Saturday, August 6, 2011

Big Moon Restroom

I have railed on this blog before about the beyond-lousy Internet service that we have at the house.
It is one of only two Internet providers that provides service this far out of town, and one of those doesn't work at this house even though it is supposed to and no-one can seem to tell us why.
Which means we are stuck with the one that works at all but only works part of the time.
We live less than five miles outside of Cody but you would think it was 50.
It has been off more than it has been on for the past few days, went off in the middle of downloading pictures onto this blog and promptly froze.
Instead of losing all the pictures I had just downloaded (which has happened more often than I would like to think about) I managed to get them onto the blog in some kind of weird out-of-order order, logged out, logged back in and downloaded more.
My long winded way of saying that these random pictures on what was going to be another random series of pictures anyway is now even randomer.
It has been a quiet and disjointed week for many reasons and both LC and I are tired and run down.
I have run only once this week. 
We have not really done much that is blog-worthy so I am posting some older pictures - some I have posted before but many I have not.
I really like the pictures immediately above and below.
The top picture is that of a bison grazing along the side of the highway leading to Yellowstone National Park.  It was taken in Shoshone National Forest a few months ago while we were anxiously waiting for Yellowstone to open.
During these still-cold and barren late Winter and early Spring months we quickly learned that the places we were traveling were also Winter grazing pastures for big horn sheep, bison and elk herds.
We saw unbelievably large and frequent herds of each of these animals as they grazed close to the road.
They are all used to people and vehicles and ignore our presence - occasionally watchful of us but unperturbed............

I love this picture of deer passing through our neighbors yard across the road.
I watched as a small herd of about 10 adult deer grazed in a pasture next door to us, then passed underneath and over their fence, walked down the dirt road together just a short way, passed over and under the fence across the road, then grazed leisurely in their pasture.
Eventually they made their way over to another fence line and I snapped this picture as they again made their way over and under as they continued their journey.................
My bike and my old and beat-up and trusty bike shoes before heading out for a ride.............
Not long ago LC, James and I took a drive out to Clark.
Clark is a very rocky and dusty little community about 20 miles from Cody.
When we first visited Clark it was early in Spring and I thought that it was an incredibly ugly place.
More rocky ground than I had ever seen before.  A beige and dirty and dusty and barren place that we quickly learned led to a beautiful canyon surrounded by beautiful mountains, the Clarks Fork River and eventually dead-ends at the Shoshone National Forest.
As Spring turned into Summer the appearance of the community improved but Clark is still a rugged and crazy-rocky place.
Land is cheaper in Clark than it is in Cody but there are water issues and land-soil quality issues.
But we love the canyon and river in back.
On the way home from our most recent visit to these places a few weeks ago we stopped for the first time at the only store close to this community.
It is called the Edelweiss.  Walking into the store I quickly realized that the bar is the dominant portion of this store, and that the "store" portion of the building contained very little.
Pictures of the outside of the Edelweiss...............
My Spirit Horse.
A beautiful horse than I first encountered late into the Winter during a walk close to home with Jamie, and later came across for a second time during a run on BLM land not long ago.................
Pictures taken at the Cody Park downtown.
It is a very lovely green space surrounded by City Hall, the Visitors Center and the high school on three sides, and Sheridan Avenue (the main road through town) on the fourth.
This band shell is home to regular outdoor concerts....................
A popular mini-golf business adjacent to the park..............
Pictures out of order.
A big horn sheep ram walking along a hillside in the snow.
This picture was also taken out in the North Fork, Wapiti, Shoshone National Forest area on the way to the still-closed East Gate of Yellowstone.
We made our way up to the gate a few times in the snow - partially wanting to get through the gate to explore the park and partially to explore the forest.
When we arrived at the gate we typically ran into tourists who were very disappointed that the gate was closed.
But we have traveled through the Shoshone Forest often enough to know that this 50 mile drive from Cody to the gate is incredibly diverse and beautiful.
It moves from sage and volcanic rock in Cody, through the Buffalo Bill Cody Dam and Reservoir, to the beautiful North Fork and Wapiti with huge mountain ranges in back and fertile pasture land in front - and eventually into the forest.
Our favorite time of year is during the cold Winter and Spring when the wild herds have not yet headed back into the mountains and when the highway is almost completely empty of vehicles and people.
The herds are feeding and living in the low lands at that time and they are everywhere...............
Two pictures taken a few months ago in the very small Montana town of Belfry.
There is not much to this town - mostly run down homes, a bar, a convenience store, some other stores that have closed their doors.
Mostly it is a town to pick up a cold drink on the way from Billings to Cody, or on the way to Red Lodge - a beautiful ski town deep in the mountains.
But I like the red-neckedness of these pictures.................
Taken in downtown Cody..............
Memorial Day weekend LC and I attended a dedication service for Lt. Shane Childers, a serviceman from Powell who was killed in Iraq.
It was a freezing cold day this late in the year but we felt compelled to attend the ceremony and offer our respects for his service.
There were so many others who attended the ceremony as well that I could not get a good picture at the time of the monument dedicated in his name.
Here is the link to that day:
I went back on another day and took these pictures.................
Horses interacting with each other in a pasture close to the house...............
A pizza-mobile.
Seen driving around Cody on a regular basis, this thing gets everyone attention.
Kids love it.  And so did we..................
Seen at the recreation complex that contains a community center, arena and library on the east side of town.................
On the way out to Yellowstone there are multiple beautiful campgrounds, picnic areas, dude ranches and lodges.
There is really only one store.
It is called the Red Barn and is located in Wapiti.
It is a modest place that sells gas and the usual ice/snacks/drinks items you would expect to find in a store located in the middle of nowhere on the way to a national park.
We stop there fairly often in our travels and this beautiful and sweet black lab always comes to the truck to greet us.....................
Sunset at the house in Spring...................
More pictures taken at the downtown park just the other day.............
Yes this is indeed a picture of a restroom door.
I know someone back east whose last name is Moon.
I have known him for years and to say that he is a character and a half would be an understatement.
He would understand when I say this, but when I saw this gas station restroom door I thought of him and snapped this picture.....................

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