Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wide Open Spaces

 A picture taken behind the house.  The building is a storage barn belonging to the neighbor.  Carter Mountain dominates the background to the south...........

It has rained hard and consistently for the past two days.
The first day of rain my Mountain Boy, my dog and I hunkered down happily inside the house and beside the fire.
By yesterday morning I was pacing the floor, the walls were closing in and I had cabin fever.
My dog must have felt the same way because as I paced my dog followed me from room to room, watching me intently.
After a couple of hours of indecision - to go to the gym and workout or go for a walk in the pouring rain I decided to go for a walk in the pouring rain.  
I needed to be outside.
When I grabbed for Jamie's leash she enthusiastically started to bark and jump around in that Jamie way that she has and we headed out into the pouring rain.
We were the only ones out on BLM land yesterday (with the exception of a fast and furious jack rabbit that we saw both on the way out and on the way back from our walk).
Jamie saw the rabbit both times of course and both times made an unsuccessful "let me at it and I'll rip it a new one" break for it.
Aside from those times of brief excitement we both greatly enjoyed quietly wandering for a couple of hours in a new section of the thousands of isolated acres of Bureau of Land Management land that are behind the house.
By the time we got home I was soaking wet and Jamie was soaking wet and filthy.
After giving her a quick bath she curled up on the couch in front of the fire and slept for the remainder of the afternoon......

The forecast is calling for mostly rain for at least the next five days and from what people say, this is unusual for Cody.
It may be unusual but the rain is beginning to turn this normally beige terrain into something that is green and growing.
We spent the morning doing very low key things.  
Going out for breakfast.  Going to yard sales.  Going to gun stores.  Going grocery shopping.
When we woke up this morning the sky was mostly grey but I looked over at the mountains and could see a few small patches of blue.
Sucker patches.
At least that is what they are called in Juneau.
When the forecast is predicting rain but you can see small patches of blue sky that sucker you into believing that maybe - just maybe - the forecast is wrong and that it will turn into a beautiful and sunny day after all.
By mid-morning the sucker patches were gone and the sky was only grey.
Yes.  Sometime today it would start raining again...........

I took this picture this morning while LC was in a gun store downtown.  
An old church that has taken on new life as an antique store...........
And the old post office that real estate agents have been trying to lease out since before we arrived in Cody.
I hope to see this beautiful western-inspired old building take on a new life soon as well...........
While my Mountain Boy visited another gun store on the west side of town I told him that I would be wandering around in the souvenir shop next door.
Within only a few minutes I knew that this store was selling all too typical and usual souvenirs and I did not expect to find anything that really interested me.
The store contained the same key chains and t-shirts and coffee mugs that can be found on the main strip of every tourist town from Niagara Falls to New Orleans, only the pictures and town names are changed.
Without a lot of interest I continued to wander and eventually made my way to the back portion of the store.
And there I was very surprised to come across this:
(Yes!!  I finally figured out how to post links after the blogger site updated their services!)
My attention span for museums is short and since I had already spent a few hours at the Old Trail Town just a few days before, I did not want to spend a long time in this interesting and wonderful place today.
I had heard about the Old West Miniature Village and Museum before but had no idea where in Cody it was located, until I surprisingly came across it this morning.
Even though I did not want to spend a long time today, I was very pleased to have found this place and resolved to come back another day for another look.......
Inside the museum is a very large glassed-in area that contains thousands and thousands of small buffalo, cowboys, Indians, horses, trains, tracks, streams, trees, mountains and hills, buildings and wagons.
Thousands of tiny characters all like the ones my brothers used to play with when we were all little kids.
Only so much more extensive.
And all displayed in complex and interesting scenes describing the life of Native Americans, frontier families, ranchers, mountain men.......
These are all pictures of western life in miniature, as well as some of the hundreds and hundreds of artifacts that were used in the old west..............
A huge glassed-in area in the center of the room of western characters, and three entire walls filled with artifacts........
Most excellent Native American artwork..........
Beautiful artwork painted directly onto animal hide.........
These pictures were taken early this afternoon in back of the house..........
We are still not used to life over 5000 feet.
The weather (even as it gets closer to June) is still extremely changeable and sometimes still cold.  
The leaves are just beginning to show on the trees.  
The growing season is very short.
I have been very eager to get up to Yellowstone.
We still are getting new snow in the mountains that surround Cody.
But Yellowstone in places has over 200% of its average snowfall right now - meaning that roads are sometimes closed - that avalanches are a constant concern - that the east gate has occasionally been closed and right now is only open from 6am-10am each day - and that roads are sometimes completely washed out.
It is a rugged and rough and harsh part of the country, and even more so only a few miles up the road.............
LC is greatly enjoying seeing this view from the windows in the living room.
He needs space in order to feel free.
Here he feels free........
 Smoky is one of the horses that lives on the property..........
One more view of the very beautiful Carter Mountain.........
One more very cute resident who also lives on the property.
LC and I saw our first baby bunny in the yard today.  
When Jamie made a lunge for him, the cute little thing quickly hopped safely back under the small storage building near the house.......
Last April I went on a very cold and overcast whale watching cruise through parts of the Gastineau Channel in Juneau.
I was alone and very lonely and had not seen my Mountain Boy in over four months, but knew that he would be in Juneau in another month and a half.
I had a wonderful time on that cruise, watching whales and seals and sea lions.
After the cruise I stopped at a yard sale on the UAS  campus in Auke Bay, and bought this moose welcome sign.
It is now located on the wall outside the front door of the house we have in Cody Wyoming............
One of two beautiful horses that live next door...........

There is a land where mountain peaks
Reach snow capped arms on high;
Give me wide open spaces of this world.
There is a land where ocean waves
Lap endlessly against the sky;
Give me wide open spaces of this world.
You can have your city life;
I’ll be far from cares and strife
In my wide open spaces of this world.
There is a land where mountain breeze
Hums symphonies among the trees;
Give me wide open spaces of this world.
There is a land where waterfalls’
Cascades echo canyon walls;
Give me wide open spaces of this world.
You can have your city life;
I’ll be far from cares and strife
In my wide open spaces of this world.
There is a land where sunset’s blaze
Defies mere human lavish praise;
Give me wide open spaces of this world.
There is a land where snowdrifts white
Reflect the shifting northern lights;
Give me wide open spaces of this world.
You can have your city life;
I’ll be far from cares and strife
In my wide open spaces of this world.
Here in this land where gracious peace
Invites the heart to find release
In wide open spaces of this world,
Here in this land where heaven’s calm
Scribes upon the heart a psalm,
I laud wide open spaces of this world.
You can have your city life;
I’ll be far from cares and strife
In my wide open spaces of this world.
Written in 1973 By: Adeline Foster


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