Dubois

Wednesday I drove northwest from Lander, about 85 miles, to the little town of Dubois (pronounced DO-boys). And little is a fitting description – I was quite surprised when I rolled in to town and saw on the sign that the population is less than 1,000. There were two particular things I wanted to see while here but I decided to skip both of them as it was a nice day and I didn’t want to spend it indoors. I ended up going through Dubois a week later and will show photos of that trip in future posts.

Here were some more of the things I saw as I drove in to town (I was now outside of the Wind River reservation):

Meet Becka. She had a lemonade stand set up in front of her house and was selling the “best lemonade from east to west”. When I drove in to town the road made a 90-degree turn to the left. I kept going straight in to a small residential area and after I drove a few blocks – there she was:

I got mad at the UPS driver whose truck I parked behind when I bought a cup. When he drove away I asked Becka if he had bought a glass and she said no. Maybe he’s not allowed to drink on the job….

I headed back to town and walked around a bit:

The sidewalks in part of the town were wooden boards:

While I was in town I saw two vehicles that made me think it might be time for a JohnBoy upgrade:

And the more practical of the two:

The couple that owns the van shown above was just getting back in the vehicle as I took the photo of the front. They are from South Carolina but also own a home here in Wyoming and were on their way there. I asked them how they like their van and she said it is great but they always feel so puny whenever they pull into a campground. I told her size wasn’t everything and that they probably get far better gas mileage, which her husband agreed was the case.

So what do you think? (Can you say johnboystravelblog GoFundMe page??) NO – I do NOT want that but it is nice to dream of what could be some day. I like my Nissan Altima very much and it has been very reliable (** knocking on wood **). I got 39 mpg on one tank of gas two days ago (I know I am several days behind posting photos but I have been somewhere just about every day).

As I was walking around town I saw this sports bracket in a store window:

I know it is hard to read because of the reflection but I went inside the store to ask what it is all about. Lo and behold, the guy I asked (who was just finishing a sandwich, and owns the store I was in) said “boys basketball – we beat Worland!”. He is the very proud coach!!

In addition to being the high school (go Rams!!) basketball coach he is also a 3rd generation beekeeper and their family sells local honey and maintains hives here in Dubois and over in Jackson.

I walked across the street to talk to a guy who was flying a drone (multi-rotor helicopter) shooting video of Main street. We were standing in front of a restaurant which had this sign in the window, reminding patrons of proper cowboy etiquette:

I decided to start heading back to Lander so I’d be home in time for dinner with the family (chicken on the grill!). As I was just a few miles out of town, this happened:

Eerily reminiscent of my experience in Rocky Mountain National Park a few years ago, the long arm of the law was behind me. This time, however, I wasn’t being scolded by the officer. He “ran my plates,” got out of his truck (he was a Fremont County deputy sheriff) and cautiously approached my door with his hand on his (holstered) weapon. I put my window down, placed my hands on the steering wheel at the 11 o’clock position with my fingers extended to show that I wasn’t a threat. He said “Good afternoon, sir. I saw your hazards on and just wanted to make sure you weren’t needing any help”. I thanked him for stopping but explained that I had just pulled off the road to return a text message to my sister-in-law in Lander. He said “OK – we thank you for doing that. Have a nice day,” returned to his vehicle and left.

Here are some things I saw on the way home:

The cabin above appears to have been abandoned for some time but was near a small stream and seems like it would have been a great place to live.

I was actually headed the other direction but this had been the view I had driving northwest earlier in the day and I had made a mental note to stop and get a photo on the way home. I had just crested a hill and there was a long slope downward before this road turned left and merged with another road to take me to Dubois.

I made it home in plenty of time for dinner.

7 thoughts on “Dubois”

  1. You are a blue light magnet lol
    I think it is BMW that makes a super nice camper van- John boys wandering travel blog on wheels

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    1. Travel vans are all the rage in Wyoming these days. Mercedes-Benz and Ford have both made a fortune selling utility vans that are a quick retrofit away from being the perfect camper platform. Just through my short time working at NOLS, I have met a number of traveling instructors who live out of their vehicles (from Subarus with teardrop trailers to class-A motorhomes). Such a rocky mountain lifestyle! Just give a holler if you want me to set you up with a GoFundMe, Johnboy!

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  2. Another thought on Dubois — the Cowboy Café on main street makes some of the best pies for miles around (which honestly may not be saying much, given the scarcity of human settlement, but hopefully you catch my meaning). It’s common practice for Lander folk to stop in and buy pies for their families and/or workplaces when on the way back from Jackson or Yellowstone. Emphatically recommended!

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  3. Loved the tour of Dubois. Made me feel like I’d been there too. Also enjoyed all the information on the tribes and reservations. I know so little about that part of the world that it’s embarrassing. Is the word Indian ever in use there now or has it totally disappeared? K >

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    1. It is a fantastic place to get a glimpse into this part of the world’s history, as well as the continued struggles for support and solidarity that continue to plague so many indigenous groups.
      In my experience (resident of Lander for one year now), the word “Indian” is rarely seen in colloquial use. It does see formal use within government agencies (such as the BIA and IHS, to name a few), plus it is often used when referring to larger organizations on the res, such as casinos and manufacturing initiatives. However, in everyday conversation regarding or involving residents of the reservation, the terms “native” and “indigenous” are much more prevalent.

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    2. Thanks for the compliment, Kathy. I try not to use the word “Indian” but slip occasionally. I think Sam explained it very well but someone recently told me that even “Native” is frowned upon so I have been trying to use other alternatives.

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