|Buffalo Bill greets visitors|
The town never became a large metropolis but it certainly has remained true to its founder's showmanship sensibilities. Like "Buffalo Bill's Wild West", the town's Western image may be more hoopla than fact, but it is certainly entertaining and fun and people in this area certainly understand hospitality.
We arrived in Cody on Tuesday, having made prior arrangements to meet my cousin Ruth and her husband who have recently acquired a motorhome of their own and are starting out by taking a two-month sojourn through the Northwest. They live in Seattle and came to meet us here for a few days from whence they will journey on to Yellowstone and parts west while we turn back east toward the Great Lakes. They arrived somewhat later than expected on Tuesday, so all we did that evening was go to dinner at the Wyoming Rib and Chop House which is a great local restaurant as long as you are not a vegetarian.
We had been advised that the first thing we should do in town was take the Cody Trolley Tour, but when we looked into it the next morning it was completely booked for the day, so instead we went to Old Trail Town, a collection of historic western buildings and artifacts, dating from 1879—1901. Archaeologist Bob Edgar was convinced in the 1960s of the need to preserve some of the old pioneer buildings that were rapidly disintegrating and so began the task of collecting cabins and other buildings within a 150 mile radius of Cody and transporting them to the site where the town was originally planned (the town of Cody was later moved a couple of miles east for practical considerations). To date, Trail Town includes 25 buildings filled with Western memorabilia and artifacts. It includes a cabin where Butch Cassidy and his "hole in the wall" gang would hide out after their money raising efforts, the cabin one of George Custer's Crow scouts, some old general stores and saloons and a variety of settlers cabins of various sizes. The site also contains about 100 old wagons and other period vehicles.
|Liver Eater's grave|
That evening we went to the nightly rodeo here in Cody. They have an amateur rodeo every night from Memorial Day to Labor Day, more or less. They also have a professional rodeo here for a week around the Fourth of July, but since we had never been to a rodeo before the amateur version was just fine for us. The events included bronco riding, both saddled and bareback, calf roping, both individual and team, and barrel racing for the female contestants.
The following morning we had reservations for the trolley tour first thing in the morning. This takes you to parts of town that you probably wouldn't even know were there if you just drove through on your way to Yellowstone. It's about an hour long, gives a lot of information in a short period of time and we thought it was pretty entertaining. It also included a two-day pass to the Buffalo Bill Western Heritage Center which is an interconnected set of five museums in downtown Cody. Sometimes referred to as "the Smithsonian of the West" it is nothing at all like the Smithsonian. Still, it's a heck of an impressive museum complex. The gun museum had over 3000 vintage weapons, most of them in what appeared
That evening we went to the street gun fight show where we saw ersatz cowboys fire blanks at each other in order to promote the sale of hearing aids in town. Oh, and Ruth got a free dance lesson.
Afterwards we ate at the Irma Hotel (one of the first buildings in town, built by Buffalo Bill and named after his youngest daughter). They have a prime rib buffet there every night and we decided to go with the flow and have the prime rib. The meat was excellent. The other food was excellent as well. There wasn't a lot of variety but the quality was outstanding. And along with dinner came
|The Irma Hotel|
So that covers three days in Cody Wyoming. We've got three more to go before Paul and Ruth head for Yellowstone which I will cover in our next upload.
Bonus rodeo pics:
|The horse won this bout|
|Lay back and relax|
|The calf ain't goin' much farther|
|Throw that critter down|
|How humiliating. Lassoed by a girl.|
|About to be pulled up short|
|This will not end well|