Sunday, October 29, 2017

Homeless - Part 7

On October 10 we finally moved into the cottage we had secured while still living in Idaho.
We had rented it in downtown Cody for six months with the most basic of plan being to relax, wind down, look for property, and hunker down for the winter.
It would be our home-away-from-home until March (unless we found a home to buy before then), and we were both happy to finally see that it was very nice and very comfortable.
Right downtown, it was close to everything - parks, shopping, restaurants, all of it.
Containing a furnished and well supplied bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living room, and with all utilities (including wi-fi and cable) included, it was a very good deal.
If this had been summer we would be paying the same for five days stay that we were now paying monthly.
Thank goodness for the off season...............

After moving much of our belongings into the cottage LC and I looked at each other and smiled gratefully.
It had been an extraordinarily stressful month while closing on the house and moving, it had been a hectic drive from Idaho to Wyoming, it had been a good camping week and a good motel-staying week, but finally (finally) we would be settled for a while.
Settled someplace comfortable and warm.................

A few days after we arrived in Cody LC stopped by to visit with someone we had gotten to know the last time we were in Cody.
It was a very warm (unseasonably warm) day, and while standing at the front door of the cottage I held up the leash and looked at Kory, waiting for the predictable hysterical and excited lunge towards me that I knew was coming.
We would go for a walk.
I didn't have to wait long.
My excitable dog jumped as high as my head in ecstatic anticipation of a forthcoming adventure, and it took me a minute to settle her down long enough so I could put the leash on her.
Safely secured on leash we headed out the front door, carefully crossed over the street (my country dog would have to learn about traffic) and began to wander.
A few minutes after we had begun I looked over and saw this mural.
It was painted on the back wall of a commercial building and had not been there when we were last in Cody.
It was new.  A mural after my own heart.  A colorful graphic filled with rock climbers and kayakers and cross country skiers.
I liked it very much and it made me smile.
The stress of so many weeks was gone now.
We didn't have to pack or store or drive or obsess over where we were going to stay next or the ever-changing and fast-approaching winter.
We could just..........walk.  And enjoy a very sunny and very warm day in downtown Cody.
It was all good..............
The old, historic post office (now home to a number of small commercial businesses)................
In the center of town is a park.
It contains a large green space, multiple picnic tables, tennis courts, mini golf, a childrens play area and a covered stage that is home to everything from music concerts to political rallies throughout the year.
It is directly across the street from the high school, and so the park is often filled (when the weather is nice) with young people eating lunch or relaxing and talking in groups.
It is also adjacent to Sheridan Avenue (which is the major commercial street in town) and next door to the Cody Visitor Center, so throughout summer this park is also a favorite stop for tourists.
One of the very first things I noticed about this park was this bronze statue of Buffalo Bill Cody with a small child on his shoulders.
When I look at this statue I remember the first time I saw it.
That was back in the early spring of 2011...........

We had left Juneau Alaska the previous month, were floundering and lost, and were exhausted from the toxic job and toxic people I had been battling.
We had no idea where we were going next or what we were going to do next, and somehow we ended up in Cody WY on a whim.
Neither of us had ever been to Wyoming before and we thought that we would stop here for a short period of time and see this new place before moving on.
Moving on to where.......we had no idea at the time.
We pulled into Cody, drove to the far end of town and parked our vehicles next to the hospital.
And then we climbed a few steps and stood next to the Buffalo Bill Cody statue that is pictured at the top of this blog entry, looking back at the full length of downtown.
Cody Wyoming looked NOTHING like I had expected.
Downtown was expansive with wide streets, which was a shock after the beautiful claustrophobia of downtown Juneau.
But when I turned around and looked at the hills and mountains around us I was speechless.
Where were all the trees?  I thought they had trees in Wyoming?
Apparently not.
At that time of year (in early spring) everything looked brown and barren and bleak (to overuse alliteration).
I turned to LC and all I could say was "It looks like the Afghan-Pakistani border region".
I wasn't impressed.
That was the same day we explored downtown on foot for the first time.
And the first time I saw this statue..................
This is now the third time that we have been to Cody.
It keeps calling us back, and I think that it's about time we paid attention to that fact, respected that fact, and figured out a way to make it work so we can stay here.................
I let Kory wander in the park for a long time doing her Kory things.
Smelling all the new odors that the park contained.
Marking this territory time and again.
Visiting with random high school kids that we came across in our travels.
One day we were at the reservoir in Meeteetse (while still staying at the motel there).
It was a cold and windy day and LC and I stood at the top of one of the steep hills that overlooked the water, watching while our dog happily ignored the weather and ran with abandon up and down each hill.
When she ran to the bottom of the hill adjacent to the boat ramp we watched her and smiled at this most personable of animals.
There were five adults fishing down there.
Two were sitting in camp chairs and were fishing from the shore.
Two were standing, balanced precariously on rocks along the edge of the lake, and one had walked back to fetch something from the back of his truck.
Even though they were all spread out, Kory made a point of visiting with every one of them.  
Every one of them stopped what they were doing to lean down and pet a very friendly dog who was happily meeting and greeting with them.
We will have had Kory for four years next month.
She was two days away from being put down when we adopted her from that shelter back in Florida and picked her up at the Boise airport.
November 6 I think was the exact date we drove to Boise to get her.
She was a stranger to us then.
We had never met her and she had never met us, and I had no idea how this was all going to work out.
This beautiful, loving, athletic dog would have been dead four years ago if we hadn't adopted her...............

There are wonderful statues all over Cody and I am certain that I will take pictures of most of them eventually.
Two statues outside the Cody Visitors Center.............
Walking beyond the Visitors Center my pup and I crossed over the very busy Sheridan Avenue and headed towards the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
We have never been inside before.
We'll have to change that soon:
Random pictures of some of the sights on the grounds of this museum:
Click on any of the pictures and it will enlarge.............
Together we wandered to the back of the museum and eventually circled back to the place where I was first introduced to Cody.
This time it was Kory (and not Jaimie) that climbed the steps with me................
Standing at the top of the stairs I stood beside Bill Cody and looked back towards town.
Reaching into the side pocket of my pants I grabbed my phone and called LC.
Asked where he was and what he was doing, and he told me that he would meet me at the statue in just a few minutes.
As I waited I looked around me.
It was late fall.
There were still some tourists but they were mostly gone now.
Turning I looked at the mountains around me.
I had hiked all the way to the top of Cedar Mountain and Heart Mountain when we were here last time.
We had explored the top of Rattlesnake Mountain on one very long day when we were here last, and had had a very scary drive back down.
All the green of spring and summer was gone, and so was the yellow of fall.
Everything was brown and barren.
But it didn't look bleak anymore.
I have been out west for a fair number of years now.
Been to Wyoming three times.  To Cody three times.
I understand this terrain now.
It's not bleak at all................

10 minutes later Kory and I watched as LC turned off Sheridan, drove by the hospital, drove by the statue that we were standing under, and pulled into a parking spot.
He climbed out of the Tahoe and walked towards us, and when Kory saw him it was all I could do to hold my dog back..................

 My restless, roaming spirit would not allow me to remain at home very long..............Buffalo Bill
My restless, roaming spirit would not allow me to remain at home very long. Buffalo Bill
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