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Although Cody winters are relatively mild compared to many parts of the country, by about February, some of my friends and neighbors in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country are starting to show signs of cabin fever.

My neighbor barely returned my wave when we were both out shoveling the other day, and when declining my invitation to join me for some prime rib at the Irma Hotel followed by a drink in the Chamberlin Inn’s solarium, my best friend informed me that she wasn’t emerging from her house until the first bears start emerging from theirs. (Last year the first den-exiting bear was sighted on Feb. 9, so my rather dramatic friend may not have long to wait.)

Walking My Way Through Winter

The Center of the West grounds offers great areas to walk.

But I have a better solution to grumbling or hiding until the end of winter: strap on your step-tracker and walk it off. Like nearly else everyone around here, I have a good pair of heavily treaded, waterproof hiking boots. And from now until spring I intend to wear them every day and go for a walk or hike.

Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country is home to more than 25 developed parks and miles of trails. Since I live close to town, I can easily walk to some great city parks. Yesterday I walked from my house to City Park right across from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, then walked two laps around the park, and back home by way of Sheridan Ave. I couldn’t resist wandering into a few of our local shops and galleries. By the time I got home I’d registered well over 10,000 steps.

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The Irma Hotel provides rest for the weary walker.

When I have the time for a longer walk I head to Cody’s Beck Lake Park & Recreation Areasouth of town. Throughout this beloved park you’ll see people walking and biking its trails, fishing and picnicking practically year-round. Winter and spring are especially interesting at the park because the two lakes and two reservoirs that comprise it are also home to more than 80 species of waterfowl and songbirds. Things get pretty active around here in the late winter and early spring. I like to find a relatively quiet spot in the park, close my eyes and simply listen to the music of Mother Nature.

Until next time, I’m walking my way through winter and loving life here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.