Home Away From Home, Wyoming

On to Cody, Wyoming

We were up and on the road by 8:30 this morning headed to Cody, Wyoming. We had to backtrack to Billings but then headed west toward Cody. I got a call from home and chatted with my cousin for a while and suddenly Jerry indicated he needed some navigational help. I hung the phone up and quickly realized that both GPSs were lost. Both indicated that the RV was in a field! I brought up the good old standby Waze and recognized that we were going in the right direction. At one point, Waze and the Clarion sent us one way while the Garmin was sending us another. When that happens, I always like to defer to the Garmin as it is set for an RV. I pulled up my route from RVTrip Wizard and saw that it agreed with the Garmin so that is the way we went. It was a very easy drive and I can’t imagine where the other GPS’s wanted to send us.

We arrived at Abrasoka RV around noon, quickly checked in and got settled. As Jerry was setting up the outside I quickly went to work on the inside concluding the cleaning that I had started yesterday. It doesn’t take long to vacuum a 300 square foot motor home! The next order of business was a loaf of bread! We had passed a grocery store as we came in so we went back there to pick up enough for lunch and burgers for dinner. We’ll worry about the other meals later.

After lunch, we rode into Cody to get a feel for the town. It really is not a very large city with a population of just under 10,000 but they have 500,000 visitors each year! It is definitely geared to tourists but not kitzsy at all. In fact, it’s laid out in such a way that very quickly we could find our way around.

Outside the Irma Hotel
We parked right on the Main Street, got out and started walking. We had heard of the Irma Hotel and there it was so we walked over. We had already talked about the possibility of taking a trolley ride to familiarize ourselves with the town and the “station” was at the Irma Hotel. I so wish I had taken a picture of Ray, the gentleman manning the ticket booth. He had a handlebar mustache that wouldn’t quit plus he called me Jerry’s daughter and a hottie trottie! A man after my heart – and a man ready to sell some tickets!

We ended up buying tickets for the trolley ride and tickets for the Buffalo Cody Museum which we’ll visit tomorrow. We had about 30 minutes before the trolley ride so we continued our walk. Jerry ran back to the car to change his hat and on the way met two graduates from NC State. Go Pack! What to do with a few extra minutes? Why get ice cream of course! We went into Annie’s located right across from the hotel and had some yummy ice cream.

The trolley ride lasted an hour and took us all around Cody plus out to the Buffalo Bill Dam. We got lots of ideas about what we wanted to do for the next few days. In fact, after we got off of the trolley we headed for the dam. Wow, what an impressive sight. We had to go through three tunnels to get to the reservoir, one so long it had its own ventilation system. Just past the Visitor’s Center to the dam, we saw a fence that had been put up for protection from falling rocks or boulders. Unfortunately, before the fence could be completed the boulder fell and the fence was crushed.

The Resevoir
The view of the reservoir is quite lovely with its red and yellow banks. The yellow is where the hot springs are located and of course, the red is caused by the rust. It makes for a beautiful background.

Ah, the force of water
We arrived at the Visitor’s Center, rather the pickup point for the center. Cars are not permitted at the center but staff with golf carts are there to take you to the center. The Visitor’s Center is quite enlightening with information posted all around. In addition, they show a video that chronicles the construction of the dam. Three companies were used throughout the construction, two were dismissed and the third suffered severe financial difficulty because the dam came in double the initial proposed budget. The dam could not be worked on from April through the summer because of the floodwater from the snowmelt so the work had to be done during the bitter cold winter with temperatures sometimes down to -15. Yes, that is minus fifteen! Can you imagine? It was finally completed in 1910.

Prior to the completion of the dam, the Bureau of Reclamation was formed in 1902 to provide water for the development of the West. Heavy snowfalls and spring rains resulted in flooding that was followed by hot, dry summers with too little moisture for farming. There needed to be a way to store the surplus water not only to prevent flooding but also for use during the dry months. President Theodore Roosevelt signed legislation in 1902 to create the Bureau for this purpose. Thus, the beginning of the Shoshone Dam later renamed the Buffalo Bill Cody Dam in honor of all that Cody had done for the town.

After touring the Visitor’s Center, we were able to go out on the walkway to view the spillage. I had read that it would be windy and oh my, it was. In fact, at one point the wind pushed me a bit. I was certainly glad there were rails all around.

We caught a golf cart ride back to the car and headed back into Cody. On the way out we had seen a Walmart and what day is complete without a stop at the local Walmart? I couldn’t believe the number of RV’s in the parking lot. Apparently, they do allow overnight parking. There must have been 20-25 of all kinds, Class A’s, Class B’s and pull behinds. Glad I had a site for the night!

After grilling hamburgers for dinner, we sat outside for a while and enjoyed the beautiful, cool evening. Tomorrow will be a busy day with a trip to the museum plus dinner, a show and then the rodeo tomorrow night! YeeHaw!

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