Monday, September 3, 2012

Dolly Llama

One day last week (the same day we came home to Cody and found that the town had disappeared into the thick wide smoke of area wild fires) we headed towards the very small community of Frannie Wyoming.
There is a disorganized and small general goods store in the center of this community and not much else in the way of businesses.
Generally it is a pass-through - a community you must travel through on the way to either Billings Montana to the north or Lovell Wyoming and then the Big Horn Mountains to the south.
As we headed towards that small place we made a brief stop at an even smaller place. 
Deaver is a tiny community that contains no businesses and only a few homes.
It is located immediately off the highway about 5 or 10 miles from Frannie, and LC, Jamie and I pulled into it briefly, curious to see what (if anything) was there.
There were three or four residential streets that we quickly wandered up and down, a church, a small artisan store and this place.
The large, brightly colored and brightly decorated General Store building was initially shocking to see.
A bright red building painted as though it were a riverboat was the last thing I expected to see in hot and dry and land locked rural Wyoming.
We pulled into the shade of the building, left Jamie briefly in the truck, and climbed out eager to walk around and inspect the paintings more closely............
I smiled at I took in the whimsical old-west characters.
When I got home later that afternoon I did a brief Internet search to see if I could learn any more about this unexpected find.
The only information I could find was that it was called the Showboat General Store and that it was closed.
By the time we had stopped at the store for a few minutes we had already figured out that last part, and as I walked around to the front of the building I had to smile again - not only at the whimsical characters but also the sight of the "door to nowhere"..................
Another brief stop - this time at the Deaver City Hall.
It contained war monuments, benches and flower containers................
A patriotic fire hydrant, located across the road from City Hall and in front of the first department............
As we were driving down one very short and residential road I suddenly saw something unexpected in a yard and asked LC to stop the truck.
As I climbed out of the truck with camera in hand I walked closer to the object wondering if I had seen what I thought I had seen.
Indeed.  A large and very whimsical metal horse sculpture.
He was rusted and made up of pieces of metal that had been carefully welded together to form his shape, and he made me smile.
Within the span of only 10 minutes we had seen most of Deaver and I realized that I liked this little place.
Between the fire hydrant, the horse, the general store, this tiny community had touches that were wonderful and totally unexpected.
So cute..........
After stashing my camera back into the side pocket of my pack I headed back towards the truck, still smiling at the unexpected appearance of the wonderful metal horse.
When I looked further down the road I saw the mountain man and suddenly realized that the horse was only one part of a series of whimsical metal sculptures that were standing on the property of a small art studio.
A wonderful life sized mountain man standing in front of the art studio, and an almost life-sized deer sculpture almost hidden in the wildflowers in the front yard.
By the time I was done looking at these sculptures and then snapping a few quick pictures it was definitely time to head back to the truck.
I had been keeping man and dog waiting for far too long..................
Continuing on to Frannie which was only five minutes further down the highway, we followed a sign for a yard sale.
Unexpectedly we ended up at a small tack shop business located a couple of miles off the main highway, that was surrounded by only pasture land and quiet.
The yard sale was located in the driveway in front of the store, and as LC continued to wander around the sale I asked the ladies manning the tables if they minded if I wandered around the property.
She smiled at me and told me to wander as much as I liked, but to be sure to check out the new foal that had recently been born.
Pointing me in the right direction I headed that way, eager to take a look at this new baby horse.
The first thing I saw was this beautiful leopard spot horse.
Her coloring was amazing, and after lifting her head briefly to check me out, this new mother quickly went back to eating...............
And there, sitting in a corner of the same pen as his mother, was new baby...............
He was not very old but he was very very cute and he made me smile.
As I thought about how cute he was I remembered (as I always do whenever I think something is cute) what my oldest son Sean had cynically but laughingly said to me one day many years ago when we were looking at a cute human baby.
All baby mammals are cute.
All baby mammals are cute......... 
I thought that day (as I did many times while he was growing up) "where does he come up with this stuff?" 
I suddenly stopped smiling but continued looking at and enjoying the sight of beautiful new baby horse, thinking that all baby mammals are cute..............
After enjoying momma and baby for a while I headed back the way I had come, taking in the tack shop for the first time................... 
The Best Little Horse House In The West.................
After taking one last picture of the outside of the building I called LC's cell phone number because he had disappeared.
While I had wandered towards the back of the property to see the new foal, LC had wandered inside the building.
With no interest in tack and tack products I walked into the store without conscious expectations, intending to simply meet back up LC.
When I walked into the store though I was taken aback by what was inside.
I wish I had taken pictures but did not think of it at the time.  Instead I walked around the store a little surprised.
It was a much bigger place on the inside than it looked to be from the outside, and the store was absolutely crammed with tack gear.
While LC and the store owner chatted I wandered around looking at gear that was unfamiliar to me, and eavesdropping on their conversation.
The owners have been in business for over 30 years and do business with people from all over the region.
More on the Frannie Tack Shop:
After leaving the store I dragged LC to the back of the property so that he could see the small foal..............
Views of irrigated pastures immediately across the road from the tack shop.
Barely visible on the horizon is a mirage-like section of the Big Horn Mountains..............
I snapped these pictures only this morning while heading back to the house.
I have passed this Llama almost every day since we arrived back in Wyoming, but she is usually too far away from the road for me to be able to take a decent picture of her.
This morning she was closer and I stopped for a few moments to catch her both grazing and then sitting contentedly in the field.
We see her so often that LC and I have named her Dolly Llama (after the religious leader Dalai Lama)............
One last picture of the metal mountain man sculpture that we saw so unexpectedly on the side of the road in a residential area of Deaver.................

"It’s impossible" said pride.
“It’s risky” said experience.
“It’s pointless” said reason.
“Give it a try” whispered the heart - Anonymous


  1. Greetings from Deaver! The building paintings were designed by Bill and Berta Newton. We, the owner at the time plus towns folk got together and painted in the late 80's.
    Nice picts. The sculptures are at my dad's place, Bill Newton. I think we have a great little town here! :o)

  2. Berta, I just found your post. Please accept my apologies for not seeing it before now. Thank you so much for providing insight into some of the great things we found in the tiny community of Deaver. It IS a great little town.