April 17, 2020

The world feels a little upside-down right now, especially for travel lovers. We’re finding ourselves daydreaming about hitting the open road or disembarking from a plane in a beautiful new location. We’re looking forward to strolling through local art galleries, tasting local cuisine, biking on new trails. And while we wait, we’re checking out virtual reality tours and swiping left through beautiful photos of dream destinations. So why not embrace this “dream now, visit later” approach of doing things upside-down or inside-out and treat ourselves to another aspect of travel: shopping!

So many of the businesses in Wind River Country’s friendly towns have found clever ways to keep their employees working and their community connected. You can help out by picking up a souvenir from your virtual visit and to keep you inspired for your real-life visit.

Photo: Melissa Vette-Denton

Here are just a few ideas:

Come for the Local Food

Gift certificates don’t have to be gifted! Contact the restaurant you can’t wait to try—or return to—and purchase a gift certificate for your upcoming visit. When you do arrive, you’ll get a little treat for yourself, and until then the local business owner will breathe a little easier. Doesn’t that feel great?

Photo: Jennie Hutchinson

Stay for the Local Companies

Prepare for your outdoor adventure by shopping online or for a gift certificate at a local gear shop, such as Wild Iris, Wind River Outdoor Company, Rocky Mountain Discount Sports, Wind River Gear, and more.

When you arrive, you’ll want to be prepared for wildlife watching, whether it’s elk in the high country or birdwatching. Is there a more appropriate way to see them than through a set of custom binoculars or a scope from Maven, a local company?

Photo: Bill Sincavage

Escape through Art

The Lander Art Center has created an online version of its annual member’s art show. Peruse the art, then think about which piece of Wind River Country you’d like to keep with you forever, even if you acquire it before your visit—an unusual story to match unusual times.

Art: Kelsey Ball

You can find more artwork souvenirs around Wind River Country, for example by Monte Baker in Dubois, High Plains Reflections Gallery in Riverton at, or at Alchemy in Lander.

Return in Person

All of this is a way to postpone—but not to cancel—your visit to Wind River Country. In fact, think of it as a special way to extend your visit.

Posted in Notes From the Field