Friday, January 15, 2010

The Occidental Hotel in Buffalo WY

I am sitting amidst the greatest blessing tonight- I am in an honest
to goodness small town America watching a bluegrass gathering
strumming out songs with members varried- a gal with slow food
stickers on her guitar case, an old man on the fiddle, a teenage boy
on a guitar, ranchers and wilderness advocates. There is a darling old
couple dancing- he is bent from age but they shuffle in rhytm near the
pool table.

Hey forget just watching- I danced with the gentleman. Note he must be
80 or 90 but I do remember my 2 step decently. While I am writing to
observe life I also take a moment or 25 to simply revel in
experiencing this wonderous experience surrounded by such vibrant life
(and animal heads mounted on the wall). From the tentative seeming
first time singer to the people who seem to melt into the surroundings
with ease. It's like watching a river flow down through the rocks-
moving, alive, and seeming a million parts while all one organic

So later I will update you on the crazy happenings of the last couple
of nights including snow, a shotgun, a truck, snow, and an attempt to
see a petrified tree... but tonight started with watching a film
festival with some of the field office folks for a local wilderness
society... Big powder telemarking and environmental messages...

Damn I needed this night and the fire queen was right- this town
delivers and is very worth truly experiencing...

Monday, January 11, 2010


So when the major airlines do not fly into an airport it's a hint that I'm in for a different sort of travel. First off- Great Lakes Airline does not appear to go to many places in the Great Lakes but they sure do travel to random places in Wyoming.

Today I boarded a plane with propellers. First note... when flying Great Lakes Airlines you can only have one carry-on. Second note... there is only seat on either side of the aisle which is a bad sign if you like big planes. It was a smooth flight though on the noisy nausea inducing side. We landed in Sheridan Wyoming after a bit. The landing was fine though a bit bouncier than I'm used to.

So Sheridan is officially the smallest airport I've ever been to. Now I know I usually travel to major cities but I have flown into airports with 2 or 4 gates. Nope... this one has only one gate. So when you walk through the doors from the tarmac you are already on the unsecure side. I went to go get my rental car and there were 2 counters with one gal each. When she was giving directions to get the car the instructions startled me... So when you walk outside they are parked there. I mean the rental cars are where people pick-up/drop-off. I am so used to TSA shooing people away from any terminals that I couldn't fathom what I'm being told. Then when I was asking for directions to the freeway I simply said... oh I can just follow the signs to the freeway. She said- oh there are no signs just follow this street...

Then as I was leaving the airport and heading through to get to the town it was illuminated how different of a world I was in... I had to stop for a flock of wild turkeys to cross the road. They cruised without worry or bother or hurry plunking across the road. The weather outside was nice in the 40s but there is still a good deal of snow on the roads.

I drove a half hour south to Buffalo WY where I will be spending this week. The town seems cool with a neat little historic downtown that I will have to investigate one night this week. The office and people seem nice. The restaurants are limited and seem to be centered on steak houses or fast food. I think I'll try the steakhouse tomorrow tonight I just need to find something to munch on and tomorrow will be another day to explore the world and possibly the local forest that this darling town of 3,900 people at 4,600 ft elevation are nestled up against as a gateway towards Yellowstone should be.