Ten years ago, I never would have thought the words, “I’m from Wyoming,” would ever come out of my mouth.
But on a recent trip to Portland, my family was sitting in one of the many local breweries asking about the local fare when the waitress asked where we were from.
Initially, my mother responded with a question of her own, “How can you tell we’re not from here?”
The waitress’ response (“You’re dressed too normal”) drew a chuckle and while my parents responded that they are from Wisconsin, I uttered those four words I never thought I would.
I used to consider myself quite the city girl. Sure I could rough it with the best of them, but I felt most at home on busy city streets, riding the “L” and meeting up with old high school friends scattered throughout Chicago for a mid-week meal. I thrived on the hustle and bustle.
When I moved to Wyoming, I thought “OK, you can do anything for a year.”
After all, the scenery was nothing to whine about.
It is nearly five years later and I’m still here — and happy.
But, back to the point.
While I was in Portland, I noticed a billboard advertising Wyoming. One side of the billboard featured a scenic photograph of Devil’s Tower. I don’t remember what was on the other side (I only saw it briefly looking behind us on the interstate as we drove past), but I’m sure it featured either a cowboy, the majestic mountains or some of our ever present wildlife.
I grinned and pointed it out to my family. What a great depiction of our state. And, who would’ve thought I’d see the advertisement there, in the 29th largest city in the U.S.
It seems our statewide tourism advertising is working, though, because despite having a great time visiting with my family, each time we drove past that billboard, I couldn’t wait to be home.
Kristen Czaban is managing editor of The Sheridan Press.