Cherish the world in which you live

Steve Moseley stevemoseley42@gmail.com.
Posted 10/7/21

I am fully aware the unsolicited counsel of flatlanders is not looked upon with favor in northwest Wyoming, but indulge me, please, if you can.

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Cherish the world in which you live

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I am fully aware the unsolicited counsel of flatlanders is not looked upon with favor in northwest Wyoming, but indulge me, please, if you can.

I claim at least partial rehabilitation for my low station as a lifelong flatlander. This has been a direct benefit of the five-plus years Good Wife Norma and I resided among you, hard by the Big Horn Basin. If you know where Eric and Wendi Robirds live now, then you also know where GWN and I lived then. That was some 15 years back in time, though, so late Powell arrivals are therefore excused for never having heard of us.

Powell and Park County are the best place we lived in our now-51 years of primarily wedded bliss. The people we found there took us in immediately, despite having been warned to exhibit due caution when immersed in the legendary “Western mentality” of lore.

Our saving grace, I believe, is that unlike so many others from elsewhere who inflicted themselves upon you uninvited, we did not try to tell you your business. The strategy served us well.

Now, of course, I am about to reverse engines and tell you exactly that.

One thing that amazed me when we lived alongside you in paradise, was how many northwest Wyoming residents appeared to take the wonders around them for granted.

I recall once coming to work at the paper on a Monday morning and casually mentioning we had seen something like six grizzly bears over the weekend. A lifelong resident, who had seen only one or two total, proffered that GWN and I must be the luckiest people alive.

In response I inquired when they were last in the park.

“Oh, we were there three years or so ago for a Sunday afternoon,” was the answer.

When GWN and I were there, we were all over not only Yellowstone but the Beartooths, Pryors, Bighorns, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Clarks Fork Canyon, the badlands of Badger Basin and more. Lots more.

If we wanted to see cool stuff, or so went our thinking at the time, then we had to get out there early and often.

This is what I encourage the good folks of Powell to do now … right this very week.

It doesn’t get better than fall up in the hills, but the window isn’t open long. Grizzly and black bears are feeding up on chokecherries right now, today, exactly as they were a year ago when we visited.

Go early, and by early I mean be in the middle of where the critters live waiting for first light. Explore some of the two-track roads you will see disappearing into the timber, especially atop the Bighorns. Those abandoned logging roads can be the path to surprises no end.

But hear this: Drive cautiously. Clobbering bears west of Cody in speeding cars that leave young-of-the-year orphans with little chance to survive is as selfish as it is avoidable.

One last thing: Don’t pull the plug when snow flies. The bighorn sheep rut right along the highway up North Fork during December is a spectacle flatlanders like me would kill to have right in our backyards.

Go. Enjoy. Take all the camera and lens you can lay hands on. Be respectful. Appreciate the amazing world that lies just up, and over, the hill right in your own neighborhood.

If not for you, do it for GWN, me and the millions of us out here who would sell our souls for the access that lies at your fingertips every single day of the year.

 

(Steve Moseley is the occasionally retired managing editor of the five-day York News-Times, hard by I-80 in southeast Nebraska. He served the Powell Tribune as sports editor/photographer more than 15 years ago, plus a temporary stint as sports editor in 2020. He receives guests at stevemoseley42@gmail.com.)

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