Today is National Wyoming Day. Wyoming – how I love that state! I love the people. I love the hard life it offers. Sometimes I wonder where we might be today, had we moved to Wyoming way back all those years ago. But then again, there would be no Kiddo or Kamren or Grace.
The Lord has His reasons. So often I hear people talk about regrets – had they only turned right instead of left. Had they only known. But you don’t know, and the turn you took was the one you were meant to take. Would the other road be easier? Maybe, but it’s the struggles that form us and lead us to God. Most people do not think about God when the sun is shining and the birds are singing and life is too good to be true. But let some tragedy happen, and suddenly we react with prayer or anger. Please God, I’ll do anything. Or damn you God, why did you let this happen?
All rants for another day – let’s get back on track, shall we? We’re here to celebrate the great state of Wyoming. Gosh, I miss it already. You guessed it, Wyoming is where we chose to spend our family vacation this year. We’ve seen Yellowstone in mid and late summer, but never in the spring. Amazing! More on that later . . .
Most visitors to Wyoming come for three reasons – Jackson Hole’s snow, National Parks and Rodeos. Places like Cheyenne have been hosting Western Rodeos and Frontier Days since 1897. They know how to do it up right. Yellowstone Park is unlike any other place on the entire planet, and the Grand Teton will steal your breath away. As for rodeos – what a thrill!
Despite Wyoming’s deep roots in the American West, its also known for enacting some of the most progressive laws regarding Women’s Rights. Wyoming was the first to grant women the right to vote. Being progressive and recognizing the value of women doesn’t mean woke or crazy or liberal. It does mean the folks in Wyoming use the good sense that the Lord has given them.
Come to Wyoming for the wide open spaces. There are fewer people in the state than animals. Yet places like Yellowstone attracts more than 4 million visitors each year. Yellowstone is this country’s oldest National Park, with more than 250 different types of birds. Although, let’s face it, most folks come for the Bison, the Bears, and Old Faithful.
Did you know that two of the world’s largest coal mines are in Wyoming? Now that’s something I didn’t know. Nearly 40% of the coal supply in America comes from their mines. What I did know is that since the since 1968, a Republican presidential candidate has won every election. About 94% of those who call Wyoming use English as their primary language, followed by Spanish, German, French, Russian and Tagalog. Yeah, English wasn’t a surprise, but Tagalog as the 5th most spoken language was. When it comes to organized religions, 50% of the Church-going citizens are Protestant, followed by Catholics, Mormons, then Jews.
Here’s something else I didn’t know – Wyoming is the second happiest and healthiest state in the union, second to Hawaii. For some reason happy and healthy are linked – that you can’t be happy unless you are healthy and you can’t be healthy unless you are happy? Interesting . . . .
So why these foil packs to celebrate Wyoming Day? It’s a complete meal that can be prepared in a kitchen, packed up and then barbecued anywhere. Be it a gas grill at the lodge or a camp ground. Works for me, what about you?
Barbecue Hot Dog Potato Foil Packs
8 medium-small Red Potatoes
1/2 White Onion
4 Quarter-Pound Hot Dogs
1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese, optional
Scrub potatoes, cut into thin wedges. Place in a pot, cover with water. Bring to a boil. Par-cook potatoes until just beginning to soften when pierced with a fork. Drain, let dry. Peel onion, cut into slivers and set aside. Slice hot dogs into bite-size pieces. Keep sliced dog together for that Hot Dog look, set aside.
Note: Potatoes can be par-cooked in advance, then refrigerated for later use.
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Cut four pieces of heavy-duty foil into 18-inch squares. Place a hot dog into the center of each foil pieces. Lay potatoes along both sides of the hot dog, and onions over the top. Drizzle with barbecue sauce, then top with a few tablespoons of shredded cheese if desired. Tightly seal foil around the filling.
Place packs on the grill, seam-sided down to start. Close cover and let cook for about 6 minutes, turn and continue to grill another 8 minutes or until heated through.
Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Eat directly from the pouch, and enjoy.
Your word, O Lord, is truth; consecrate us in the truth