After moving around the country, “gathering experiences” as author Craig Johnson said, settling down in Ucross Wyoming seemed to be the obvious place for him to be. First experiencing Wyoming in his 20s, Johnson had made a trip to deliver horses to Ucross from where he was currently working in Montana.

While waiting several days to meet the man he was delivering the horses to, Johnson fell in love with this area of Wyoming where the thick part of the milky way galaxy can be seen from one horizon to the other.

Coming from a family of story tellers, he seemed to find himself out of excuses not to write a novel. So that’s what he did. In fact, his popular Longmire series includes 8 novels featuring small town Sheriff Walt Longmire. Additionally, the hit drama series is now streaming live as the Netflix Original: Longmire seasons 1-5.

Being very emblematic of Wyoming, Johnson often draws inspiration for Longmire from local newspapers as well as traveling across the state doing research. The essence of the “Old West” portrayed on the television show is still very much a part of life in Wyoming today. Johnson said “it is essential to live in Walt’s world to draw from and make experiences.”

Speaking of Walt’s world, the novels and television series are set in the fictional Absaroka County #24, which is portrayed in the TV series by the town of Buffalo in Johnson County, Wyoming. Johnson has shared some of his favorite spots in the area on a several day itinerary dubbed as the “Longmire Loop.”

For more of the true Walt Longmire lifestyle found in Wyoming, click here for all of Craig Johnson’s recommendations.

Starting the loop in Buffalo, you’ll be sure to soak in some history, enjoy some of the local cookin’ and do a bit of shopping. Don’t miss the stop at the Bucking Buffalo Supply Company in Sheridan, owned by Johnson’s wife, and pick up a signed copy of your favorite Walt Longmire novel.

If you’re planning to make the loop in July, stay a few days and celebrate! Longmire days, a 3-day festival is hosted every July to honor Johnson and the Longmire series. Meet the actors for an autograph session, take part in a book writing seminar or enjoy the commentary, performed by Johnson and the actors, at the charity softball game.

Ready to hit the road? Share your story with the hashtag #ThatsWY.