The atmosphere in Cody gives you the feeling that you really are in an area that truly was part of the old west. On our first full day in Cody we took the Trolley Tour. This tour taught us a lot about the history of Cody and gave us some insight on all that we still have left to see around here before we leave.
Later that day we took a trip to Old Trail Town. This "town" consists of 27 buildings which date from 1879 to 1901, all authentic and brought here to be put on display along with a description of its history. It is also home to an extensive collection of memorabilia from the Wyoming frontier as well as authentic Indian artifacts. In addition, it contains the grave sites for several notable frontiersmen including the famous frontiersman Jeremiah Johnson and one of the great buffalo hunters, Jim White. It was a fun visit.
Our next stop began our two day visit to the enormous and beautiful Buffalo Bill Center. The center consists of five separate museums that we had two days to enjoy. We were able to visit the Natural History Museum that displayed examples of the power and beauty of the Yellowstone region including an extensive display of many of the native animals. We also visited the Buffalo Bill Museum where the life of Buffalo Bill as well as the Wild West Show that was so much a part of his life was on display. The final visit on our first day at the Buffalo Bill Center was to the Plains Indian Museum that displayed the lives and legends of the Plains Indian people.
The day wasn’t over yet though. That night the four of us headed out to the Cody Cattle Company for an evening consisting of a “chuck wagon” dinner, live country music and finally a rodeo, complete with calf roping, barrel racing as well as both bucking broncos and bulls. It was another great night.
The next day we returned to the Buffalo Bill Center to visit the remaining two museums. We visited the Cody Firearms Museum that displayed firearms of every sort beginning with the earliest firearms right up until the current ones. This museum also described how firearms shaped the history of the west. Our final visit in the center was to the Western Art Museum that pictured the West through the eyes of its artists. It was like going through a photo album of early history and being able to visualize how life really was during that period.
Monday, 8/21 was eclipse day. Everyone knew it and there was a buzz in the air. We decided to start the day with breakfast at the Irma, the hotel that Buffalo Bill built in 1902. It’s a gorgeous old building that obviously was a high class, state of the art hotel in its day. After breakfast we returned to our campsite to enjoy the eclipse. In Cody the eclipse was at 98% so although we didn’t enjoy totality, we sure did get pretty close. A neighbor at our campground handed the four of us eclipse glasses shortly before it began so we were able to enjoy it in style. The cereal box viewers we made were cute, but no comparison to the glasses.
That afternoon we ended up waiting around for an appointment we had made to have our RV windshield repaired. The glass repair guy arrived to our campsite at 4:00 for our 12:30 appointment! The good news was that the two chips that we received coming through South Dakota were both repaired so we should be all set for a while. We wanted to be proactive in order to prevent the entire windshield from cracking.
With two days still to go in Cody, Bruce, Sue, Claudia and I took a ride around the East Yellowstone Loop, a 221 mile drive through the scenic Wapiti Valley and through the northeastern portion of Yellowstone. It was a beautiful drive where we were able to see herds of buffalo and all kinds of gorgeous landscape and scenery. We stopped for a late lunch in Cooke City, Montana, an old mining town with a current population of 140 and with an elevation of 7,608 feet, the seventh-highest US city by altitude.
On our final day in Cody, Claudia and I took the short drive over to the Buffalo Bill Dam for a tour. When completed on Wyoming’s Shoshone River in 1910, the Buffalo Bill Dam was one of the first concrete arch dams built in the United States. At 325 feet high, it also was the highest dam in the world at the time. It was an enjoyable and informative visit.
Our next stop takes us 132 miles down the road to West Yellowstone, Montana through Yellowstone National Park where we’ll spend two weeks enjoying a whole lot more of Yellowstone National Park.