Thursday, August 23, 2018

Walk Around The Lake

On this late afternoon deep into summer, my sweet dog and I left LC at one of two fishing piers that are located at either end of Markham Reservoir, waved goodbye, and went for a long walk.
Beck Lake and Markham Reservoir are wonderful natural spaces that are located right in town.
Beloved (rightfully so) places to spend time outdoors without having the leave the city limits.
Over this past summer Kory and I have walked around both lakes often.
I have kayaked these places.
LC has fished these places.
A couple of times I mountain biked the trails surrounding the lakes until finally giving up on the effort, after deciding that there were too many rattlesnakes hidden in too-high grass, too little shade for an overheated woman, and too little of interest on the trails to keep me entertained while biking.
God I miss the base.
The military base back in Tennessee where I spent endless hours over endless weeks over endless months over endless years trail running, trail riding, kayaking.
There are things I always miss about Tennessee - the trees, the fall colors, the waterways, the base.
Not enough to ever want to go back there, but sometimes I do miss those things....................
This day (as with so many immediately before it and immediately after it) was very hot and very dry.
We walked slowly, enjoying the natural beauty of the lakes and flowers, and I watched with pleasure as my dog took multiple quick swims and drinks from the lake.
My desert dog has happily turned into a lake dog.................
My little camera could not zoom in far enough to capture a good picture of the two pelicans on the lake.
I remember being shocked the first time I saw pelicans in Cody.
It was out at Buffalo Bill Reservoir the first time we landed in Cody years ago now - close to where we now live - and I was stunned to see the handful of pelicans bobbing in the water close to one of the small islands that inhabit a section of the lake.
Since that first time I have seen them often.
As with the seagulls that reside in this area, I suppose they must have blown in on the winds...................
While Kory and I wandered along the paved trails surrounding the lake I looked up in the hills and watched as a couple of mountain bikers pedaled by us.
A dog excitedly ran alongside one of the riders.
There was no way I could bike outside on a day like this.
It was almost 100 degrees.
Zero shade.
Overgrown sandy and cactus filled trails.
Little to hold my interest.
Almost 100 degrees................
The lake to my left and this irrigation canal to my right...............
Heart Mountain.
The same place I hiked to the top of back in June (and which I still need to blog about).
The same place that has been almost completely hidden for the past month.
Hidden behind the smoke of endless wild fires that have been consuming the entire western side of the country...............
By the time my dog and I rounded the back side of Markham Reservoir the sun was beginning to descend on the horizon.
We still had plenty of daylight left, it was still very hot but not "quite" as hot as when we first set out, and we had another 20 minutes of walking left to do before arriving at the fishing pier where I had left LC.
It was going to be a very beautiful evening.................
A kayaker on the lake.
The Cody Airport lights and airstrip directly across the lake from us.
And in the distance was the start of McCullough Peaks.................
Cedar Mountain on the left.
Rattlesnake Mountain on the right................
The first fishing pier.
LC was at the next one, 15 minutes further down the flat paved trail we were hiking...................
Since he was both the start point and the finish point of our hike, it would have made sense to take a picture of LC when I was done, but I did not.
Instead, I took this picture as we were almost there.
Instantly enamored and distracted by the light and shadow and reflections in front of me.
This whole place is entirely gorgeous.
It is well used by walkers and bikers and fishermen and kayakers and canoers and swimmers and picnic-ers.
Dogs play at the dog park.
Dogs walk with their owners around the lakes.
Little kids play on the swings while moms and dads sit at picnic tables.
The lakes are beautiful.
The views of the surrounding mountains are wonderful.
Just a quiet and beautiful place..................

