Dubois Love Letter #1: A Study in Contrasts

cropped-petesgate.jpg Fifteen minutes’ drive west of Dubois, you are hiking in high alpine forest.

The scent of sage mixes with the fragrance of pine. The air is so cool you may need an extra layer in midsummer.

Your eyes behold the most beautiful color combination in nature: sagebrush and lupine.

You’re only a few miles from the Continental Divide here.

Just a mile or two east of this spot the spectacular red-rock badlands begin. They rise stunningly over the center of town, and continue to a long distance to the the east, standing above the valley like a vast array of monuments.

hikers_072215From a distance they look like solid rock, but up close you find that they are slowly dissolving sand. My husband calls them “melting ice-cream,” in geologic terms.

These hikers have just completed a hot and dry hike up Mason’s Draw and back, stopping often to give the dogs (and themselves) a drink of water.

Where they turned back at the top of the draw, it seemed as silent as the back side of the moon, except for the breeze.

Here you see the kinds of flowers that dominate in one landscape (left) and the other, just a short drive away (right).


Want to read more about living in Dubois WY? You can read weekly updates via email using the link at the top of the right column.
© Lois Wingerson 2015

Independence Day In Dubois (A July 4 Scrapbook)

Lucky tourists stumble on our charming parade. Some folks travel a long way on purpose to see it.

Dubois July 4
Slow, but far quicker than the original, a Conestoga wagon starts the parade.
Dubois July 4
“Dudes” from the CM Ranch, the first guest ranch to be established in the upper Wind River Valley, join the Independence Day parade every year.

The thing to do on July 4 in Dubois is to catch the parade, which must rival any in the United States for charm and originality.

Another thing to do is find a spot under an awning, or bring an umbrella. The volunteer firefighters come by near the end of the event to offer a refreshing shower — or a moment of embarrassment for the unprepared.

The parade is a lucky find for visitors who happen to be in Dubois that week. But some out-of-towners travel quite a distance on purpose, just to experience it.

Dubois July 4
The CM Ranch also likes to feature its vintage fire engine. Behind it you can see the Twin Pines Lodge (and cabins), which is about as old and venerable the CM Ranch. The “vacancy” sign is often dark.

We met some people from Cody who had come to Dubois just to catch the parade. They said that to get a decent viewing spot in Cody you have to stake out your location days ahead.

Dubois July 4
This “race car” powered by a custom-restored antique agricultural “hit and miss” engine makes its way along the parade route every year at a suitably moderate speed.
Dubois July 4
Another interesting mode of transport, brought to town by someone proud to show it off to neighbors again this year.
Dubois July 4
Deb proudly shows off her own means of independence, representing the new assisted living facility, Warm Valley Lodge. The Lodge itself represents independence for many long-term residents of this warm valley, who no longer have to decamp to a large city somewhere else when they begin to need help day to day.
This wonderful vintage ambulance was one of several military vehicles in the parade. Sorry we didn’t catch pictures of the authentic WWII tanks also owned by a resident of the valley. There’s easily enough space out here to store vehicles like that year round, out of sight.
Dubois July 4
After the parade, St. Thomas Episcopal Church sponsored its annual ice cream social (handmade vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and cherry). The line of hot and hungry spectators reached all the way to the corner. (Here you see the last of those served.)
Dubois July 4
Here’s what I brought to coffee hour at St. Thomas church on July 5. The color scheme was complete serendipity: As I pulled the third item out of the oven, it suddenly dawned on me what I had created.

Want to read more about living in Dubois WY? You can read weekly updates via email using the link at the top of the right column.
© Lois Wingerson 2015

Don’t Like the Weather?


At long last, back in Dubois.

This is the moment we have waited for! The dog and I set off west up the highway towards the Sheridan Creek area, just inside the Shoshone National Forest. Here is the alpine high-mountain forest region of the local ecosystem. A few minutes back down the highway, we could be clambering around in red-rock badlands. That’s for another day …

Today we’ll do an easy hike, just up the main road. Mustn’t push myself, only one day after I have returned to 7.500 feet above sea level.

Oh, no! What’s that heading in from the southwest? Ominous; there’s thunder.

Drat! We turn back towards the car.

Partway back, I turn around. What’s this?


Want to read more about living in Dubois WY? You can read weekly updates via email using the link at the top of the right column.

© Lois Wingerson 2015

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