Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Afternoon Adventure - Dead Indian Pass

We had started last Sunday by both drinking coffee and catching up on the latest news before heading to the Irma for brunch (which we do often on Sundays):
The river walk in back of town was actually intended to walk off a big meal, while at the same time giving puppy a chance to run in a beautiful and quiet place.
Once the walk was done we all three went home, curled up inside a beloved over sized dog travel crate (Korys' security cave) and on two couches, before all promptly falling into Sunday afternoon naps.
By the time we all woke up again it was 4:30.
When I looked outside I realized that the day had only continued to get warmer and more beautiful, and LC and I looked at each other questioningly.
An hour later LC looked over at me and said "Let's go up Dead Indian Pass!"
Dead Indian Pass is a place steeped in American history:
But to me it is simply a place that encompasses everything we love so much about Wyoming.
Mountains.  Endless views.  Pine Trees.  Isolation.  Natural beauty.  Wild life.
It was all there.
Waiting for us to find it on the drive up into the mountains.
If we had more time we could have dropped down off the back side of the pass and driven through Sunlight Basin and Crandall, but that wouldn't happen on this day.
Dead Indian Pass would be as far as we would go before we had to turn back, and this late in the day that was OK with both of us...................
I'm not sure why, but I always think of the trip up to Dead Indian Pass being further than it actually is.
Even with two brief stops on the climb up so I could snap some pictures, 45 minutes after we left Cody, we found ourselves standing alone at the top of the pass........................
It was extremely windy and cold at this elevation, but not freezing as it had been early last winter when we came to this place the last time.
On that day we could only stand outside at the top of the pass for a couple of minutes.
The wind was fierce.
And so was the cold.
Months later, LC and I both reached for light jackets and quickly pulled them on.
It was still cold, but not terrible, and our mutual excitement about standing in this wonderful and historical place made the mild discomfort worthwhile.
It doesn't matter how many times we have been here.
We are like excited children every visit................

LC and I stood at the overlook over........looking.........the entire world that was laid out in front of us.
I furiously zoomed in and out, taking picture after picture of the mountains, and then looked down at Kory to make sure that she was doing alright in this unfamiliar place.
She was busy sniffing rocks and signs and random clumps of grass.
It doesn't matter whether we are wandering at a place as magnificent as Dead Indian Pass or as mundane as an alley way between two store fronts in town.
Korys' brain is as deeply engaged with both places, and that amuses the heck out of me.
Such a simple, wonderful, easy-to-please creature................
There are information boards located around the overlook fence that tell the tale of this place...................
If we had continued beyond the crest of the mountain and continued on the same highway, we would have quickly dropped.
And then we would have been greeted by a miles-long stretch of highway so winding that it would boggle you mind as we dropped down into Sunlight Basin.
The drive just continues to get more isolated and more beautiful from that point onwards.
It's so funny.
We haven't driven beyond Dead Indian Pass yet, since we arrived back in Wyoming.
But I remember all of it.
I hadn't thought about this drive in years.
I didn't even KNOW that I remembered it.
But I do.
And we'll drive it in a couple of months when we have more time, when the weather is stable, the snow in the mountains is gone, and when the lush growth of late spring and summer is in full force................
Our dog has spent years exploring parts of the country that she could never have imagined, as she was floundering on her last days in that shelter down in Florida.
That pleases me.
She is a girl full of life and energy and love and adventure.
I am so glad we found her.
And she found us.
And we found each other..................
I snapped a lot of pictures of the little chipmunks that somehow manage to survive in the rock cliffs at Dead Indian Pass.
The weather is atrocious up there much of the year.
I have no idea how they survive but somehow they do.
Only one picture showed a chipmunk.
In the other pictures they all blended with and disappeared into the rocks...................
Pictures taken during quick stops on the way back down.................
Just over two hours after we had left Cody, headed towards Clark, turned onto the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, climbed up to Dead Indian Pass, and wandered and snapped pictures at the top of the pass, we were home again.
I don't know why I always think that it is further away that it really is.
Maybe it's because it is such a steep and prolonged climb to reach the top.
But this particular trip finally reinforced to me how close it really is to where we are living.
Great brunch at the historic Irma Hotel.  A great walk down by the river.  A great afternoon nap.  A great drive into the mountains.
One helluva way to spend a Sunday.
Good Day!

Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week.............Author Unknown

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Morning Adventure - River Walk

On an outstanding spring day last Sunday LC and I walked with Kory at the River Walk in back of town.
There are actually two river walks in town, both of which follow the line of the now roiling and boiling Shoshone River.
The first enjoys much more foot traffic than the second.
Closer to down town, it is more accessible to those who want to enjoy a quick walk outside during their lunch hour.
A quick reprieve by the river before heading back to the grind of living and making a living.
Although the second river walk is still in town it "feels" and "is" much more isolated.
The trail head is located at the end of a new subdivision - a place with tiny yards and tiny front doors and tiny windows and one tiny tree, the way homes in new subdivisions are apt to be.
As soon as you walk through the open gate leading to the trail head you immediately find yourself in beautiful isolation.
The trail is used little and we all love it there...................
The trail initially meanders high above the river, and doesn't drop down to the river proper for 15 minutes.
During that initial wander on flat gravel trail the views are endless.
Cedar Mountain.  Rattlesnake Mountain.  Surrounding hills.  Sage bush and a few trees.
And long stretches of the river..............
By the time LC and I had dropped down to the river Kory had already taken the first of many quick dips.
Her breed was born and bred for running.
She is a Chinook - a New Hampshire sled dog.
There is nothing she ever wants to do more than run.
Running is the biggest joy of her life.
Kory is not a strong swimmer but loves the water, and so quick dips to cool off and take a drink are all she ever wants to do.
She took many quick dips on this day................
Full, fast flowing and freezing cold due to the snow melt in the mountains.................
Pleasing my dog pleases me.
And I love to watch her joyfully running.................
Once we dropped down to the river we followed a series of trails that were easy to walk and that all connected and inter-connected with each other.
An easy and quiet walk on a Sunday morning.
It has been warm and sunny this past week.
Very cold and rainy this past week.
And even.........for a few minutes..........snowy this past week.
Spring is here and everything is turning green..............
Looking back the way we had come...............
Spring forever appears
      the soothing music part
      of lyrics unspoken.
It thaws the frozen fears,
      mends the wounded heart
      that Winter has broken.
~Aarno Davidson