I think we've got it.
We are supposed to sign on our home next Friday.
It is located 2.5 miles from this lake.
On a very cool and damp Sunday last weekend LC, Kory and I visited the south end of Buffalo Bill Reservoir.
Down the South Fork.
2.5 miles from the home we will be buying.
We have visited the reservoir many times together and over the past couple of months I have kayaked a number of times here.
On this day it was cold, damp, still, silently beautiful.
The way the clouds sat, nestled just above and just around the surrounding mountains, the place suddenly and unexpectedly reminded me of Juneau.............
We have had two weeks now of temperatures in the 60s and low 70s.
More surprisingly, we have had a whole lot of rain.
More rain than I ever remember seeing in Cody.
Everything is endlessly green and lush, and that also is not something I am used to seeing in Cody.
The world looks beautiful.
As we all three walked on the dike that carved the lake into two (more-or-less) equal pieces, LC and I watched our happy puppy and talked about the house.
It is a good price for Cody but a little daunting to fully wrap our heads around.
We'll do it.
It was the choice we made.
We wanted to be here and we have to live somewhere, and this is a good home at a good price in a good place.
We are excited.
This is a great place for Kory to run.
The dike is 20 feet wide or so, with water on both sides.
There's nothing she can get into trouble with here, she has access to water when it is very hot and dry, and we can wander a long way...................
Running to us when we called her back.................
After a short walk along the dike we returned to the vehicle and headed further down the road, following the path around the lake.
On the spur of the moment we decided to drive some of Stagecoach Trail - a dirt road that we had not explored since the last time we were in Cody.
The paved road would soon turn to dirt, and with all the rain we had, we had no idea how muddy or rutted out the trail would be.
But eager to explore, we decided to give it a shot anyway..................
The very full and very fast slowing Shoshone River.
The boiling river has caused some problems in the past week.
A commercial raft missed its take-out, many of the raft occupants succeeded in making a jump for land.
Three did not.
An hour later two were pulled from the river by local citizens, and the third was rescued by the local Search And Rescue after leaving the raft and hanging on to a tree in the middle of the fast flowing river.
Yesterday a drunk inadvertently drove his truck off a cliff.
The truck landed nose first in the river.
It floated down stream for about half a mile, but when it began to sink the drunk bailed out of the truck.
SAR rescued him soon after, the cops charged the guy with DUI, and the truck will remain stranded in the river until water levels drop and it is safe to pull the truck out of the water....................
Reminds me SO much of Alaska.................
As we traveled the back half of the lake we eventually ended on Stagecoach Trail - a dirt road surrounded by grassy fields, grass filled hills, and tree filled mountains.
It is an isolated area free of homes.
Simply beautiful and empty land.
As we temporarily traveled away from the lake we came across this beautiful pair.
A mother antelope and her week old offspring.
When we first caught sight of her this mother had been standing in a field to our right.
We stopped the Suburban in the middle of the dirt trail to watch her, but it quickly became obvious that she was upset and distracted.
On an early summer day like this - in an isolated and mountainous place like this - our first thought is always bear (as in grizzly bear).
But that wasn't it at all.
After pacing back and forth for a few minutes she eventually ran across the road in front of us, and a minute later we understood why she had been so upset.
I don't know why she had separated from her baby, but I was glad to see them both reunited with each other...................
A few miles further down the increasingly muddy road and we were greeted by a small herd of grazing cattle, along with this big guy..............
The road conditions (mud and rutted out tracks) made for slow going, but the scenery was stunningly beautiful and we were in no hurry.
Aside from antelope and cattle we did not see another living soul for the two hours we traveled this road..................
LC and I have taken to calling our Suburban "The Beast"
It is rugged and tough, and so ugly it's beautiful.
Over the few years we have had it, it has become our BLM and off-road vehicle.
At one point we thought that LCs brother would buy it, but he didn't and I'm glad he didn't.
And after that cluster of an encounter we decided that we will not part with it.
We like it too much and it is too bomb-proof to sell.
But it needs new tires and those are coming soon.................
The last of the reservoir as it begins to feed into the river..................
Instead of picking up the highway as I expected we would, LC picked up a continuation of Stagecoach and we drove a little further, knowing that only a few miles further we would again reach the two lane highway of the North Fork.
We could drive home through Wapiti.
More views of the Shoshone River from the North Fork end...............
By the time we crossed over the river and picked up the two lane highway that would circle us back to Cody, LC and I were thirsty and a little hungry.
As we drove by the Wapiti Lodge I read the OPEN sign.
It was open and had drinks, beer, snacks, bait.
We didn't need beer or bait but could do with a little of the other two, and on the spur of the moment LC pulled a quick U-turn.
He still does them like a cop.
Quickly, easily, efficiently, as though it were second nature.
Which it was.
Which it is.
Leaving Kory in the Suburban, we headed inside in search of sustenance............
It was everything we thought it would be.
Log. Stone. Wood. Old photographs. Old paintings. Old furniture.
Nice but not high dollar nice, like so many other lodges were that sat closer to the East Gate of Yellowstone.
It was still early in the summer so the lodge was quiet.
I hoped that business picked up for them as the summer progressed...........
By the time we had wandered around parts of the lodge, talked with the owners, picked up drinks and chocolate bars and headed back outside, we were both ready to head towards home.
We were in Wapiti, alongside the North Fork of the Shoshone River.
The drive home would take us past the north end of the reservoir.
Beyond hugely expensive homes without water, that were high in the hills and mountains.
Beyond hugely expensive and expansive ranches in the lower lands.
It had been a good trip.
We have had offers accepted, bank loans financed, inspections passed, appraisals passed, signatures and offers and counter offers and addendums finalized.
It's never a done deal until it's a done deal.
But if all goes well we should be signing off on a home out the South Fork this time next week..................