Thursday, December 6, 2012

Walking The Quiet Downtown

One afternoon last week I had errands to run in town.
The day was beautiful.  Warm.  Unseasonably warm as so much of the area has been to date this winter.
When LC's Alabama-redneck friend came out to Cody on a hunting trip in early October the weather was completely freezing, and as we (and he) headed into the mountains of Sunlight Basin the snow came.
I had assumed at that point that winter was here to stay and that we would henceforth (and for the indefinite future) be firmly entrenched in meat locker like temperatures in the high desert. 
Instead, winter has been a stop and start affair.
Snow, rain, clouds, sun, wind, warmth and even heat, have made up the eclectic weather in Cody Wyoming from October until now.
And so it was on this day. 
The jacket I had worn only the day before was gratefully left in the truck, and as I parked on a side road in the center of town I decided that in addition to errands I would also just window shop.
It sounds like a nice way to spend a couple of hours and actually it was.
But also actually, it was really only the aimless, wandering aimlessly.
As with my entire life nowadays - by all appearances, all perfectly normal to the world.
The picture above was taken outside a restaurant. 
Bald eagles are seen in this area but are not nearly as common as golden eagles, and I smiled when I saw this wonderful wooden icon.
It stood alone on the side of the rustic looking building, guarding the entrance and watching over Sheridan Avenue.
Carved out of wood and brilliantly painted I stood regarding it for a moments, until finally deciding that yes.......I liked it very much.

A view of the court house which is located across the road from the downtown park.
This is where I became an American citizen just a few months ago..................
Sheridan Avenue looking east.
Sheridan Avenue is the main thoroughfare running through this small western town of Cody.
Sheridan downtown is also Tourist Central.
The Irma Hotel is located on Sheridan, as is the city park, the Chamber of Commerce and the Visitors Center.
It contains numerous restaurants with beef (not surprisingly) ranking high on most menus.
And finally Sheridan contains an eclectic mix of retail operations.
Outdoor stores, t-shirt stores, Cody and Yellowstone mementos ranging from the extremely cheap to the extremely expensive, home decor stores and untold numbers of art stores.
Museums - art, Native American and cowboy, gun.
There are also multiple outfitters - rafting, fishing, skiing, horseback riding.
In short, all the stores and commercial operations that you would expect to find in a small town that mostly caters to brief-stop-over tourists who are on their way to Yellowstone National Park.
There are wonderfully graphic signs located throughout downtown, and all of them speak to icons of the west.
Deer, antelope, Native American, elk, big horn sheep, cowboys, buffalo.
All nods to both the town of Cody and the history of this area.
You see them in the form of large graphics such as the fish below.
They can be found on benches, on signs, on posters, in paintings, on statues, and on the surface of a variety of surfaces including glass, stone, wood, ceramics and more.
It is part of the charm - and part of the expectations of visitors to such a town.
The sight of them pleases me, and amuses me.
Some are beautiful.  Some are charming.  Some are just ridiculously and outrageously tacky.............
This town is non-stop activity, wall to wall special events, unending traffic both vehicle and foot, throughout the summer.
In December it is only blissful and peaceful and welcome quiet..................
Across the road from the Irma is a very large painting on the exterior of a building.
I have taken pictures of the entire painting a number of times in the past, but on this day decided that I would instead take smaller pictures of individual pieces of this painting.
Some pictures did not turn out well, but some were worthy of being posted.
All are representative of the cowboy culture of the west...........
Another walk downtown on another day........

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