I’m a little nervous. How do I capture the essence of my hometown in a hashcapade? Is it possible? The answer is illusory at best as I think about my formative years spent in Casper, Wyoming. But then, the panorama behind my childhood home gently reminds me, symbolizing the spirit of my youth – Casper Mountain. I spent hour upon hour in the prairie at its base riding bikes, catching horny-toads, hiking, chasing antelope (no contest there) and imagining my future. The mountain served as a landmark, protector and endless source of recreation.
So, on a gorgeous and sunny morning, my vantage from the North Platte River looking back towards the mountain was even more expansive. I started my 10-mile run with a sense of nostalgia and focus to get my pace right at a mile+ gain in altitude from Portland. Then it hit me. I have always been connected to Oregon! Hello – the Oregon Trail passed right along the North Platte, just north of Casper, and eventually showed pioneers the the rich, fertile Willamette valley! I felt a connection to these hardy souls as I continued my run across town and back. What other touchstone would reveal itself?
|Prometheus by Robert Russin at the Natrona County Public Library|
Refreshed and famished after my run, my twin sister and I drove through downtown, passing another iconic symbol – Prometheus. To me, the fire Prometheus brought to mankind from the Gods represents light and wisdom brought to the middle of Wyoming! Oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, wind, and sun are abundant and bring professionals of all backgrounds to places like Casper. Our credo hearkens back to a pioneer culture, a cowboy culture and a wildcat oilfield culture – entrepreneurial, rugged, grounded and fiercely independent.
|Egginton’s Andouille Sausage Hash|
And so here I was in a post-run glow, soaking up the sun, Casper Mountain, Prometheus and the city I left 27 years ago. Mari, Alex, Rachel and I were meeting for my first hashcapade in Casper at a restaurant called Eggintons. Would my hometown hashcapade deliver the goods? Delicious, spicy sausage and hash brown potatoes topped with eggs answered emphatically – YES!