words will allow me. Attending graduate school in Phoenix, Arizona, for the past year and a half, I had the opportunity to report on the Arizona Diamondbacks, former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction in Canton, Ohio, and the rising number of concussions in youth hockey — among many other sports topics.
Here in the Cowboy State, I recognize that the sports landscape is much different from my home state of Maryland, for example, or a place like Phoenix. If anything, it’s part of the reason why I was drawn to Wyoming.
Having grown up in a small town similar to Douglas and Glenrock, I’ve always been enamored by the ways in which a town rallies around a school and their sports teams. Often, a small town’s identity is found in their high school and the athletes who take the field to represent them.
I’m eager to learn about what life is like here in the land of the open and to experience sports from a refreshing viewpoint. But, most importantly, I hope to tell stories that resonate with you.


Wright High Plains Sentinel

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