Trekkin’ to Cody

Friday, May 28. Spring has finally sprung in our great city of Idaho Falls. Here you see the giant May tree in our front yard blooming in its full glory.

Our tulips are blooming too.

Stunning trees decorate the town.

Albeit, admittedly, this tree looks in dire need of a shave or something there on its lower extremities.

But anyway, no time to smell the trees and flowers – we’re headed out on another road trip, this time to visit old friends in South Dakota. Today our destination is Cody, Wyoming, to our estimation, about a six-hour drive. Our route goes north on I-20, through Yellowstone Park and the Absaroka mountains.

Good thing we’re wearing layers and have our coats on hand in the back seat.

Because it’s chilly – and wet – as we pass through Island Park. We might be grateful for our 4-wheel drive vehicle through mountain passes.

We’re at the west entrance to Yellowstone now. We’ve already been to Yellowstone several times and are just passing through today. We’re interested in making the 83-mile trek across Yellowstone Park as quickly and smoothly as possible. No pulling over to gawk at distant animals, or standing by Old Faithful waiting for it to blow, or hiking through geyser basins and such.

No. We’re thinking, FAST. Our minds are on Cody.

Except the speed limit throughout Yellowstone Park is 45 miles per hour. Which is fine, and necessary, because you really don’t want to maim or kill any wildlife with your vehicle,

or fly past so quickly, you don’t realize you’ve passed a herd of animals to your left, what were they, anyway?

We are enjoying the scenery

amidst the line of cars.

“Honey, I don’t recommend passing five cars at once.” I say to David, who is driving.

“Uh, well, okay, so it’s possible.” Hold on to your seats …

Oh, oh. Road work next 11 miles.

The traffic has come to a complete stop.

Which, road construction, I’m sure, is necessary, albeit, it doesn’t mesh that well with our ‘fast and smooth’ plan of passage through Yellowstone.

Speaking of which, are we next in line to be hassled by that crow?

This is where my iphone shoots an abstract.

Which captures the mood and colors of the sky and holds its own in the chaos category, I’d say, too. But I’m no critic.

Anyway, the roadside is geysery.

Mmmmm … sulfur

Oh boy, rough road ahead.

It’s rough all right.

This drive through Yellowstone is taking longer than we had anticipated.

We spot several herds of buffalo.

The forests are looking a little thin. And significantly dead.

Yellowstone is obviously still recovering from the ravaging fires of 1988.

And, obviously, several more recent fires.

Some scenery reeks of violence and chaos.

There are healthy forests in Yellowstone.

Statuesque lodgepole pines accompany us on our drive along the highway.

Ushering us up to higher ground

into snow. Great. Like we just can’t get enough of it. We can’t get away from it! Well, at least the road is clear.

Yellowstone lake is still frozen.

As we wend our way through the southeast end of the park we spot the majestic Absaroka mountains awaiting us in the distance.

We have reached the east entrance…

and exit the park.

Here’s where things get a little squirrelly. We’re out of the park now. Who knows what the speed limit is? We’ve got some time and distance to make up.

Gees! Now we’re churning upward at a 60-degree angle. Honey, you might try driving a little slower.

We’ve entered the Absarokas now.

More wondrous terrain.

What an awesome drive!

The landscape is painted in June hues.

We enter Buffalo Bill State Park and reservoir.

Where we tunnel through rock,

exit back into daylight …

then tunnel again,

and emerge into more magnificence.

We’re entering Cody now –

named after the one-and-only William F. Cody, alias, ‘Buffalo Bill.’

This is a pretty cool statue of William F. Cody

outside near the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. We grab the couple of hours left of our day to visit the Historical Center before checking into our motel.

It’s a gigantic museum that you could spend three days in. Check out this link. We spend half of our visit in the Firearms section of the museum, driven by David’s curiosity. We snap some photos in the ‘Western Art’ section.

Here you see Megan posing with some buffalo, which,

she’s looking positively buff, wouldn’t you say?

David gets his head scratched

and is oh so happy to be relieved of his gargantuan scalp itch.

There is a huge section on the Plains Indians that is really fascinating and, well, you’ll just have to add Cody to your ‘must visit’ list and go see that museum.

We check into our motel for the night. Which, good thing, because the Holiday Inn in Cody is completely booked. We pass swarms of perky adults in the hallways, gathered in groups, wearing name tags, engaged in boisterous conversation and such. As it turns out, there is an Alcoholics Anonymous Convention going on at the motel. One guy passes us wearing a t-shirt, which, splayed on the front it says,

I’m a defect
in search of
character.

On that note, guess I’ll put a wrap on this. Oh. I also took a picture of the stunning window treatments in the motel lobby.

Granted they aren’t so stunning in this picture. But what is so stunning besides the color is that they are just bolts of fabric draped over hooks. Well, that’s what they look like. I’m not going to try and reproduce that no-sew treatment in my living room just yet.

I’ve got a bunch of flowers to plant.

And, uh, about 400 more photos on my iphone to sift through so I can tell you about the rest of our trip.

No? You’d prefer watching a real movie you rented from Netflix? AWWWWWW….

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6 Responses to “Trekkin’ to Cody”

  1. Rene Says:

    Jody,
    I enjoyed the virtual trip without leaving the comfort of my home. I did the drive through Yellowston East entrance once before during a summer vacation. I couldn’t believe how long it took and I think we had road construction too!

    • joddy123 Says:

      Maybe we locals would have taken more kindly to the road construction and traffic experience if we had had to travel from far ends of the country or earth to be there.

  2. Miss Karen Says:

    Ooooh, Jody!!!! I’m jones’n for a trip up there, thanks to your travelogue. Guess I’ll have to wait until AFTER Labor Day in order to miss trailing through the park staring at the license plates of an RV of great size. Oh wait, make that a herd of them. More! More!

    • joddy123 Says:

      Either that or just haul your own camper and just go nicely with the flow. And bring your binoculars and cameras.

  3. acaraher Says:

    They wear name tags at Alcoholics Anonymous conventions? Do they have their meetings at the bar too?

    • joddy123 Says:

      Well, their AA name tags had first names only – as for meeting in the bar, David was in there using his free drink coupon (no kidding) and didn’t see anyone in there with a name tag. He did report that the bar was mostly devoid of patrons except for a table of women in the far corner. (AA Wives??) David went by himself to the bar – Megan and I didn’t get free drink coupons. Maybe they had some scheme at the front desk to give one free drink coupon per group, thinking they’d scounge up some extra ‘cha-ching’ for drinks from the rest of the party. Who would all order another drink … Am I talking like a true alcoholic here? What was your question again?

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