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  • Writer's pictureKristina Atkins

RTW: Wide Open Spaces

This is going to sound kind of weird, but there is something about driving across the west that silences me in awe. Inspires me to create. Allows me to sit in a car for hours on end without a book to read, just watching out the window. (And then talk Mr. Atkins’s ear off, poor guy. My ramblings often don’t even make sense to anyone but myself.)

Maybe it’s because I’m from the east coast. The only place I could see for miles was the beach, a place that I love so very much. So is it weird to say that Wyoming kind of reminds me of the ocean? Because it does.

One reason for the inspiration is the possibility. Every direction you can see is a place with a story. I love driving I-70 through southern Utah and spying roads snaking up the sides of distant mountains. I feel this longing to go on that road, the dirt road that has seen more animal tracks than those of automobiles. Or I-70 through Kansas (I-70 stretches from St. Louis, MO, to central Utah) and catching a glimpse of a farm on the horizon, the only human structure for tens of miles. These remote and unknown places become a playground for my imagination to romp in.

Another reason is the wind. Once again, the windiest place in Charleston, SC, is the beach. My office building is located on the south end of the Denver metro area on a ridge in plains territory. It is windy! When I leave work and the wind blows, I feel emotions of solitude, loneliness, mystery. The wind is kinda creepy, for some reason. And for that, I love it. It’s a bed of inspiration for stories.

My cousin posted these images on her blog of driving across Wyoming. There are certain stretches of I-80 where wind generators litter the landscape. They stretch as far as you can see. They are creepy and eerie, like something you would see in The X-Files.

Cue the black helicopters.

I don’t know about you, but I have the simultaneous urges to hide in my closet AND write a story!

windmill images via my fabulous cousin photographer, Michelle Chudleigh!

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