Monday, May 6, 2019

Soon Playing Tourst

 April was a very busy month.
Major changes to my small business - that pretty much cratered through the winter (as most businesses do in Cody during those silent and cold months), and  that ate up both a lot of time and a lot of energy.
 April was also dominated by weather that alternated between regular rain and regular snow.
Every once in a while LC's social media accounts pull up pictures that I have posted on his pages over the past few years.
The other day I took a second look at pictures that I had posted at the same time last year.
Last year spring was very sunny, very dry and very warm.
Such a difference a year makes.
We ate brunch on a Sunday morning at the historic Irma Hotel a few weeks ago, and then took a walk along Sheridan Ave, which is the main tourist strip in Cody.
The park (Yellowstone National Park) opened last week, and already Sheridan Ave looks completely different.
Flags and banners and colorful signs and cars parked along both sides of the road and endless traffic moving from one end of the strip to the other.
Even this early into tourist season the in-town campgrounds are partially full.
But on THIS day - just a few weeks ago - the park was closed, it was cold and drizzling rain, most of the stores were still closed for the season, and the world was still very quiet.
The quiet before the storm...................

There are two distinct parts to the Cody Courthouse.
In back is the new addition - a nice looking stone and glass building, with carpeted floors and local artwork.
 The original Court House was built very early in the last century.
Inside the old section are marble floors, deep wood doors and trim, high ceilings and a feeling of going back in time.
The two - the old and new portions of the one Cody Courthouse - blend seamlessly together.
It is a beautiful building resting in a park like setting of grass and pines.................
 We've never made it into this small museum (mostly because it seems to only be open during inconvenient hours).
We'll try to make a point of exploring inside one day this summer.................
 This painting is iconic and typical-Wyoming.
Located across the street from the Irma Hotel..................
 LC has coveted this Mountain Man statue ever since we first saw it, not long after moving back to Cody.
It is about 2 feet high.  Maybe more.  Very detailed.  And priced at just over $2000.
Unless we win the lottery he will have to keep enjoying it through a store front window........................
 Looking down the length of Sheridan Avenue.
Buried in the fog and mist is Rattlesnake Mountain.
One of the very first things that struck both LC and me the very first time we turned onto Sheridan way back in 2011 was how wide the street looked.
It doesn't just LOOK wide.  It IS wide.
One lane of parking on each side, two lanes of traffic each way, and a center turn lane the entire length of the street.
We learned just recently that that was by design, by Bill Cody during the original planning of the town.
Cody wanted the main street in his name-sake-town to be wide enough to turn a horse drawn wagon (without having to go around the block).
Sheridan won't look this empty again until late September now...............
 Just a random truck that LC liked while we were all walking.................
 I don't know if this art studio is awesome or not, but I sure liked their sign...............
 Sheridan Ave is filled with all the tourist businesses you would expect in a town located only 50 miles from the East Gate of YNP.
Fishing, sporting goods, t-shirts and jewelry, boots and cowboy hats, rustic art and rustic furniture, fast food and sit-down restaurants, art galleries, and more.
Locals (and I suppose that would include us now) avoid Sheridan Ave during the summer, like the plague.
I don't blame them.
It's crazy busy during those months.
But every once in a while it can be fun to "play tourist" - to visit the businesses that you don't normally visit the rest of the year.  
To see the art, eat the ice cream, listen to the music.  
To people watch.  
To take your time and get into the rhythm of those who are seeing our town perhaps for the very first time.
When you view Cody through THEIR eyes, it is like seeing the town again ourselves.
For the very first time....................
 You've always been a tourist here. You just didn't know it............Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

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