Cody is only 70 or so miles out of Yellowstone. Most of my knowledge of Wyoming is from cowboy movies. What a perfect start to our visit - Cody Wyoming.
First logistics - where to stay. We found Buffalo State Park just west of Cody. There were a few reserved spaces but most were first come, first serve at $17 a night for out-of-state. We would not have full hook-ups (no water, elect, sewer) but we have a beautiful view of the reservoir. The park was only six miles from town.
I loved waking up morning and having coffee as I enjoyed the view. At night, the stars were spectator. Great park for dogs.
The dam/reservoir was created to irrigation for farmers in the area. It was Bill Cody's idea in 1905 as part as his quest to populate the area and attract tourist to Wyoming and Yellowstone. There was an interment (relocation) camp here during WWII. Citizens of the camp created irrigation canals and grew their own food.
COWBOYS & RODEOS
Cody has a rodeo every night. This statement makes me pause. What kind of rodeo can you run on a nightly basis? I have been going to rodeos since I was three feet tall and wearing red boots and I was leerily tired cows, worn out cowboys, and not much in way of competition. No need to worry in Cody - it is a top notch rodeo, even on a Monday night. Tickets are $18 ea - no reserved seating.
We arrived early and was directed to the Buzzard Roost for the best seats There were above the chutes for the broncing bulls and horses. The crowd was a mix of tourists from all over the US and out-of-country and it was interesting being with folks that had never seen a rodeo. They are very quiet.
As we were waiting for the rodeo to start, we could see pickup/trailer after pickup/trailer of cowboy/horse arrive to compete. All I could imagine was their work was done on the ranch for the day and now a little fun at the rodeo.
This cowboy was 52 - an old timer.
Next was a 18 year old. His dismount was different but he recovered and tied his calf.
Cowgirls also participated in a roping/release competition that I had never seen as well as team roping and bull riding.
Of course there was bull riding. There was one female rider. They also have juvenile competition for bull riding and barrel racing.
BUFFALO CENTER OF THE WEST There are three museums in the Buffalo Bill Center - Buffalo Bill, Plains Indians and Cody Firearms. All fabulous and really interesting.
When you walked into the Bill Cody museum, there was a hologram of Mr. Cody to greet you. In the museum, you could see original film of the Wild West Show. My favorite was the coat he wore in the shows. It said he liked the coat so much that he continued to wear it when scouting in the west.
I'm not a big firearm person, but the display was impressive. My favorite was seeing guns used in some of my favorite TV shows - Bonzana, Bat Masterson, Ringo, Annie Oakley. Too cool
Last, we walked downtown Cody. Most interesting building was the Irma Hotel. It was built by Bill Cody modeled after hotels his visited in New York. The hotel was named after his youngest daughter. He lost his pants on the hotel...
Cody was great. It was fun to see a town that was developed by one man's vision to attract people to this part of the country.