Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cody, Wyoming

The next stop after the Wind River was in Cody Wyoming.  The town is typical of most locations just outside a National Park.  Lots of hotels, motels, restaurants, and T shirt shops.  This spot, however, has a world class museum.  The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is actually five museums under one roof.  These include a Draper Natural History, Cody Firearms, Plains Indians, Buffalo Bill,  and Whitney Western Art museums.

The Natural History included exhibits and information about all the native animals and plants found in Wyoming, starting out with a full sized wolf mount just inside the entrance.

I had Marlin stand beside the wolf for a size comparison.  They are much bigger than a coyote or dog.

This was an interesting combination of wood sculpture and taxidermy.

 There was a short program in the lobby about the museum's bird rescue program.  They rehabilitate injured birds and when possible return them to the wild.  They have several that are unable to be released due the severity of the injury.  This Turkey Vulture had a wing injury that disabled his ability to fly.  The handler reminded us how valuable these vultures are as carrion cleaners.  Without their services our world would be a smelly, unpleasant place.

The beautiful Kestrel only has one eye which eliminates his ability to locate and capture prey accurately.The program explained each bird's attributes and abilities, along with a description of their injuries.

We spent an entire day at the museum and would recommend a visit if you are in the area.  Our favorite section was the Plains Indian museum.  Authentic artifacts and information about Native Americans from this area of the country. The Buffalo Bill museum provided some insight into the Cody's ups and downs, as well as his fame and adventures as a performer. 

Late in the afternoon we got a call from Addy and Butch Dubois, who were also on the way to Jacob and Carly's wedding.  We met them at the  Silver Saddle bar in the Irma hotel.  Fun to run into friends from home when we were so far from Maine.

The Irma Hotel was opened by Buffalo Bill himself in 1902, and named for his youngest daughter Irma.  The hotel has had two additions, one in 1929 and another in 1977.  Today all the rooms are renovated to modern standards but retain the flavor of the old west.  The walls of the bar are hung with lots of pictures and memorabilia, including one of Buffalo Bill's own saddles.

This magnificent cherry wood bar was sent to Buffalo Bill from Queen Victoria of England after he became famous for performances in London.  The bar is now part of the dining room where they serve their famous Prime Rib dinners.

Our camp spot for two days was in the Buffalo Bill State park, situated on Buffalo Bill reservoir.    (Seems like the name is a bit over used.) The campsites are situated along the north side of the lake, with breathtaking views across the water. 

Views from our site

View from the water up to our camp site.

Early morning fog the next day, which lifted before we headed toward Yellowstone

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