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.............Wallace Stevens
Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake. Wallace Stevens
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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Busy Summer

So much has been happening recently that my head is spinning, and I finally realized a couple of days ago that it had been a month since I last blogged.
A burgeoning small business that is taking up huge amounts of my time and energy as I work hard to get it off the ground.
The business is slightly (but only slightly) off the beaten path and slightly (but only slightly) little more than a hole in the wall.
LC and I had little money and zero connections in town and yet..........and's working.
I have been paying all bills since the first month of operation which is extraordinary.
And a couple of days ago someone looked at me and said "you have the best store in town".  
I was a little stunned and a lot appreciative (and whether it was an overstatement or not can be left up to each visitor to my business), but regardless I am very appreciative for kind words and ever increasing support.
Good deal.
Very good deal...............
I have been working six days a week since the business opened in mid-April (and not much less than that for the two months leading up to opening as I put it all together) but I am loving every minute of it.
As the saying goes "if you do what you love, you'll never work another day in your life".
That's not EXACTLY true, but there is definitely something to it.
Creating something from nothing.
The long hours will change at the end of September as Cody begins to wind itself down for the winter and as the days get shorter..........

LC, Kory and I have had a hundred small adventures throughout this summer. 
A summer that is slowly (but irrevocably) coming to an end.
For months (first at the house in town that we were renting) and then later at the house we bought out the South Fork, the three of us quickly got into the habit of searching for adventure once I got home from work.
Bag thrown in the corner.  Lap top dropped in another corner.
Grab the camera.  Grab a couple of bottles of water.  Try and catch up with Kory who had been barking and bouncing off the walls in anticipation, from the moment I had pulled into the drive way..............

Those adventures have taken us to Beck Lake, to see the wild horses, out to Buffalo Bill Reservoir, far out the South Fork, out onto BLM land all over the surrounding area.
They have taken us on fishing trips, and hiking trips, and swimming trips, and picture taking trips.
It has been a crazy busy, endlessly busy, exciting and exhilarating and tiring summer.
Filled with the purchase of a home, the birth of a new Cody business, a move into a rental and then a few months later still one more move.
It has been a summer filled with quick dinners eaten at 8pm.  Or 9pm.  Or never mind, it's too late to eat dinner, I'll just grab a bowl of cereal...................
These pictures were all taken sometime in July at the lake close to the house we purchased.
I went kayaking for a few hours with the same woman that I shared a number of quiet and enjoyable adventures with early in the summer.
At some point she and I (without either one of us realizing it at the time) tried to buy the same day pack from the same woman on one of those online Face Book classified sites.
I got the pack.
My kayaking buddy interpreted the loss as my buying the pack out from underneath her and never spoke to me again.
I had no idea until after the fact, that Kelly had also been trying to buy the pack.
I never pursued her decision to stop communicating with me.
If someone would walk away from an easy-going, low key and adventurous relationship without a word, I'm not one to lose sleep over it.
An unfortunate development that did not have to happen, but it is what it is................
This early morning kayaking trip was the last time we ventured out together.
The world was silent and still and beautiful....................
Our turn-around point, about 90 minutes into our kayaking trip..............
Kelly saw this guy before I did and I wondered what she was staring at until I finally turned and saw her.
She was standing silently at the top of a hill, staring down at us, obviously mesmerized by us.
Both Kelly and I stopped paddling and quietly smiled over at each other, happy to be out on the still water on this early Sunday morning and happy to be engaged in a staring contest with a lone antelope.
A few minutes later we continued on with our trip back.
The antelope was still standing in the same place, staring at us.
Click on the picture to enlarge...............
Pictures taken later that same day, on a drive a few miles further out the South Fork.
Picture of the south fork of the Shoshone River - still raging and high, even this late into the summer...................
A beautiful summer night in a beautiful place, just a few miles from the house.
We LOVE living here..................
My father has been battling cancer for a couple of years now and there were times when I wondered if he was going to make it.
My mother has also been battling cancer over this past year.
Last month my sister contacted me to say that the treatments my mother had been receiving were no longer working, and the doctors were going to send her home and focus on making her as comfortable as possible.
She has been given 3-4 months to live.................