Friday, June 20, 2008

HiWay 14, WY

One of the prettiest drives we have taken was on HIway 14 in WY. We left the campground and headed for Bear Lodge in the mountains. We had been told it was a nice way to have lunch.
The views were awesome.
Plus once again we were back in the snow. We drove to the lodge had lunch and drove home the long way. We passed these guys on snowmobiles.
They work for Polaris and were trying out the 2009 model of their snowmobiles at just about 95 mph. Tough job.
Once again we did a little hiking and found these gorgeous wild flowers growing on the road side.

All in all our trip to Bighorn Lake and the Bighorn Mountains was an unqualified success.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ride em cowboy

Our last two days in Cody we got our energy back and did a few things. We liked our campground. It was close to everything and had nice sites. Other campers told us about the largest museum in the West called the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. It is 5 buildings: Bill Cody Rooms, Firearms, Indian, Painting, and the Museum of Natural History plus a huge gift shop.We spent a couple of hours in the Cody Room and Erwin spent hours in the Fire Arms sections. We have been told it is the largest collection of firearms in the US. Quite impressive.

Look it is our next camper parked on the side of the road!
The next day we spent in downtown Cody. Bill Cody built this town. The most important building is his hotel, the Irma, named after his daughter. Every afternoon there is a Wild West Shootout in the street fronting the hotel.
It was hokey and hilarious.

We met a nice couple of ladies traveling through the West and got some good information on restaurants, sites and places to see from them.( No, not the ones in the picture!) In this lifestyle everyone is friendly and helpful.You never seem to meet a stranger or a person that won't share their knowledge of either campers or things to do and places to stay.
We took their advise and ate at Bubba's for dinner and then went to the rodeo.
Cody has a rodeo every night from June through August. It is where the guys you see on PRC get their start. There was bronco bustin', steer wrestlin', barrel racing, bull ridin', calf tyin' and clowns. We were entertained by The Village People, a one man show that was made up of life-size puppets in Village People costumes all supported on two sticks around the just had to see it!Most of my pictures did not come out because of the darkness but I'll give you what I have.......
The absolute show stealer was a child about 6 on a small pony competing in the barrel racing. The women's time was about 17 seconds. This child with her dad leading her took 45 seconds. It was just precious. Another beautiful girl about 8 did the regular barrel course in under 17 seconds, beating all the women. Wish I could remember her name, she has a great future. There were youngsters competing in almost every event.

What a great day!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Last Day at Yellowstone

Since we have been in Cody we have been just blah...I don't know if it is the change in altitude or what. We have done nothing up til yesterday. Yesterday we decided that we had come this far West to see Yellowstone. The snow had hampered our trip through the park due to drifts, closed roads and general bad weather. So we wanted to see the park in good weather. We started out with the temp over 60 degrees and headed down the Bill Cody Scenic Highway to YNP.
This was one of the "scenics" by the highway.
And this was another:
Scenic bill cody highway in WyP1040023
It was over a 50 mi trip to the entrance to the park. This entrance had been closed or the roads we could take to it had been closed since we got to the park. This might explain why:P1040068
That is a snowbank almost higher than my 4 wheel drive truck...amazing
P1040028Copy of P1040067
We were convinced that the other side of the park was prettier and had more wild life than this one til we turned the curve onto this scene.
Copy of P1040043Copy of P1040046
The hot steamy water pouring into Yellowstone Lake at this point causes the water to be a different color...can you see it?
We have learned, being the seasoned travelers that we are, that in this park when there are lots of people congregated in one spot, there is a bear. Sure enough a big grizzly bear. I had no idea that they had blond fur on their back.
Copy of P1040049
We stayed for quite a while watching this one forage through the grass for who knows what. It would look up at the crowd every once in a while, but not be interested enough to quit eating. ( We think Disney did a remarkable job on this one making it look so real. Ha)
We drove on over to Mammoth Springs, quite a drive filled with beautiful snow sites, but I am sure you have seen enough of that.As we approached here was our welcoming view:
Elk, lots and lots of elk complete with a warning sticker!It reminded us of our first visit to Banff, before the elk became such a nuisance that they were banished from the town.
Nothing in YNP is easy to get to. You must walk from the parking lot to the sights. Some of the walks are awe inspiring, some are "AW, no!" inspiring. This one was the latter:P1040088
We climbed most of this thing. But to do all of it is about a 2 hour hike.
Due to geological changes, earthquakes, calcium deposits and etc springs have left the most interesting deposits down the side of this hill( and I think the hill is from that too):P1040083
Yellowstone is full of warning labels. They warn you about the animals. They warn you about cars in the pullouts. They warn you to stay on the trails. They warn you not to walk on some of the ground because some of the ooze is so acidic that it will eat through the soles of your shoes. The scariest warning is that any minute a new steam eruption may occur. Some of this stuff is just vile:P1040087
But no one told the buffalo/bison.
We saw more wild life on this side of the park. I think it was because of the weather. Even the animals don't like the snow. Deer, elk, bison, bears a couple of times (remember look for the crowd of people), rabbits. We even think we spotted an eagle's nest, but some spoil sport said it was an osprey's.We have seen a "wolf-ote", so why not a "osgle"?P1040075

This guy was a hoot. So slow "one foot then wait then another foot then oh yeah I have two more feet to move

, but there is good grass right here":

Just remember if you are in that big a hurry you should have left yesterday!