Once Upon A Time!
There happened a couple in Arizona
who thought....Why not go to Wyoming in January on vacation?
For those of you who don't really know what 125 in the shade feels like
when you have to live through it every year, this probably doesn't sound
like a real intelligent thing to do. But to those of us who live
here in the summer time we figured...Why Not???
Actually, Joe has been going up
to Cody every winter for quite a few years with his dad, or just about
anybody he can con into going. This
year it wasn't all that hard to convince Teri of the benefits of escaping
the snowbirds around here for a week or so.
Dad, Teri and Joe blasted off out
of Lake Havasu in the afternoon on Wednesday January 10th and we made it
all the way to Mesquite Nevada for the evening. Whew!!! Driving
250 miles in a day can really take it out of ya. Anyway.....by Friday
afternoon we'd made it all the way to Cody and had great weather except
for the rain the whole way.
Friday nite it decided to do what
Joe said it rarely did in Cody, SNOW!! Surprisingly enough we slept
pretty soundly that
nite even with the pounding of the snow flakes on the roof all nite long.
We woke up to about six inches on the ground and Teri pleading with Joe
to go out and help her build a snowman of all things. Luckily for
Joe the snow proved much too dry to complete this project he got to remain
warm and dry inside.
Saturday January 13th was Ray's
(Joe's dad) 74th birthday. Teri baked Ray an outstanding spice
cake and we both presented it to him at dinner, complete with candles that
mysteriously re-lit themselves. To our good fortune, Dad still has
a sense of humor.
The seasons in Cody mean more than
just a change in the weather pattern. Cody in the winter time bears
little resemblance to its summer counterpart. With the tourist season
ended and only locals to support the economy in a town of less than 8,000
souls the place is beyond quiet. Just what the doctor ordered after
having to follow motor homes down the road. Which for some inexplicable
reason are quite unable to reach anything even remotely resembling the
Anyway......We had a full week
to entertain ourselves in a town that is not geared too well for entertainment
in the winter time. This didn't prove to be too much of a barrier
as we are easily entertained we've been told.
Last year Joe was introduced to
skiing in Colorado so, this year was Teri's turn to be introduced to skiing
in Montana, Red Lodge to be exact. There wasn't all that much snow
on the mountain for this time of year but Teri came to understand why I
like this place so much. What snow was there was excellent and the
people are friendly. We spent all day Monday on the mountain trying
to prove to ourselves that we really are as young as we used to be and
had a blast in the process. I must ad at this point that Joe managed
to stay on his ski's all day even taking Teri down a black run but for
some reason Teri had some snow on her back by the end of the day, 'nuf
Teri has made it known that she
is not afraid of the great outdoors and the predominantly male sport of
hunting. Wyoming is known for its big game and with that in mind
Joe thought to bring along several of his guns, not the least of which
is his prized hunting rifle.
The three of us set off one day
in quest of trophy to Elk Basin where Joe and Dad have bagged their limit
on many occasions.
At this point I need to explain
something important. Elk Basin is an oil field of massive proportions
which I'm sure given the fact that humans love to name things after the
animals they destroy developing it, once did and probably still does contain
a few Elk.
Name not withstanding the trophy
we sought this day was not Elk but none other than as Teri puts it, "The
Wiley Wabbit". Armed with Joe's trusty Marlin 22 long rifle and Teri's
eagle eye we soon spied our quarry. This ferocious cottontail lurked
but a few yards from the road sunning himself in the afternoon light, only
to be finally brought down by Joe's marksmanship. It only took four
shots to hit the damn thing at twenty yards.
After having taken our prey and
bringing it the whole way back to the truck it was time to field dress
this prized animal. The one thing that Teri never actually explained
was that after encountering her suicidal antelope she never really had
to do anything but shoot the poor critter. Somebody else got to clean
Gary, if nothing else you will
be proud to know that Teri now knows how to clean a rabbit. Hopefully
she will someday go hunting again. If only I could reproduce the
sound of her voice exclaiming, "GROSS!!!"
Joe's grandma is in the nursing
home in Cody, she'll be 99 on March 2nd of this year. She was recently
moved to the Alzheimer's ward where she receives much more personalized
care and is doing well. If only you and I will be as happy in our
lives at half of her age, we will be blessed. Grandma may not be
able to tell you who you are but she can outdistance most of the other
residents with her walker easily.
We made arrangements earlier in the week to rent a couple of snowmobiles
on Thursday from Pahaska Teepee and sled in through the east gate of Yellowstone
Park to explore. Supposedly starting next year snowmobiles will be
restricted inside the park and eliminated the following year altogether.
If only the park service would use that policy against the motor homes
in the summer time. (Sue & Glen, will
you ever talk to Joe again?)
We left Pahaska at the east gate around ten in the morning and headed for
Old Faithful 65 miles west. Bear in mind the speed limit in the park
is a maximum of 45 mph and the sled trails rarely are in good enough condition
to even attempt going that fast. We arrived at Old Faithful around
two thirty to find out that we'd missed the event by about ten minutes.
Not wanting to wait around for another hour freezing and burning daylight
that we would need to return over Sylvan pass we opted to get moving on
the return leg of our journey.
After eight hours and 142 miles
on snowmobiles we were beat badly by the time we got back to Pahaska but
it had been a beautiful day in Yellowstone. After having traversed
the Park in August and not seeing one single Buffalo Teri has been telling
everyone that there aren't really any Buffalo in the Park. The return
leg around Pelican Creek proved that her theory was grossly incorrect.
We encountered over two hundred of these two thousand pound critters with
calf's smack in the middle of the road, stretching over a mile, requiring
what has been referred to as sled herding.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Buffalo are not cows!!! Protected
by the Park Service and numerous environmental groups these animals have
grown to huge numbers both inside and outside of Yellowstone. They
are extremely unpredictable and dangerous animals and being within six
feet of one on a sled rates a very high pucker factor. Suffice it
to say, Teri no longer doubts their existence.
Unfortunately our time in Cody
was cut short by the fact that one of us had to come back to a real job,
so we managed to find our way back south by Sunday the 21st. Back
to motor homes as far as the eye can see and the horrible winter temperatures
in the seventies. (Glen & Sue you can park on our lot anytime)
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