OK, I've been lax in the updates. I'll try to fill in some gaps with this posting. Casper, WY's Trail Interpretive Center was wonderful. We pulled up to see a pronghorn waiting for us and it just got better from there. It pointed out that most trails west passed through what is now Casper after leaving St. Joseph, MO. The Oregon Trail, The Mormon Trail, the Pony Express and the Gold Rush Trails all followed these routes created by the Indians and the fur trappers. The coming of the Railroads saw the end of constant traffic on these trails.
The center is the creation of the US Dept of the Interior and really user friendly. Great dioramas and presentation telling the story of each of these groups. We took a fun "ride" in a covered wagon across a river...a covered wagon that kids (and adults) could enter and feel what it was like to make a river crossing. Sure wish I could have taken kids here when I was teaching 5th grade!
From Casper we had a long day, including a very LONG, boring 98 mile section on the way to Cody. Fortunately the wind was at out backs which helped. Long what I call "Forrest Gump Roads" that go on and on with no end insight. The most beautiful section as through the Wind River Canyon (I've included one pic).
Cody was great. Nice town, clean with lots of parks and places to take Colden for walks off leash. Beck's Lake (actually a big reservoir with a huge dog park, lovely picnic area and then a great trail along the Shoshone River which was so fast moving the Colden wouldn't go much past the shore's edge.
The Buffalo Bill Historical Center was incredibly well done. This is actually 5 museums, Yellowstone, The Plains Indians, Buffalo Bill, Whitney Museum of Western Art, and a fire arms museum. The fire arms contained 1500 artifacts, including the weapons used by Loren Green, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker in Bonanza, by Richard Boone in Paladin and several other TV westerns. I know some of you aren't old enough to even know these names or shows.
The western art included tons of Remington bronzes, many large works showing western battles, and haunting ones showing Indians-mostly Plains Indians. The Yellowstone section began at the Alpine level and spiraled down 3 floors to the valley level showing the animals and plant life at each level. Fantastic taxidermy and wonderful sounds of the critters. The Plains Indian museum included a full size Mandan Indian earth lodge and amazing life sized models of Indians with travois and gorgeous native crafts and costumes.
The Buffalo Bill Cody part was really cool too! What a fantastic life he led! Just soooo very well done from top to bottom of the facility.
We expected to "do" the museum in a few hours...left after 5 hrs on the first day and went back for another 4 the next day.
At the KOA we met a family from Anchorage, AK who gave us even more info about travel there and a can of salmon which the dad had caught and canned when they left. Had pancake and sausage breakfast at the Kamp Kitchen there twice. All the pancakes you can eat and 3 sausage for $2.00, coffee $1.00. A real bargin and no dishes for us!
We'll remember Cody fondly. It was a great stop and a place we're recommend. We ended up not going back in to Yellowstone as we'd originally planned. Figured we'd "done" Yellowstone last year and could skip the 180mph round trip. Decided to spend the 2nd day at the BBHC instead.
It was off to Great Falls, MT from there.
Catch you then...
Ingrid, Joe and Colden