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Wyoming’s outdoors provided a refuge for many amid this summer’s upheaval
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Wyoming’s outdoors provided a refuge for many amid this summer’s upheaval


It wasn’t the summer any of us imagined.

Camps were canceled. Rodeos were canceled. Family vacations were canceled.

We collectively wondered when life might return to normal.

But in the midst of the struggle to know what would come next, many of us reconnected with the outdoors. We camped at the end of long dirt roads. We met someone for a weekend of mountain biking. We picnicked in state parks. And we fished. A lot.

Many state park campgrounds, once they opened to the public, filled for the rest of the summer. Outdoor gear from mountain bikes to kayaks started to sell out. Even for a state like Wyoming, where our sparse populace enjoys the outdoors more than many other states, this summer’s outdoor recreation participation was high.

Yellowstone National Park, a popular destination for locals and nonresidents, experienced a 2 percent increase in visitation in July compared to July 2019.

Experts can only speculate if this trend will continue, if next year will see the same number of families learning how to fish, young and old hitting the trails. But as this summer comes to a close, school begins again and days shorten, each of us knows that Wyoming’s mountains, lakes, wildflowers and prairie will be waiting for us again next summer.


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