By Ernie Over
The car show ended, and the polished and shining vehicles are now back in their garages; the hot-air balloons lifted off, landed, and hit the road for home; eager participants panned for gold in Willow Creek up at South Pass City State Historic Site and are now at home with their tiny bottles of gold flakes. Climbers scaled the high walls around Lander and participated in strength games at Lander City Park, folded up their tents and campers and headed to the next big climbing adventure. Our Rendezvous reenactors have packed up their skins and trade goods for another year. Anglers are now advised to catch and keep, rather than catch and release, due to the warm temperatures of the lakes and reservoirs in which the fish don’t survive when brought up from the deeper cooler water. Our baseball teams, Little League, Senior Babe Ruth and Legion have wrapped up their seasons with exciting tournaments. Only the All Stars have a few contests left. The powwow participants have packed up their drums and regalia awaiting the next series later this summer. We’ve had health fairs, safety fairs and, of course, music concerts in the park that will continue until Labor Day and the regular museum programs and movies under the sky at the library.
Thank goodness the Friday night Rodeo at Dubois is still on up at Dubois, and the pre-county fair carnival is unpacked at the Riverton Fairgrounds and thrilling riders. It won’t be long now for the 110th annual Fremont County Fair – “Moovin’ and Groovin’” is the theme which kicks off on July 29. The state fair follows, and then that’s pretty much it. Of course, we’ll have some Labor Day events to look forward to, but school will start soon, the third week of August. Soon after that the football and volleyball teams and cross-country runners will be preparing for their high school and college seasons. There will be a few new coaches on the sidelines and courtsides this coming season, a bunch of new athletes and our fall to winter sports season will begin.
Wind River Country has done a good job of jamming all our favorite events and attractions into our “two month-long” activities of summer. As the colors change, so do the activities. I love the county fair in Riverton with all the kids’ 4H livestock projects, the talents of county residents in baking and hobbies and, of course, the fabulous quilt display at the Fremont Center. Not to mention ice-cold lemonade, donut holes, ice cream, corn dogs and other delights at the fair. Looking forward, I’ve got my pink shirt ready for the Tough Enough to Wear Pink night at the Wind River Rodeo Roundup.
This is also the time of year when our gardens begin to produce, and the farmers’ markets are full of delicious vegetables, fruits and other homemade goodies. It’s also the time of year to make sure your vehicle is locked when parking around town. If not, you could find zucchini inside when you return. Those squash are famously prolific. And that’s one of the favorite jokes this time of year! (You should also lock your vehicles to prevent someone from stealing them.)
The first cutting of hay is mostly put up by now, with a few fields still left to dry and bale. I don’t see many small bales these days, mostly the big round ones and the large and larger rectangular bales. I’ve heard some talk about not getting a third cutting this year. It’ll be a while until we know for sure. The early season rains have produced a bumper crop of mosquitos, too. When venturing out, make sure you have your DEET insect spray with you, especially around dawn and dusk, long-sleeve shirts and long pants will help keep the skeeters at bay.
In this hot weather, make sure you carry water with you and stay well hydrated. With our normal arid air, moisture evaporates quite quickly.
Have a good week.
Ernie Over is an employee owner and a staff member of The Ranger, Lander Journal and Wind River News. He’s also the news director of the five-station WyoTodayMedia Radio Network in Fremont and Hot Springs counties, and the editor of the award winning Wyotoday.com Internet local news site.