I know that every week I talk about the various stages of summer, how beautiful September (or July or August) is in Yellowstone Country and how I prepared for fall several weeks too early. But, still, it wasn’t until I turned on the television and saw the major league baseball playoffs had started that I realized we were closer to Halloween than to Labor Day.
So what can we expect this month? Like everywhere else in the country, the temperatures in Cody, Wyoming and throughout the region will steadily cool down and the leaves will change. Personally, I enjoy a crisp morning and look forward to the first frost.
A few years ago a popular Cody musician-who-shall-not-be-named gave me a denim jacket lined with sheepskin for my birthday. I love that jacket, but it is way too warm to wear until I can see my breath. The day tomato season ends is the day I go looking for that jacket. Oh, and that musician? He was a much better shopper than boyfriend.
Except for some homeschoolers and a few kids who are on crazy school schedules, most of the tourists who roam in Yellowstone Country are either older empty nesters or couples who like to travel during the more relaxed months of the season. Although I don’t have real numbers to back this claim up, it seems that travelers at this time of the year are much more likely to wander and less likely to be concerned with checking destinations off of a list.
The hotels in Yellowstone National Park as well as many of the guest ranches and campgrounds throughout this northwestern Wyoming region close for the season. As a result, I get to reconnect with many old friends who work incredibly hard and are too busy to make it into Cody during peak season. This is a special group who love the energy and excitement of seasonal work followed by several months where they get to sleep in, travel and be completely lazy. By the time spring rolls around I guarantee they will be itching to get back to work. That is a lifestyle I want to try someday.
Mountain runoff is low as we have not had heavy snows at the higher elevations yet. Anglers on the rivers and streams enjoy great trout fishing while the ice climbers begin counting the days until the waterfalls begin to freeze. There is still plenty of time for rock climbing, but I have caught more than one climber talking about our world-class ice.
I see more hunters in town. One thing I always took for granted but which surprised my friends when I lived in the big city was hunters’ respect for the environment and the rules. This is one group that understands the importance of leaving the land in better condition than they found it.
School is in session, and fall sports are a lot of fun. With our wide-open Wyoming spaces we often have to travel long distances to meet our opponents on the field. We love to carpool and caravan to away games, and I cannot tell you how often I have gotten to know people by spending time in the car with them on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon.
The leaves change color, and the aspens and cottonwoods create a beautiful yellow tint in the stream beds and up the sides of the mountains.
We have a spectacular month ahead of us. If you don’t believe me, come see for yourself. We’ll take your car to Saturday’s game.
Until next week, I am lovin’ life – and canning tomatoes – in Cody, Wyo.