The drive on Saturday to Cody, Wyoming wasn’t bad even though it was long due to our detour around the Yellowstone fire. The audio book was a helpful diversion. The canyons and mountains were pretty as we drove and that gives us more to look at than just long roads and a bunch of flat nothing. We kept ourselves entertained towards the end by using the name of the town Meeteetse as much as possible. That was a small town of 327 people we passed through. I think we were getting a bit stir crazy being in the car for 5 hours since we usually only drive for about three. The Ponderosa campground where we stayed was more crowded than we are used to since we have been staying at so many state parks lately. It was nice to have all the amenities of electric, water and a dump station at our site. People came and went regularly, but we enjoyed seeing all the varieties of campers and people. We had a pretty good site that backed up over a small canyon and was away from the roads. We even had some shade to keep us cool in the 90 degree weather. Walmart was only a mile away and from our previous posts you all know how much time we spend at Walmart, so that was good. Cody was a bit of a tourist town, but also had the feel of a real western cowboy town.
Sunday was a nice day and while Kat worked I went down to the Buffalo Bill museum. Buffalo Bill was not a real person, but it was a nickname and stage name for Cody Williams. He put on a traveling show that featured lots of shooting and cowboy acts. The museum was ok, lots of information on the areas vegetation and past inhabitants like the Indians and cowboys who are famous. I like the cowboy and pioneer history of the west. It must have been a hard life and I bet they didn’t appreciate the beauty of the land as much as we do, but an hour of our travel probably took them a day or two on horses and wagons. All that without a nice meal and shower to look forward to at the end of it.
Later in the day we were happy to see our friends Breck and Cheri from Raleigh. They travel most of the year in their RV and were instrumental in giving us information and advice when we first started planning this adventure. Later we all went out to dinner and Kat and I enjoyed some bison burgers. Yum! Later that night we went to the Cody Rodeo. I always forget how much I like rodeos until I am there. It runs every night in the summer and we were lucky it was not too crowded. A really nice evening was enjoyed by everyone. Breck got some awesome pictures that you can see on his blog: https://wooftales.wordpress.com/2016/09/01/cowboy-and-girl-up/
We had been pretty busy in the Grand Tetons and there wasn’t really time or an opportunity to volunteer, so for Monday we had made plans to go to the nearby town of Powell and do our Wyoming volunteering. So far we have been good about getting our volunteer work done in every state and didn’t want to miss it in Wyoming. We went to the Habitat for Humanity Restore store and they had us putting out merchandise, organizing and cleaning. There were quite a few people who came into shop because apparently there is no other clothing store in town and that is where you go to get clothing and household items. There were some interesting looking places to eat, but we only went to the soda fountain because Kat had never been to one. I don’t know if I had ever been either, but I knew what they were. The soda jerk made us a nice sundae and we liked the experience. He was funny and told Kat that back in the day it was the place to hang out and pick up girls. We only saw older people having lunch and a group of men eating lunch while talking about coyotes and fishing. After dinner we played a domino game with Breck and Cheri. I got the highest score, but too bad the lowest score wins. Oh well, it was fun. We did bring games with us to play, but somehow we are always too busy. Mostly we relax outside and we read a lot.
Tuesday we all loaded into Breck and Cheri’s car to go check out Yellowstone. It was about an hour’s drive into the park, but not far to see our first geysers. It was great drive. We made lots of stops for pictures of more bison and some fantastic views. If you don’t happen to see the wildlife on the sides of the roads yourself you always know when there is some there by the cars pulled off on the sides of the road with everyone out there taking pictures. After a quick stop for a picnic lunch we made it to old Faithful. Old Faithful got its name by regularly erupting every hour or so. They post the time at the visitor center for the next eruption and it gets pretty crowded at that time. There are a lot of hikes you can take around the area to see more, but we didn’t have too much time because there is a lot to see in the park. We did get a small hike in while waiting for the next eruption. After that it was off to see some more geysers. I really liked the painter’s pot geysers that just bubbled up mud. There are some really pretty colored ones that are that way due to the sulfur, iron and bacteria. Yellowstone canyon was super pretty and we did a short walk that dropped 600 feet to get down to the falls. Easy enough going down, not so much on the way up. We were pretty worn out by that point and started our drive back to the campground, which took a little over an hour and a half. We saw a few bison walking along and one in the middle of the road, so that provided some more excitement. A long 13 hour day, but well worth it. We only did the bottom loop, so once again, we need to return someday.
We had planned to go for a drive Wednesday to do some more sightseeing along the Chief Joseph highway to get to Beartooth because it is supposed to be an incredible viewing experience, but we were all wiped out and not looking forward to another long day in the car so we decided to stay around the campground and do some work on the camper. With Breck’s help we got a lot done. The day just flew by, but it was super productive. We enjoyed a nice green curry shrimp dinner before turning in for the night. Tomorrow is a travel day and time to get organized and get some sleep. A breakfast of green chili egg burritos planned before we leave since we don’t have to leave early. It was a good stay.