For those of you traveling to Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) this summer and want to add a true cowboy, small town experience, don't miss the quaint western community of Dubois, Wyoming. (Population 971 from the 2010 census.)
"Where real cowboys work and play."
Spend time fly-fishing dry flies or nymphs for Browns, Rainbows and Cutthroat on the Wind River, a classic mountain stream that runs parallel to the highway with easy access. Or spend time in town at one of the yummy eateries, unique gift shops or friendly watering holes. Say hello to Bill, an icon of the old west and long time resident. Tell him I sent you.
However my favorite place to visit is the Silver Sage Gallery on Main Street (http://www.silver-sage-gallery.com/) Just park and ask anyone where you can find internationally known western artist Tom Lucas and equally renowned artist Gary Kelmig, owners of the establishment. Sit for a spell and listen to histories about the 14 artists represented by the gallery and shop the exceptional, exclusive work of sculptors, potters, jewelry makers and photographers. Take home a lasting memory of your visit.
If you are still looking for something to do, Friday night Dubois hosts a rowdy rodeo at the Clarence Allison Arena. Photograph the rodeo clowns, barrel racers, bull riding and cowboy characters honing their ranch style craft.
The Dubois Museum, a living history museum, is a great place to discover times gone by (http://www.duboismuseum.org). Make sure to ask about the summer interpretive program series and you may be lucky enough to tour Sheep Eater Indian bighorn sheep traps, teepee rings, petroglyph sites and tie hack ruins.
If it's wildlife viewing that brings you to town, start your journey at the National Bighorn Sheep Center (http://www.bighorn.org/) where you can learn the biology of the species then wander the gift shop to bring home a bighorn inspired souvenir.
Looking for a way to stretch your legs? Find solitude hiking the granite domes or craggy 13,000' peaks of the Wind River Range. Or take an easy stroll through the town park for peace and quiet.
You will find a number of places to rest your head for a good nights sleep. There is a KOA and other RV parks in the area. Many historic ranches offer accommodations, horse pack trips and all inclusive vacations. Why not take the kids on an adventure they will never forget?
When you are ready to find out more information about Dubois visit http://www.duboiswyoming.org/ to get started and http://www.duboiswyomingchamber.org/ to see a calendar of events. Or leave a comment/question and I will do my best to answer.
How about it? Have you planned your trip yet?