Sunday, December 15, 2013

Research Vacation in Dubois

Togwotee Pass
After dropping down from the Togwotee Pass on the continental divide in the Absaroka Mountains, I drove into Dubois, Wyoming and fell in love with the place. It is the quintessential picture of a western town. Take away the paved asphalt roads; you are visually transported back in time, or in a scene from a Western movie! With names such as Whiskey Peak, Painted Hills, Wind River and the Badlands, It looked like a place where you would expect to see John Wayne crowned with a ten-gallon hat, sauntering down the wooden sidewalks.

I visited the region in order to do some research for my fiction book, I am currently writing. Because it is a period piece, set in the Great Basin of Wyoming, I want the era to remain true, even if my characters are purely fictional. I made it a research vacation. I also made time to tour the picturesque region staying in several areas of Wyoming. Dubois became my favorite and I stayed an extra day longer than I originally planned. My only regret is that I did not have more time to spend there. I definitely want to return some day and explore further.
Wyoming's big sky
The Dubois Museum proved useful, the director gave me many tips on where I could further find the material I was looking for as well as having items on hand that I could see, such as equipment and clothing of the era.

I had the pleasure of staying at the Longhorn Ranch Lodge and Resort three miles east of the town of Dubois. The cabin I stayed in had all the rustic charm, yet remained warm, cozy, clean, and quiet. It came equipped with a kitchen where I could cook meals when I wanted to stay in and write. The screened in back porch, became my writer’s paradise. This is where I sat at the table with my laptop and looked out at the Wind River that meandered through the area. Kono liked the porch too, especially when I allowed him to jump up on the benches where he could view outside. As I wrote, I looked up from time to time to view the river and the Badlands beyond.

I loved this cabin by the river.

I wrote for many hours in the screened-in back porch.
Kono, sporting his new summer haircut, enjoyed the view.
The cabin came furnished with a most comfortable bed!

I found simple pleasure in walking Kono along the river that wound through the cottonwood-tree-studded resort. My late spring visit meant the place remained almost void of campers and motor homes, and the river ran high in its banks.

The resort's cottonwood trees with the Badlands behind.

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