Readers of Craig Johnson’s Longmire books can’t get enough of Buffalo, Wyoming.
Since 2012, the town has been celebrating the series of books about fictional Absaroka County Sheriff, Walt Longmire with Longmire Days. What started with a small shootout on the streets of Buffalo, a book signing and chalk art of Sheriff Longmire on the sidewalks turned into an all-out celebration with thousands of people the next year. Cable network A & E (who has since dropped the show, but it was picked up by Netflix) cast a show based on the books with some actors with incredible careers. Katee Sackoff of Battlestar Galactica fame and Lou Diamond Phillips from Young Guns and La Bamba lead the casting. Now, Robert Taylor, Bailey Chase, Cassidy Freeman and Adam Bartley are household names as well. Gerald McRaney, A Martinez and Graham Greene also add depth and talent to the tight cast.
Having 5,000 people show up each year for Longmire Days has changed Buffalo a bit, Angela Fox, Chamber of Commerce director, said. The town itself has a long western history, bullet holes in bars, scars from the Johnson County cattle wars and famous sleepovers including Owen Wister,Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover and Ernest Hemingway. But its new history now includes a constant stream of people looking for Dorothy at the Busy Bee Restaurant, the long staircase at the old Carnegie Library and the road to Crazy Woman Canyon that all are mentioned in the books.
People go in The Busy Bee looking for Dorothy, Angela said. “They find my mother, Gabby. After they hear her attitude, they think she’s Dorothy.”
Read More: Craig Johnson Tells More about Buffalo.
And some new stores have popped up downtown. The Cold Dish, an ice cream and yogurt shop, was named after the first book in the author’s series. The Busy Bee offers “Longmire’s Usual” dishes for their customers and Craig Johnson’s wife opened a shop downtown that sells merchandise including Longmire mugs, t-shirts, Walt for Sheriff bumper stickers and more.Clear Creek Brewing Company in downtown Buffalo brews Absaroka Ale, named for the fictional county in Johnson’s books.
Buffalo, Wyoming, is a great place to stop on the road to Yellowstone. Don’t speed, though. Those Absaroka County deputies are tough.