Shoshoni, Wyo.

Shoshoni, Wyoming, at dusk — photo by David Stubbs

We arrive in Shoshoni by sundown to find crumbling brick buildings resembling a ghost town.

From the snow-white splendor of Grand Teton National Park, we have crossed the divide into blood-red hills and the twisting curves of the Wind River. The sight of bare earth is soothing. It’s easy to think it’s spring, until we step outside and feel the most distinctly Wyoming of the elements: wind.

Two friends and I are on a journey across the Wind River Reservation to see the man we hope will be the next Great White Father in Washington. Only he isn’t white, but brown, the color of this land.

poem on a wall, downtown Shoshoni — David Stubbs photoWe have rocked out to Bob Dylan, Michael Franti, Sharon Jones and Vampire Weekend. Now we are listening to the beating of drums on native radio.

As I walk the deserted street toward the railroad tracks, square in the middle of nowhere, my phone rings: It’s an Obama volunteer, calling from Texas to make sure I’m going to attend the Wyoming caucus on Saturday.

Not only that, I assure her, but I’m on a six-hour trek to see Obama speak in the heart of our state on Friday. I describe the scene in Shoshoni, and it gives her goose bumps, she says.

“Things didn’t go as well as we would have liked down here,” she tells me, “so we’re just trying to work a little harder.”

(Photographs by David Stubbs)

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Posted under Politics, Wyoming

2 Comments so far

  1. Amber November 29, 2012 7:44 pm

    I googled the town i grew up in Shoshoni Wy and found this photo taken by you. Just thought i’d give you a little history on this picture. It’s Geronimo and my father Bart Vroman painted it when he was a teenager. He’s 53 now so it’s rather old. I’m still proud of him to this day everytime i drive by there. :)

  2. Brad November 30, 2012 8:36 am

    One of my last seimic crew jobs in waning years of the ’70s-’80s oil boom was in the Lysite/Lost Cabin area. We stayed in Shoshoni for three months and you could tell the struggle was on. But, the saddest thing is Yellowstone Drug is no more. RIP.

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