It has been one year and 2 months since we have moved to Cody, Wyoming. I thought it would be good to make a list of the things I love about this area, and perhaps a few of the things I have had to get used to. We will start with the things I love about Cody.
1. NO traffic. Even in the busy tourist months, you just can't get frustrated with the RV's and motorcycles.
2. The energetic atmosphere. People of Cody LOVE to live here. They are excited. There is always something happening, any time of the year, to celebrate being here.
3. The sky. So many stars at night, the Milky Way arching over us. I have never seen so many varying kinds of clouds, sunsets, storms. And most of winter, when it is c-c-c-cold, it is still brilliant blue, with sun bouncing off the white snow in the mountains, on the ground, and on the trees.
4. So much natural, rugged beauty to take in. Whether going for a walk around the block, or a day trip down the Southfork, I can just look and look. And then there is Yellowstone next door.
5. The schools. The kids love their schools! They have never been so involved, never had so many opportunities to discover their talents for learning. And gang activity is not an issue, as it has been in every other place we have lived.
6. It is a small town (pop. 8000), but doesn't feel so small. I would never have thought a town this small would have 3 Mexican restaurants, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese sushi, a BBQ place, 3 steak houses, 4 deli-type places, not to mention Pizza Hut, Dominos, and a local pizza place, Quiznos, Subway, McD's, BK, DQ, Wendy's, Taco Bell, KFC, Taco Johns, Granny's, coffee shops, etc. We have a Super Walmart and Albertson's, and an historical Main Street full of fun shops with everything from clothing to candy, to art (there are like 6 galleries), to home decor, to books and toys, to souvenirs, to western shootouts in the Summer. A world class museum, auditorium and theater, 2 dance studios, 2 movie theaters (although one is historic, but updated, with only one screen), and lots of touristy things to do and see. River rafting guides, fly fishing guides, rock climbing guides, hunting guides...
7. The slower pace. Not much "keeping up with the Jones's" here. You are respected for doing your best with what you have, and a lot of people do.
8. The summer temperatures of 85 degrees, average. Aaaahhhhh.
9. The history. Pretty fun living in THE Wild West.
10. The topography. The mountains that surround us are gorgeous and every one unique. My favorites: The Carters to the south, especially with snow and sun, Sunlight Basin to the Beartooths, NW, especially in early Summer, and Heart Mtn., directly to the North, just across the Shoshone river, in plain view from our street. We may not have fruited plains, but we have mountains' majesty.
Now some things we are getting used to:
1. Deer in town. This is not a bad thing, we just have to keep and eye out. It is pretty cool to have a 5 point buck cross the street in front of you. Or pull in to your friend's driveway and notice from your tail lights that there are 20 deer on her neighbor's lawn. Or know that as you leave the rec. center the road crosses a deer highway, so you figure you will see some. Or when you come out of the movie theater you must be careful backing out of your parking spot, you never know.
2. People complaining about Summer traffic. Haha. Guy, go to Seattle. Or Utah.
3. Keeping kids' faces and hands warm in teen degree weather. This is a job.
4. Halloween. No pumpkins on the porch... they turn to mush. No trick-or-treating in neighborhoods. Everyone starts at 5 p.m. on Main Street, to all the businesses, so you see everyone, get done before your nose falls off (whether it is real or fake) from the freezing temperatures, and go home to hot cocoa or cider, soup, and pumpkin donuts. Mmmmm.
5. Gardening. It is a trick. I learned a lot this year. I will miss growing lavender and dogwood trees. But Russian sage and crabapple trees do well, so I have switched. Which leads me to...
6. Paying 1.29/lb. for apples. How I miss the .39/lb. fujis in Walla Walla, WA, right from the orchard!
7. The smoking. A lot of cigarette smoke. People, c'mon. We are living in the "Wild West", not the "Old West". We know things now, like how that can kill you in some of the the worst ways possible. And it smells.
8. It is far away from my family. But we have made the trip a few times, and it is not so bad. The drive through Montana and northern Idaho is beautiful. And, if we leave at 8 am, we get there at 6 pm, which is not too shabby.
O.K., I don't have 10 of those. We do love it here and encourage visitors! We can't wait for my parents to come here this week. Fall is a great time to come, and I am hoping my Mom will get to see a Grizzly Bear in Yellowstone.
Hooray for Cody!
pictures: (top to bottom) "Sky after PowWow", "Waiting for city fireworks at church", "Rainbow on Cedar Mtn.", "Snow Halloween morning", "High wind clouds at dusk", "Sunset over Yellowstone Gateway", "Heart Mtn. in June"