Yellacat Ranch Under a Western Sky

South Pass City

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Another Wyoming video. This is drone footage of South Pass City, one my favorite places.

It’s a ghost town on the old Oregon Trail. I lived here in a past life.

When I was a teenage boy in Grand Junction I had some very vivid dreams about dying here as a teenage boy in the late 1800s. I had no idea where it was, just that it was an Old West town.

Then, as an adult I visited here for the first time. Say, about 1992 or 1993. We were driving around, taking in the sights on impulse. I don’t remember exactly but I’d guess we had been to Farson and were headed to Lander. We lived in Farson when I was little and sometimes went shopping in Lander. It would have been a nostalgia leg of the trip.

As soon as we pulled into town, I knew it, knew it without being told, the buildings, the roads. I walked around in a daze, feeling caught between two worlds. I saw the hill that had the shack where I was staying in that other life, and the hill where I tumbled to my death because I was too feverish to be careful. A stupid accident.

Then, as my 20th century visit wore on, the other world began to fade. We spent the afternoon there. I think I had the experience only because I came upon it unexpectedly. My mind wasn’t ready for it at first, but when it had the chance to experience the physical reality, it adjusted.

I’d like to go back again, even though it wouldn’t be the same.

Yellacat Ranch Under a Western Sky
Justin Swanstrom

Justin Swanstrom

Made in America. Retired attorney. Bookseller at Shining Lotus. No Nazis in Valhalla. He/him.

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