I want to publicly thank my cousin Rita for giving me her cold. I returned from Denver with just a sniffle and during the past week it bloomed into the first, full-fledged cold I've had in at least 5 years.
Lots of Kleenex, runny nose and watering eyes, chest congestion and loud sneezing made me the most perfect person to great guests as they arrived at YVI for vacation. I worked my 7 hours, grabbed a bowl of soup as I walked through the kitchen on my way back to Winnie and immediately went back to bed.
Halfway through the week The Gleason's arrived from MN to spend 4 days seeing the West for the very first time. Harv & Ginny were our wonderful neighbors for many years and their boys and mine were good friends. After spending their first full day in Cody 'doing' all 5 museums that encompass the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, taking the Trolley Tour of Cody, enjoying a great lunch on the porch of the Irma, walking around town doing a little window-shopping, I headed back to YVI while they took in the Gunslinger's Shoot-out. Yesterday we 'did the Park.'
Since I had purposely left the back seat of my Jeep in MN to allow for packing lots of 'stuff'', I jerry-rigged a metal lawn chair with bungie cords to where the regular Jeep seat would have been, Harv climbed in and away we went.
As you can see from the pictures, the snow has melted , Spring and an abundance of wildflowers have come to Yellowstone. Though you can still see massive damage from the '89 fire, under the charred tree trunks green grass grows, small, new seedling pines, and now blue, yellow and pink wildflowers have taken root to re-nourish and continue replenishing the Park.
On the way to Old Faithful, which continues to erupt every 90 minutes to the pleasure of 100's of viewers each day, a stately elk decided to cross the highway directly in front of my Jeep. It was almost like he planned his crossing in front of all the cars knowing there was a stop sign there and we would all stop just for him.
We did the entire South Loop, all 205 miles. At the end of a 14-hour day and a very nice dinner at the Bill Cody Ranch we got back to YVI where I collapsed and Harv and Ginny headed into Cody and the Irma. Today they went off to do Beartooth Pass and Red Lodge and I did laundry and defrosted the fridge! Tomorrow they head from The Tetons and Jackson while I try and get rid of this damn cold!
And now a few passing thoughts I don't think I've shared with you all....Wyoming smells. It has this very distinct smell of oranges. Seriously. You drive along the highway or walk along a sidewalk and you smell only what I can describe as oranges. I asked a bunch of locals what it was and they hadn't a clue. I remember the mock-orange bushes we had planted below our windows at our house in MN and that's all I could think of but I couldn't find them here. So I kept sniffing and one day, walking by one of the 100 of Russian olive trees that grown here I stopped, rubbed the leaves together and....oranges! Mystery solved.
A varied week coming up. Besides work, Cody is getting de-clawed and I get a haircut. Saturday is 'Art in the Beartooth' in Red Lodge and I've made reservations to attend the big art fair in Jackson mid-August which will take me through The Tetons.
Life continues and I've sill got to attend a rodeo and drive the Oh My God! highway before my time in the West is over. Until next time...take care of each other.