Friday, October 5, 2012

Searching For A Buck - Part 1

For the past few days the weather (as predicted) has been extremely cold.
Close to freezing during the day, strong winds that make it feel even colder, and temperatures around 20 degrees over night.
Tonight it is forecasted to be 16 degrees.
To add to the fun we have also had periods of light but consistent snow in Cody.
I was wearing shorts only a few days ago, and so the ground here is warm and the snow is not sticking.
But it is beginning to cover the mountains that surround this small town, and yesterday we headed up towards Dead Indian Pass late in the day and what we found was a winter wonderland.
LC has a friend staying with us right now.  He is from Alabama and it is very strange to hear such a strong southern, Alabambian, redneck accent.  
He has been here for a few days (yes........we are blaming him for the cold weather) and will be with us for a total of 11 days.
This man is a hunting fool.
It must be in his DNA because he works to live, but lives to hunt.
This man shot one of the biggest bucks in Alabama last year.  I saw the pictures and the size of the buck was amazing.
He has been single for a long time.  He hunts everything he can as often as he can.  The man grows and cans his own vegetables and has a freezer filled with venison.
And he is funny.  Between his southern accent (which he can lay on a thinly or as thickly as the occasion calls for), his intelligence, and his propensity for joke telling, he has been an interesting house guest.
It is early in the hunting season here and so there are only a few areas open for hunting right now.  LC and this man have been on multiple scouting trips and a handful of hunting trips, but with a tag for a buck only, he has come home empty handed each trip.
Tomorrow he will ride into the mountains on horseback with a friend of ours who also is a hunting fool, and who knows the area so much better than we do. 
Fingers crossed that he finds what he is looking for.
These pictures were all taken by LC today and were taken in the Sunlight Basin area beyond Dead Indian Pass.
As with our trip yesterday evening, the entire place was covered with both snow and dense fog.
Visibility was low.  It was very cold.  And of course it was very beautiful.
LC's friend has come home empty handed each trip with a smile on his face.  Disappointed to not get the buck he wants, but also greatly enjoying the region.
He is seeing the beauty and ruggedness of Wyoming for the first time, and we are both glad to show it to him.
Dead Indian Pass on a very wintry and freezing cold day in early October..................
The last time I saw these little chipmunks was at this same pass in the mountains.
On that sunny and very warm day Jamie scared one down into a crack between the outer and inner walls of the low retaining wall.
It was a funny sight to see, watching Jamie try to stick her nose down as far as she could into the crack, and the little chipmunk chirping angrily back at her from his safe position.
My Mountain Boy told me that this morning one of these little guys actually approached him and climbed on top of his foot.
He thinks that tourists are feeding them and that they are becoming more acclimated to people.
Regardless, I am always amazed that these fragile looking creatures can both survive and thrive in these incredibly harsh conditions around 10,000 feet....................
The winding road far below the pass that leads to Crandall and Cooke City and the North East Gate of Yellowstone, complete with hair pin turns and indescribable beauty....................
After downloading the pictures that LC had taken today, I deeply regretted not going with them.
LC and I have traveled this way fairly often but we have never really pulled off the main road and headed down unknown gravel roads deep into the woods.
LC and his friend did that often this morning, exploring unknown roads in search of that elusive buck.
This place is beautiful in the summer.
It is stunning when completely enveloped in unexpected winter.................
Some previous blog entries about this same area:

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