Cody, WY - Yellowstone
Jul 6, 2008
|Tues 7/1. After leaving Custer at 6 a.m., we headed northwest on rte 16 toward Gillette, WY., where we would pick up US 90 and continue NW to Buffalo, WY. Prairie and ranch land stretching for miles. At Buffalo we picked up 16 again and came upon the "Big Horn Mtns". The Dutchstar was put to the test. Climbing to almost 10k ft at Sylvan Pass, we were treated to breathtaking views from N, E, S and W. It's hard to imagine the scenery getting more spectacular, but each turn in the road offers a new vista. It's like looking at a calender with a different beautiful picture EVERY DAY.
We coasted down the western side of the mtn and continued heading west. We quickly saw there was more to come, as we headed toward Cody, sitting there in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
We arrived at Yellowstone Valley Campground about 4 p.m. It's about 20 mi west of Cody and 30 mi east of the park and pretty baron. The lack of ambience here though, is far out weighed by the view from every direction. We parked and Steven and Deanna found the pool (no slide).
Wed. 7/2. Woke up to a flat tire on the jeep which Steven helped me change. (remember I'm handicapped.)
We packed up the jeep, and headed up into the Rockies. We had no idea how huge Yellowstone is. Shame on us for not doing our research. When we arrived at the east gate, we were surprised to find out, we still had 60 mi to go to reach "Old Faithful", but it was another spectacular drive and worth the trip.
Thurs 7/3. We went white water rafting on the Shoshone River. It was Deanna's first river rafting trip, and she was a little anxious at first, but quickly turned to screams of excitement. The wetter she got the more she loved it!...as did all of us. After our first series of rapids, Deanna made a profound statement. "Nan, the best thing about this is that It's real, and not man made!"
The river is exceptionally high and very fast this summer, because of a heavy winter runoff of snow. Our guide was more than capable, and treated us to a thrilling 2 hr ride. Nothing life threatening - just enough.!
We were running low on food staples , so on the way back to campground we made a replenishment stop. Roe had her first experience at a Walmart "Super Center". People must travel from near and far to shop here. It was like a menagerie. At the bakery dept. we discovered Texas garlic toast. Steven and Deanna devoured it.
Thursday night we went to the Cody Stampede, a professional rodeo doing a week of competitions here in Cody.
It was amazing to watch these guys live and up close. This is serious business out here. The stadium was packed
Fri 7/4. Up and out by 7:15. We headed for the Absaroka Mtn Lodge for a trail ride on horse back into the Shoshone National Forest. There we had a campfire breakfast cooked over and open fire on a grill made completely of horse shoes.(take note Lou) It was pretty neat. The trail took us up to a high ridge line where again, we had panoramic views with the mountain side blanketed in wild flowers. Steven and Deanna rode like experienced cowboys(and girls.) I can tell you, it doesn't get more down to earth than this. You can easily see why someone might come to this part of the country for a visit, and never leave.
We got back to the campground about 11 a.m. and gave Steven and Deanna the rest of the day off. They headed to the pool where they stayed until 7, making more new friends. Steven finally broke down and let a couple of the girls his age, talk to him. About 10 p.m. they had a fireworks display put on by a couple of the locals.. It wasn't Macys, but Steven and Deanna had a great time because they became part of it.
Sat 7/5. Changed our plan for today and are staying at campground until Sunday. Went into Cody to do some shopping. Also bought 2 more loaves of Texas garlic toast, bringing the total to 6 loaves. Steven and Deanna's breath will knock you over if you are to close. The vampire threat is non existent in the Dutchstar. I also think they are repelling the mosquitoes. We are going to leave early tomorrow and hope to get a campsite in Yellowstone Park. First come first serve.
Pics will follow soon.