There are several ways to tell that summer is winding down here in Cody. The main thing is the rhythm. The vehicles pulling into, out of and through town are less dense with not as many rental RVs going past.
There are fewer families as kids are heading back to school. Up the Wapiti Valley those of us lucky enough to spot bears – from a safe distance, of course – see that they are getting a little chunky as they eat as much as possible in preparation for winter hibernation.
The bull elk start bugling and sparring as they try to impress the females for rutting season. That would not do much for me as I prefer cowboy love ballads over violent displays.
The air starts to turn a little cooler. As I pull jeans and sweaters out of the closet, I start thinking about my favorite fall things to do.
Here are just a few:
One of our most prestigious events of the year, Rendezvous Royale is staged the third week of September. The event includes the nationally known Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale with Western-themed art, a quick-draw event, auction, Western fashion show, seminars, studio tours and a ball. For more about the rendezvous, go online to www.rendezvousroyale.org/.
While seasoned anglers like me tackle trout action in the streams in and around Cody on their own, I suggest novices hire a fishing guide for their first foray. Fly fishing shops also offer maps and advice.
I love to check out fine Western art created by local artists at the Cody Country Art League, which shares a historic building – the original Buffalo Bill Museum – with the Cody Visitor Center. Artists with ties to the community display photography, oil and watercolor paintings, sculptures and more.
There are several hunting seasons in the fall – for pronghorn, deer, elk, moose and bighorn sheep. Dates for each season vary, and hunters should check for details and hunting regulations at http://gf.state.wy.us/admin/Regs/.
Cooler air and changing leaves mean hiking to me, and I am looking forward to tackling some new trails that I saw in a new book, “East of Yellowstone – A Hiker’s Guide to Cody.” Authored by JD Tanner and Emily Ressler-Tanner and available at Sunlight Sports, this book features maps, photos and hike specifications such as length, time, difficulty, best season, access and landowner information for 20 regional hikes.
For a refresher course on the history of the region, I go to the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center at the site of the Heart Mountain Internment Camp. It offers a glimpse of the lives of some 14,000 Japanese-American citizens who were interned there during World War II. From there I head to the five museums that comprise the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and I finish with a walking tour of our main street, Sheridan Avenue, and check out the town’s many historic buildings.
And that’s just a sampling.
If you are interested in joining me for any of these activities, just let the Chamber of Commerce know. And if you are interested in joining me as I pick out a new outfit for the Rendezvous Royale, just send me note along with a photo, valid identification and a promise to buy that outfit (and maybe a few accessories to go with it).
Until next time, I’m lovin’ life in Buffalo Bill’s Cody Yellowstone Country!