I know what you did last summer


As the leaves turn and the mercury plummets and occasional snow threatens our young trees, it gives a man pause. It is appropriate to recall those two most important questions that pop up this time of year:

Where did the summer go?

What did I do this past summer?

Before talking about our elusive Wyoming summer experiences, it is important to point out that in many ways fall is the best time of year.

The chilly mornings followed by sunny afternoons and crisp evenings provide enjoyable times. Most of us enjoy wearing our sweatshirts and long pants this time of year. No more tee shirts, sandals or shorts.

So, what can we recall about the summer of 2014?

One word describes the summer of 2014 in most of the state. That word is WET. Here in Lander, our foothills still have green on them when they normally are dusty brown by July 4. Drought? What drought?

I love thunderstorms and relish the few that we normally get. This year people like me overdosed on severe wet weather. Lightning flashes were so abundant that sometimes I did not even stop what I was doing to go watch the pyrotechnics.

Some old-timers tell me that a wet summer used to be the norm here in Wyoming. Not sure I believe that in a place that is officially listed as semi-arid. Hard to imagine the High Plains as a wet place. This year, most places were.

Rawlins banker Richard Chenoweth said in June their area was enduring a terrible drought. Perhaps the reality was they were having a normal summer while places like Cheyenne, Laramie, Rock Springs, Evanston, Lander-Riverton, Cody-Powell, Sheridan-Buffalo- Gillette had abundant moisture and more.

Thus, I think I know what most people did this past summer – they dodged thunderstorms and mowed their yards a lot more frequently than normal.

Despite all the rain, in my case, I gave birth to a new book, which will be out in November. We also welcomed our tenth biological grandchild when my son’s wife Lisa brought into the world little Adam Michael William Sniffin. We nicknamed him “Adam Bomb.”

I also tried to do serious damage to myself when I left a battery charger on too long. The car battery blew up when I touched the ignition. Sounded like a shotgun blast and could have done severe physical injury to me had I not been in the driver’s seat. Folks need to learn that when you trickle charge a battery, loosen those caps. And do not leave it unattended for a couple of days. Whew!

There is an old saying that has been stated to me at least 20 times in the last month: “The happiest two days in a man’s life are when he buys his boat and when he sells his boat.” Yes, we finally sold our boat Yachta Relax. Had wonderful times on Flaming Gorge over the past eight years but it was time to move on.

While moving on, please check out my new Facebook page called Wyoming books, columns by Bill Sniffin. Please mark “like” on it and check the page often – lots of wonderful photos and stories will be appearing with regularity there.

We also made a few trips around the country and even a few around Wyoming. Was surprised to pay almost $10 for two eggs and bacon in Pinedale. We went to one place first and the waitress came over and suggested we leave as it was going to be a long wait. So we went to the next place. Food was good but pricey.

The entire state is growing. Casper, Cheyenne, Rock Springs, Pinedale, Jackson and Laramie all seemed especially vibrant to me. Wyoming’s economy appears to be growing steadily, except for coal’s downturn, so the future of continues to look bright.

We will be traveling the state this fall marketing looking for places to hold book signings, speech opportunities at chambers of commerce and service clubs and retailers wanting to sell it. The new book is MY WYOMING 101 Special Places and I think it might be better than my last one, which has already sold 14,000 copies. It is Wyoming’s 7 Greatest Natural Wonders.

Stay tuned as I think next week’s column will be more about Wyoming’s crazy summer weather. I have gotten a tremendous amount of input from folks all over the state concerning this topic. If you have something to add, email me at bsniffin@wyoming.com. Thanks in advance.


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