Monday, June 20, 2016

From Cody To The Park

Warning Long Post

Monday, June 13 - Cody Wyoming

We came here to see the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. We passed on it the last time we were here. It gets rave reviews, but the things that the majority of folks enjoy, we tend to pan. So we did not approach it with high expectations. Pleased to say it exceeded our expectations. It’s not as good as some specialty museums we have been to, but it gives excellent treatment to a broad swath of topics. There are a lot of beaded clothes and knife and rifle holders. But, on inspection most were made in recent times. We spent two hours looking before our feet started to hurt. We will return in the morning to finish our tour.

We spent the rest of the day grocery shopping, getting propane, napping and touring the Buffalo Bill Dam. We chatted a long time at the dam with a local who has been going to Yellowstone for over 50 years.

Cody may be a tourist town, but we enjoyed our stay. The Albertson’s has a great selection of meat and salmon.

Cody also has colorful locals.

Tuesday, June 14

We spent the morning in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Most of the time we were in the firearms exhibit. It’s the largest in the world. They have acquired thousands of pieces from blunderbuss, wheel locks, flint locks and on up the evolution ladder. It helps that major collections, such as those held by the brothers who founded Remington, were given to the the museum. This year, they have an extensive exhibit from the Smithsonian. They have guns that have been presented to past presidents that have been loaned to the museum. Thomas Jefferson’s shotgun was very ornate.

Firearm control in Wyoming

Some of the items we found of interest in the firearms exhibit.

Paladin was a fav TV show of mine. I downloaded two episodes last year and found them boring. I guess you can not really go back.

Longmire - Buffalo is the setting for this series, but it is filmed in New Mexico. The museum got some of the props on loan. My favorite character is Lou Diamond Phillip, Henry Standing Bear. Dorothy, of course, likes Longmire. Tailored tight fitting blouses are popular on several law enforcement shows. Victoria Moretti takes it to the extreme with her blouse gapping open. I suppose to show her slutty side.

The museum has several weapons presented to US Presidents. Ike, JFK, Johnson, Reagan. We noticed there is no space to show one presented to Obama.

This is a strange one. A watermelon patch gun, possibly made in Montgomery, AL. You can read how it worked in the second picture.

Doesn’t everyone take pictures in the restroom? While I have never thought about putting my feet on the toilet seat, squatting is the way to go in asian countries.

And finally a mouse holding his breath in a bucket of water I left out overnight.

Wednesday June 15

We got away at 7:30 to go into Yellowstone or as the locals call it The Park. We had never entered from the east so now we have used all the entrances. US16 is quite scenic from Buffalo Bill SP to the park boundary. Some really strange rock formations - like the area around Fisher Towers.

We guess he got started and did not know when to quit building

There was a light drizzle as we climbed to 8,000 before descending to Yellowstone Lake. We went as far as the VC to kill time hoping the rain would stop and we would get a little more light. It worked and we got some decent shots of the falls from the north and south rims.

The roads were crowded. The parking lots were filled. Dorothy’s handicap plate came in handy. I asked a ranger if it was me or what because it seemed so crowded. He said they set an attendance record last year and were up 15% over that this year. I want to thank the park service for promoting the 100th anniversary of the park service. NOT!

Dozens of tour buses with Chinese characters on the side. The buffalo were out in force, but we were able to avoid the traffic jams by sheer luck. One of the wooly beasts was walking down the middle of the opposing lane and had traffic backed up for quite some ways. I ascribed thoughts to the bison, “Come on, just try to pass me and see what happens, Buddy”. I slowed down and got as far off the road as I could as we went by. I don’t want body damage by a bison.

We finished our Verizon month with a data surplus. Camping where there is no signal helps with that. We pigged out after dinner streaming shows until we were sleepy.

Thursday, June 16

We left Buffalo Bill State Park near Cody this morning and drove north on the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway - WY296. We drove it many years ago and we recalled as being scenic, but we were blown away this morning. It is one of the most spectacular drives in the country, especially south of Dead Indian Pass. It’s truly Big Sky Country. You want to know why its called Dead Indian Pass? Well, Chief Joseph had been running from the calvary for weeks. They thought if they could made it through this last pass, they would elude the calvary and certain death. They had to leave a wounded warrior at the pass and the calvary killed him. You will recall they did escape into Canada.

We are positioned to enter The Park Sunday morning and hope to get a parking spot at Indian Creek. We are also very close to the Bear Tooth Highway, which we will again drive Friday or Saturday.

We found a spot at Crazy Woman campground. It was OK, but no view and no amenities, but only $5 a night. We ate lunch and decided to look around at the other campgrounds in the area. We pulled into Fox Creek and it hit us that we had stayed there before. It’s all electric and only $10. It has a dump, but that was locked. It has water, but you have to use a water thief. The sites were filling up and we figured it would be crowded for the weekend. We headed back to Crazy Woman and noticed an ‘A’ Class parked in a meadow. Good place, but the wind was whipping up dust off the road. As we got to the black top I noticed a road right in front of us. It had the perfect spot for us right by the fast flowing Rock Creek. Just us, the mountains and the creek. It’s only 50 yards from the road, but the river drowns out what little road noise there is. If you want to park here, it’s 44.95916 - 109.81084.

We have spent 18 days in Wyoming so far. More than I would have guessed we would, but we do not have a plan or a schedule. Devil’s Tower 1 night, near Buffalo 3, in the Big Horns, Elgin Meadows 2, Silby Lake 1, Bald Mountain 1, Shell Creek 3, near Cody 4, and now here just east of The Park 3 nights.

Looming dread - We going to have to come up with a place to hide for the Fourth.

Friday, June 17

We went up the Bear Tooth Highway, Wyoming 212. We recalled it as being rocky and barren as most of it is above the tree line. And it was. Dark rock, patchy snow and deep green trees in the distance below. Also small lakes with rocky shorelines and deep blue water. It is a top-of-the-world drive at 10,050, but we prefer the lower section of Chief Joseph Highway.

In places the Bear Tooth Highway is quite narrow. Combine that with tight curves on a shelf road and it’s no place for RV’s. But, big rigs go up it every day. I am sure it’s fun when two RV’s meet on the tight curves.

Our Camp Site On The Rock River

What the Beer Tooth Highway is named for
Saturday, June 18

We drove in to The Park today. In the Lamar Valley, my ideal place to have a home. We all the way to Tower Junction where we chatted with a ranger for a long time. We went a mile south to Tower Falls to eat our picnic lunch and we got a text message. I checked the park map and saw that it showed cell phone coverage on a ridge just south of us. We found a pull-over with a shade tree and surfed for awhile. No one that had called us were available when we tried to return their calls.

Thinking we should call this trip the we can’t find it trip. Yesterday, it was my Jeep keys. We looked for 24 hours and they were almost exactly where they should have been. But before I found them, we lost Dorothy’s Jeep keys. I saw breaking windows to retrieve them from the locked Jeep. After searching off on on for several hours, Dorothy found them in the door lock right where I left them.

Sunday, June 19

We are The Park - More later.

1 comment:

  1. Looks great! Nice photos! Brings back fond memories of our road trip!