Dispatch From The Road: It’s Different, But It’s The Same!

by Travis Mateer

I didn’t plan on making it all the way to Wyoming, but Montana really wanted me gone. First there was the hilarity of being expected to pay over $500 bucks for Motel 6 in Bozeman because it was orientation weekend or some shit, then Billings was just Billings, and the dead owl I saw on the side of the road sealed the deal. Hello Sheridan!

I know there are people worried that I’ve gone on a solo journey, and that being away from my family is maybe not the best thing for me to be doing. Well, what I’m doing is important, and as the image above clearly indicates, I have friends to keep me company!

I took this picture in a town called Buffalo. Was I looking for Crazy Woman Square? No, but Crazy Woman Square found ME! Is this when I started to suspect that maybe one of my companions wasn’t actually my friend?

No, couldn’t be, not Lego John Engen! Why would Lego John Engen want to hurt me? Doesn’t he know I have SO MANY interesting stories left to tell?

One story I came across in Buffalo is how proud they are of THEIR stories, especially when you can watch one of ’em on Netflix called Longmire. It’s about this little town, don’t ya know!

Kind of like Darby with Yellowstone, this town has merch opportunities all over to desperately turn a buck on the back of a popular show.

Maybe I should appreciate this as a more honest way of making some cheese than the schemes of developers with public money. That’s the story I found in Casper, where I DEFINITELY got the vibe that Lego John Engen is a ghost and NOT friendly

I found Lego John Engen contemplating an impressive scene at David Street Station, a hub of community activity partially funded with public money. I think what Lego John Engen is appreciating is the use of language, specifically the use of the word SPONSORSHIP. Check out the word and tell me if the REAL John Engen wouldn’t nod in approval at what’s going on here (emphasis mine):

See that? The sentence reads “…because while some SPONSORSHIP would come from PUBLIC FUNDS…”

Isn’t that funny? How did the public communicate their desire to SPONSOR this development project, I wonder? Not my town, not my problem, is ultimately what I thought, then I got the fuck out. Because I sensed trouble!

If you step back from this perspective you’ll see that Lego Travis is stupidly celebrating a quote that, on the surface, seems empowering, but CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING!

This gave me a good laugh, which is good, because peel back the ha-ha and shit gets serious quick. But in the clip You’re about to see? Nothing but smiles, baby! Probably because I had yet to see the additional demands from my petitioner that, were I to respond, would be a violation, and I already gave in once in the last 24 hours under threat of litigation. Classic rock and hard place situation!

Where did I end up on my second day? Well, I had this idea while driving, but I think I’ll save that part for the book.

If you’d like to help me while I travel, Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) is still taking donations, and you can still use the donation button at my about page.

Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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4 Responses to Dispatch From The Road: It’s Different, But It’s The Same!

  1. Tony says:

    Hopefully you ended up at Devil’s Tower. Interesting that white, interloping settlers saw it as ominous and possessed by Evil. Natives saw it as Sacred; a place of worship where the Creator brought sky and earth together.
    I like the Native version better – its a reminder of our smallness and that forces (call it whatever you will – to me its God) came before us, will last after us and created beauty (per, to paraphrase, the great Mark Twain – man is the only animal that hates and defines “ugly).
    You could obviously use some type of spirituality so you dont feel so alone and find Hope. Find it in the beauty of your travels, Native places of worship or go see the Jesuits in Denver.
    Be well, be safe, know that you are loved!

    • Sandy says:

      If you’re going through Wyoming on the way back you should check out Guernsey Ruts (Deep Rut Hill) in Guernsey, Wyoming. It’s not too far off the route and you can check out the ruts from the Oregon Trail. By ruts, I mean they are taller than an adult human! It’s pretty cool.

  2. John Kevin Hunt says:

    Get your ass over to Big Horn Canyon and go to Ten Sleep. A very small (pop. less than 300), authentic town. They drive cattle from summer pasture to winter pasture up the canyon, right on the 2-lane highway. Worland and Greybull are OK. Stay the Hell away from Rawlins, home of a very depressing prison and source of psycho killers. As far as that maniacal STALKER goes, I’m telling ya, repeated demand letters like that from her, made known to the court, would be viewed with great disdain!

  3. “The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.”

    from Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

    Travis, this poem popped into my mind when I started reading your post. Love to see you smile. Have a great trip. Keep the faith. Come back home when you are ready. God bless your journey as you continue to bless us.

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