Through winter as I look up to the mountains, one of the most anticipated weekends that I look forward to is Memorial Weekend when the Beartooth Highway opens up. This year the snow was phenomenal.
It was literally like driving through tunnels. Some were as high as 30 feet.
Rita next to a snowbank
Yellowstone Park service is responsible for plowing Highway 212 from the Northeast entrance to the Wyoming/Montana line. Montana plows the from there down the switchbacks.
As you can see, there is some big heavy duty equipment used. We came down the switchbacks to Red Lodge, 78 degrees, green grass and wildflowers. I am so fortunate to live in this country of such great contrast and beauty.
Yellowstone Park opened a week ago and by this past weekend, all gates were open. We drove up the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway this past Sunday through Cooke City and into Lamar Valley in Yellowstone.
January 3, 2014 was moving date to our new office. Rita purchased an historic 1906 home in downtown Cody across from City Hall. Cook Moving and Storage was there bright and early and completed the move in 3 1/2 hours. The next day the staff and our good friend Jeanne unpacked. We are doing some remodel in the new part of the home to become ADA compliant. We are awaiting 3 new desks. Another couple weeks and we will be all settled and pictures hung! Our new address is 1327 Rumsey Avenue, Cody, Wyoming 82414. Stop by, the coffee is always on!
Clarks Fork Canyon
A trail ride to follow the history of the Nez Perce flight of 1877 went through northern Wyoming July 21-26. The National Appaloosa Horse Club sponsors a 1300 mile ride from the Wallowa Valley of Oregon to the Bear Paw Mountains of Montana doing approximately 100 miles every year. Thirteen years ago I laid the ride out from Cooke City to Clark, Wyonming. I help with the ride again this year. There were 150 riders from all over the country and some from Europe. There were also Nez Perce on the ride. We started at Pilot Creek near Cooke City and ended on Friday at Line Creek in Clark near the Montana border. Horses on the ride were all Appaloosas, the horse that the Nez Perce bred and raised. In 1877, the Nez Perce fled the Wallowa Valley with 600-700 men, women and children and nearly 2000 horses. They were fleeing to find freedom. General Howard pursued them through Yellowstone and felt he had them trapped as he felt there was no way out. General Sturgis had been camped by the mouth of the Clarks Fork Canyon, but was told by scouts that it was impassable and he moved his camp to where he could watch the Shoshone drainage. The Nez Perce did make their legendary escape through the Clarks Fork Canyon and headed north. The Thursday ride followed the trail of the Nez Perce escape. It comes off a bench and desends 1000 feet in less than one half mile. To ride this trail is almost spiritual thinking of the 600 Nez Perce and their 2000 horses descending this perilous trail known by the locals as Slide Rock Trail. For more see the Powell Tribune,http://www.powelltribune.com/component/k2/item/11282-%E2%80%98something-spiritual
Rita on White Bird’s Fire
Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River
Chief Joseph Trail
Spring is slowly arriving here in Park County, Wyoming. The East Gate of Yellowstone Park is due to open May 3, 2013 on schedule. This was not the case one month ago when the Federal sequestration went into effect. This area depends on the economy that the Park generates for this area. Two weeks was vital to the economy here. The State offered equipment and man power to plow the East Gate, but could not pay for it. The Park service could not pay for it either because of the Federal sequester. So the Cody chamber started a campaign to raise $100,000 in two weeks to get the Park open on time on May 3. Donations came in from all over the County, some small and some larger, whatever could be afforded. The money was raised in a week. Plowing began on April 1. A “little town that could” showed that Federal, State and local communities can work together. Read more about this story at http://www.yellowstonegate.com/tag/plowing/.
KC and her owner bought a log home on a creek last summer. KC loves the creek, but had to get some boots for the work in the pasture. What a life!
Around Park County, this time of the year brings residents and visitors many scents of the season, including blooming flowers, fresh rain… and smoke.
This is the time that many farmers and ranchers begin to burn their lands to make the soil riper for the upcoming planting season. Additionally, burning is a common way to clean out irrigation ditches that have had seasons of waste and weeds build up in them.
Irrigation is the key to our area’s ability to provide a healthy crop supply every year. As early (and even recent!) settlers of Wyoming quickly discovered, the arid lands of this area needed more than the 6-10 inches of rain to complete a crop. Construction of the Buffalo Bill Dam (six miles west of Cody) was necessary to bring water to the near 90,000 acres of dry, northwestern Wyoming.
Early settlers dreamed of implementing the canal and ditch techniques perfected in Europe thousands of years earlier to channel water to the area. In 1910, the 325-foot-heigh dam and its contained Buffalo Bill Reservoir were completed, as well as the rest of the Shoshone Project, which included a system of canals, tunnels, and diversion dams that continue to irrigate more than 93,000 acres of beans, alfalfa, sugar beets, and other crops.
Because of this complex system, farmers and ranchers had to quickly secure their irrigation water rights, and these rights remain important to today’s home and/or land buyers, as well.
Keep in mind that if you are buying property in this area that will require irrigating, there are many legal responsibilities to consider with your water rights. These responsibilities include (and are NOT limited to) digging and constructing drain ditches, sharing water with nearby land owners, and caring for your runoff water.
For more information about water rights and documents, contact your local UW Extension Office or Patrick T. Tyrrell, the Wyoming State Engineer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 777-6475. The Department of Environmental Quality ((307) 777-7781), your local County Health Departments, and the National Resources Conservation Service (with the USDA) will have information about water quality, and your City or County Planning Office will inform you about any city or county zoning restrictions.
If you are building your home on irrigated land, special consideration of septic system and farm animal placement will need to be made, as well. Your UW Extension Office is always a good resource for expert opinions, and you can check out http://wyo.gov/seo/ for state information on irrigation and Legal Aspects Relating to Irrigation Ditch Rights and Easements.
For more information on Wyoming’s Water Laws, visit http://ces.uwyo.edu and click on publications for a summary of the laws in place.
Driving around and showing real estate around Cody, Powell and Clark is always an adventure. Sunday I was driving out the Northfork, west of Cody, on the way to Yellowstone to show a home. I just had to pull over and admire the elk soaking up the sunshine.
While driving around Clark, Wyoming and showing properties, I drove back to the Clarks Fork Canyon where the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River flows into the valley. Off to the right, up the mountain side, we were greeted by some Big Horn Sheep.
A wonderful day’s work selling real estate in Wyoming and coming home to Clark.
In the realm of my everyday work, I see beautiful mountain views that change with the season. Last week, I was out showing properties on the Northfork Highway, which is the highway to Yellowstone. On the way, we passed a herd of elk grazing in a field.
A little further down the road, just past Wapiti, a herd of Big Horn Sheep was crossing the highway.
And of course, there is always a buffalo or two. What a day!
Every year, weather permitting, we take our 6 wheeler back into the Clarks Fork Canyon on Christmas day. The massive granite walls tower above majestically reaching towards the blue sky. The Clarks Fork River moves through partially frozen veins of ice.