Monday, June 17, 2013

Cody - Wyoming 2013

I left Sheridan at 6:15 AM. Some people made me feel guilty because the women prepared a Father’s Day Brunch. The brunch was at 10:00 AM that would have been too late for me to leave. I am glad I left early.
Bob Parker and I discussed yesterday what the best route would be from Sheridan to Cody. Highway 16 is the route without the 10 per cent grade and that for 13 miles. At the 4:00 PM circle meeting Brad mentioned that he had talked to Joanne and she told him that highway 14 was not to difficult for her motorhome. She had left yesterday. I have a similar motorhome and the same engine as she has in hers.
This morning I made up my mind and headed for highway 14. I also took the 14 mile dirt road shortcut to Dayton. On this road I saw several colorful pheasants. They were on the road and when I came close they run into the grass. On several places deer ran across the road. The road was smooth but my car got very dirty. In Dayton I got on highway 14 and right away the road went up. Since I was early there was no traffic and I slowly climbed up. I did not go faster than 30 MPH and did not raise the engine above 2,500 RPM. Joanne was right; with a little patience the road is no problem.
When I came above 8,500 feet, at some places, the hills were covered with blue lupines and yellow desert sunflowers. I found a place to stop and enjoy this colorful spectacle.

Unfortunately not everything was colorful and beautiful. At one area a tornado in 1959 had ripped out trees and there is still a lot of damage.

Worse than this is the destruction the Douglas Fir Bark Beetle causes. The trees are dying and it looks terrible.

Another beautiful spot near the highway is Shell Falls.

When I arrived at the Mountain View Community Church in Cody, Phil the host, and Diana, Joanne and Bill were leaving for the Indian Pow Pow. Bill told me how to park and they were gone. Doc (Iris) greeted me. I parked next to her, set up the motorhome and left for the Pow Pow. In California we have Pow Pows too, but here we are in Indian country and this gathering of Indian tribes was larger than what I have seen before.
I arrived at the right time. The Entrance ceremony had just started.

Two little girls walked around and around. Everybody else was dancing but they just walked, and did not smile while people were taking pictures of them. One girl started yawning. I think she got very tired.

The Pow Pow is a family affair.

The dances are held by age, sex and other criteria. Here are the teenage girls performing a traditional dance. They are judged and prices are given.

Older dancers need a rest.

I bought a refrigerator vent cover this morning and installed it. Actually I was lucky that the store in Sheridan was out of the covers. The dealer in Cody had a Dometic one and I did not have to drill any holes to make it fit.

Later I found the Post Office, the library and Walmart. When I got back to our camping area the group from Sheridan had arrived and some new people. We will be a good sized group.
One lady got stuck in the sand of the volley ball court. She had to raise the front of the motorhome with the hydraulic jacks so we could put boards under the wheels.
Everybody showed up for the circle meeting. We are 30 rigs now.

At 8:00 PM eight of us attended the Cody Rodeo. We were advised to sit on the side where the low evening sun would not shine in our eyes. There were only a few people in the bleachers on the other side.
The show started with showing of the flag.

When the action started one of the horses feel and got hurt. Several cowboys restrained it and it was taken away.

Since it was getting dark and my camera is not good enough for action photos I do not have any good pictures. Riders tried to stay on a bucking horse, other riders on a bull. There were also young ladies racing around barrels. Lassoing calves and tying their legs was also another action.

A clown invited all kids under nine years old to the arena. Two calves, with red ribbons on their tail, were released and the kids who took the red ribbon off the calves won a price.

The show went on after 10:00 PM. This was past my bed time.

Today we visited the site where the Heart Mountain Relocation Center was located. At this place more than 14,000 Japanese Americans were confined during World War II.

They had a view of Heart Mountain every day.

The internees had lost everything, their businesses and their belongings. They could only bring what they could carry in two suit cases. The whole family was confined to one room. There was no privacy.

750 young men from the camp served in the U.S. Army during the war. Their unit was the highest decorated in World War II.

The camp was the third largest city in Wyoming. It had its own High School.

From the hospital are two barracks left and the smokestack from the boiler. The smokestack is leaning and repairs are being done right now.

While touring the camp site we met a Japanese American gentleman. He spent the first three years of his life in the camp and his sister was born there. He was here to show his grandchildren the site and the Interpretive Center.

From the center we drove towards the Heart Mountain. At the trail head of the trail to the top of the mountain is a hut. The Heart Mountain property and the hut are owned by the Nature Conservancy organization.
They had their directors meeting today at the hut. No dogs are allowed on the trail but one member of the Conservancy group brought a big black dog.
We ate our lunch outside on benches. Marvin took one bite out of his sandwich and put it on the side. When he reached for his sandwich it was gone. The dog had eaten Marvin’s lunch. The group had brought coolers with food, including sandwiches, so they gave Marvin one of theirs. They had plenty of big cookies. Some of us got some of those. Our group is thinking about hiking up to Heart Mountain. It is 3.5 miles one way and not an easy hike.

On the way home we saw that at the entrance of a ranch. It is beautiful but a fake.

In the evening we went to the Elks Lodge for Taco Night. For $ 5.00 we could fix our self a delicious meal. 25 of the group went. The host had called the lodge and told them how many were coming. They reserved an area for us. The Exalted Ruler came to our tables and made us welcome.

One of the highlights of Cody is the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

The center has five museums. There is the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Cody Firearms Museum, the Draper Natural History Museum, the Whitney Western Art Museum, and the Plains Indian Museum.
William F. Cody was a scout with the Fifth Cavalry. General Sheridan made him Chief of Scouts. His nickname became the name he used when he started in the entertainment business.

Cody’s private life was shaped by his traveling. He went through a bitter divorce, but he and his wife supported each other in later years.

