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Heartwarming Small-Town Romances and Thrilling Mysteries

If you’ve never been to Cody, Wyoming, you should plan a trip there. It’s a charming city with a lot ot see and do. Hubby and I were there for several days earlier this month (August 2023) for the Cody Romance Roundup, a book signing event, and we had a blast.

As you know from last week’s blog, I had a literary agent request a full manuscript of my cozy mystery book. Trouble was, it wasn’t quite ready to submit. Our first day at our delightful AirBnB was spent on the computer, frantically editing and getting it into shape. I also had to write a synopsis of it as well as craft a good email to introduce myself. So much pressure! I started early and at ten that night, I hit send. Relieved of that burden, the rest of the trip was much more relaxing.

We traveled down the way to Heart Mountain Reinterment Camp where 110,000 people of Japanese descent were imprisoned for four years during World War II. The national monument there spoke of the heartaches and hardships of being ripped away from homes, businesses, belongings, and jobs to be plucked down in the middle of nowhere into a 24’ x 24’ room for your whole family. They had only what they could carry with them for possessions. The government provided pads for beds and a coal stove. That’s it. It’s an interesting look at a shameful piece of our history and a good reminder of what we don’t want to repeat in the future.

From there we traveled to the heights of the Bighorn Mountains to the sacred spot called the Medicine Wheel. It’s an old, old place where many tribes went to worship and build the wagon-wheel shaped rock structure. It isn’t on the highest point (an FAA tower is there), but you can see a long way from that spot. The medicine wheel’s true purpose is hidden in tribal cultures and religions. Walking around it in a clockwise direction, I studied it with my compass to see if some of it lined up with the four directions. It’s close but not right on. After visiting the lunar site at Chimney Rock in SW Colorado, I wondered if some of the spokes lined up with solar and lunar spots on the horizon. The ranger there said it’s been suggested but not confirmed. If you go, it’s a 3+-mile strenuous hike to it. Being old has its advantages:  we got to drive to it with special permission.

The Cody Romance Roundup was held in the tree-shaded courtyard behind the Chamberlin Inn on Main Street. The day could not have been more perfect, especially in Wyoming where the wind blows ALL the time. The temperature was warm but not hot, a soft breeze blew, and the sun shone all day. We had a lot of book lovers come by who either happened upon it or had seen the ads. My table was near a fellow writer I’d met at the Wild Deadwood Reads event earlier this summer, and we had a good visit in between visitors. I sold a number of books and completely sold out of The Five Grannies Go to the Ball. It was a wonderful experience, and I hope to get invited back next year.

No trip to Cody is complete without a visit to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. It’s a large complex that has five world-class museums in one place. We spent a day and a half there and didn’t see it all. Hubby spent almost a whole day in the firearms museum which I understand is the largest in the world. The only things in there that interested me were Palladin’s, Matt Dillion’s, and the Bonanza boys’ guns. After spending three minutes seeing those, I spent the rest of my time in the art museum. They have Frederick Remington’s studio set up there. The western art is wonderful and included some of my favorites like Charlie Russell, N.C. Wyeth, and Remington. The Native American museum is quite extensive, and their natural history museum is one of the best I’ve been in. Loved them both. The last museum is devoted to Buffalo Bill. I’m no fan of his, but it was interesting to see it. You must go to the Center if you’re anywhere near Cody.

Our last day there, Hubby and I traveled to Yellowstone National Park. My only other visit was to the south loop of the park so this time we did the north loop. We got there mid-morning, and it wasn’t all that crowded. As the day went along, it was. Our first stop was at the canyon of the Yellowstone River. It is spectacular and you can see why they call it the Yellowstone. Very deep, the canyon is beautiful with awesome falls visible from the canyon top. The parking lot at Mammoth Springs was full when we got there. We drove along the top of the springs but didn’t get out. The parking lot at the geyser basin was full so we didn’t see that either. Down the road, we walked on the boardwalk at the mud volcano, saw the boiling springs, mud pots, and got a lungful of sulfur gases. We had a late lunch on the banks of the lake before heading back to Cody.

We saw other beautiful landscapes on our way home, but the miles seemed long. After being gone for almost two weeks, it was nice to finally reach our house and sleep in our beds. It was an amazing trip that will stay with me from now on. Thanks for following along.

Then God saw everything that He had made and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:31

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