We finally finished rebuilding our slide in pickup camper
and left for Cody, Wyoming. We are vendors there, at the Wild West Extravaganza.
It’s our biggest show of the year and we had high hopes for a repeat of last year’s
The trip there was a wildlife adventure! First a buck mule
deer darted from the trees and stopped in the middle of the road. It forced me
to slam on the brakes and the drivers behind me luckily stopped before hitting
me. The speed limit was only forty-five and there were caution signs of
wildlife on the road, (I was going the speed limit).
A little further a cow and calf moose decided to test my
brakes, (there is a reason for the speed limit in the parks), and as we passed
two stopped cars, with no place to pull over, Renita saw a huge grizzly bear! The
rest of the trip was uneventful as we saw more deer and elk, but they all
stayed off the road.
Driving down from Sylvan Pass is about as scenic as it gets, and the canyon reminded me of how lucky we are to live in Wyoming. Arriving at Cody we
checked into our rv park and waited till five pm as setup didn’t start till
On a hunch we went to the setup early and sure enough the other vendors
had started to setup their booths.
The next day we got up early and returned to our vendor
tent, covering the tables and setting up our jewelry displays. People had
already arrived, and chairs were set up along the parade route. The first day’s
parade was small,
(the next two days parades lasted for an hour and a half.
About the time the parade ended it started to rain and so we sat there hoping
for some sunshine.
The rest of the first day alternated with rain and sun and
the crowds were small. We were disappointed with the days sales and after some
fast food we returned to our camp spot with rain, lightening, and thunder. We
stayed dry, (our repairs seemed to work), and the next day we left early.
A much larger crowd had gathered for the second days parade,
and it didn’t take us long to display our cabochons and finished jewelry. We
have an advantage as we make all our pieces, including the rock lapidary. We
also specialize in Wyoming jade and fossil and mineral pieces and we don’t have
any competition, (that our shops niche).
After the parade the crowds passed through the vendor area
and we were happy to be greeted by many new and returning customers. The returning
customers were residents, and the others were tourists from all over the USA
and the world. One man told us that he was from North Carolina and it had been
his life-long dream to see Yellowstone National Park.
Our work was well received and we ha d a great day, even though
we had intermittent rain. That night it rained, and we had a small leak along
the front of the camper. Luckily the sleeping bags stayed dry and we had a cold
but comfortable night.
The Fourth of July started with early rains, but the skies cleared,
and the rain stayed away for the rest of the day. The parade was the same as
the day before, but the crowds were huge, and we were swamped for the rest of
the day. We had record sales as people wanted to have a keepsake from Wyoming.
Exhausted, we tore down, packed everything away, and returned
to the rv park. After a late dinner, the fireworks started, and we were very close
to the exploding mortar rounds and starbursts. Shortly after it ended the rain
and lightening returned to add its own excitement to the Fourth of July festivities.
The next day we broke camp and headed home. There had been
reports of a cub grizzly bear that had become abandoned by its mother and as we
crossed Towgotee pass we saw the bear jam. The little cub was digging for roots
and tubers and seemingly ignoring the crowd. It had grown since we last saw it
but there is not much hope a wolves and boar grizzlies are in the area and both
will kill such a small bear.
We left after a bit. It’s tough, to see a cub of the year,
(coy), being abandoned by its mother. It won’t learn about berries, moths, and
white pine nuts which are all important parts of a bear diet. It doesn’t have a
chance or a very small one.
We arrived home and didn’t unpack till the next day. Our
last show of the year is on July thirteenth and so now we can concentrate on
fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching. Now if the rivers will only clear up
and go down………. Clear skies.