As Buffalo Bill, Cody became one of the best known persons in the world. The Buffalo Bill Wild West Show traveled all over the United States, Europe and Asia.

The troupe performed for Queen Victoria.

Cody’s boyhood home is also at the museum.

The Plaines Indian Museum has exhibits of the way the Plaines Indians lived, their tribal societies, their clothing, and their art.

In the garden are bronze statues of Indians.

Also in the garden is the show of birds of prey.

The Whitney Gallery of Western Art has a display of pictures and bronze statues of well known artists. The museum has a replica of Remington’s studio.

The Cody Firearms Museum has thousands of rare firearms on display.
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is a must see item when visiting Cody. It is so large that the entrance ticket is good for two days.
William F. Cody founded the town of Cody, he built the Irma Hotel and invested in mines and ranches. When he died he was a poor man.
While waiting for the gun fight in front of the Irma Hotel I walked along the main street of Cody.

The advertisement for the Plush Pony Apparel caught my eye.

At 6:00 PM the gun fight started. Because of the hard work of our host we had front row seats. Seating was $ 2.00, standing was free.

We experienced temperature changes from 48 degrees F. to 73 degrees F.
Five carload of WINs left at 9:00 AM today. We started out on the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway which according to Charles Kuralt, is one of the most scenic roads in America.
The snow covered mountains and the green valley were just beautiful. We had to climb up almost 11,000 feet with many switch backs.

The Nez Perce Indians tried to get away from the U.S. cavalry in those mountains.

We stopped at Crazy Creek Campground to see the waterfalls.

On the way back we took the Beartooth All American Road. The Beartooth Mountain is a sharp, pointed mountain, looking like a tooth.

The Lake Creek Falls are very power full.

The mountains in this area are majestic.

We ate our lunch at Island Lake. It was cold at that elevation.

Some people like to have a snow ball fight in shorts.

People were skiing.

This motorbike had a covered wagon trailer which was cute.

Animals were begging for food.

There was a spectacular overlook at the Rock Creek Vista Point.

There the ground squirrels were begging.

Some of the group had fancy coffee drinks and ice cream at the Red Box Car Drive In. I had a soft ice cream.

The Smith Mine disaster was one of Montana’s worst.

During our 5:00 PM Circle Meeting a Mother and son approached us. They own a business in Cody and read the following newspaper article in the local paper. They handed out business cards and tried to get us to shop at their store.

Nobody interviewed any of us and we think Reverend Weixel gave the paper the information. Our group actually consists of older single members. Most of us are older than 65. We are not a religious organization, but some of our members are religious.

Today was an easy day. Some of the group went back to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Another group hiked up Heart Mountain. I visited the Old Trail Town. It is a collection of old buildings brought from places in Montana and Wyoming.

Then I drove to The Cody Murals. It is a large mural on the domed ceiling of the entrance hall of a building of the Mormon Church. It depicts the move of the Mormons from Illinois to Utah.
In another hall are pictures of daily life of the first Mormon settlers in Wyoming. Guides tell the history of the Mormon faith.

At the 5:00 PM circle meeting we took a picture of the group with the Buffalo Bill mustache and goatee, which we cut out of a Cody tourist information magazine.

Some of us went to the Elks Lodge for a rib dinner. The cost of the meal was $ 10.00 and included corn on the cob, beans and a desert. They had some ribs left and sold the slab for $ 5.00. I bought one and also took home Doc’s half slab. She could not eat it all. I am going to eat ribs for the next three days. After dinner we went to Cassie’s Supper Club for dancing. It started out with a one man band and when the dinner crowd got smaller the cooks and other help became band members and the joint really started shaking. Because we are short on men I danced every dance, not by choice. Women do not like to sit when there is music playing.
I danced three waltzes, Bertie patiently counted the beats for me to get started. I have no hearing problem but for some reason I do not hear the beat when the band starts playing a waltz. After dancing a few steps I can hear it.
We left at 10:15 PM, way past my bed time. It was fun though.

The Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Highway is another spectacular road in this area. The road follows the Shoshone River. Our first stop was at The Holy City outlook. The mountain stone formation reminded somebody of Jerusalem.

We took pictures of the flowers on the hill side.

At the end of our trip was the Pahaska Tepee. It is located outside of Yellowstone National Park.

This is the location of Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge. The lodge is now a free museum.

Some people have fun by clowning around.

We had lunch near the river. Most of us preferred picnic benches. Our friends liked this place.

We also stopped at the Pagoda House. It is an unfinished home. The builder worked every free minute on it. It ruined his marriage and caused his death. He fell several times from the building. He was a slow learner.
He did not believe in using a harness and tie himself down. The last fall was detrimental. The structure is protected by a fence and we could not get close to it. The family is asking for donations they are trying to make it a tourist attraction.

At the Buffalo Bill Dam we saw a movie about the construction of the dam. It bankrupted there construction companies. At the time it was the highest concrete dam in the world. Three people lost their lives and several lost limbs. Construction could only be done in the winter. Unfortunately Wyoming experienced extremely cold winters during that time and then high floods in the spring doing a lot of damage at the dam site.

In the evening some of us went to Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue. It was a good Branson Style variety show.

This is our last day in Cody. In the morning I took the motorhome to the city dump station and emptied the holding tanks. Then I went to the gas station and filled up the gasoline tank.
Some of the group showed their appreciation to the church and went to the services. Our camp host gave the church $ 1,000.00 for letting us stay at their property. I hope we find more places like that.
In the afternoon I went to the Cody Dug Up Gun Museum. They have rusted guns from America’s War of Independence to World War II. The weapons were found many years after they were used. Some of the revolvers have still bullets in the barrel. Diana would have a blast in this place, all that rusted stuff.
Since we will not see another Walmart for the next four weeks I went there and stocked up on some items.

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