Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Buffalo Bill territory - 5 August 2012

Back on the now familiar I-90 we ate up the miles through the undulating ranchlands of Wyoming heading west towards the Rockies. But before we got there we had to cross miles of dry dusty rolling hills and large flat barren areas broken only by the ribbons of green along the rivers and the  irrigated areas.

Sometimes the only sign of habitation, apart from the ribbon of the Interstate, was the scattered nodding-donkey oil pumps or other oil or gas well-head installations.

The Interstate swung north for quite a while before we left it and headed west again on Hwy 14 taking the scenic route over the Big Horn mountains, getting up to 8327ft before dropping down past the delightful Shell Falls and finally into Cody.

Cody was founded by William Cody or Buffalo Bill as he was known for his buffalo hunting prowess and which later became his stage name as he took his Wild West show touring America and the World (even played at Windsor Castle by Royal Command for Queen Victoria).

The town of Cody has a fabulous museum with one whole section dedicated to their famous founder.  This section of the five-building museum has just been re-opened after a refresh and is brilliantly done, as is the natural history section which could only be improved if they removed all the gratuitous nods to global warming and other nonsensical claims about extinction rates caused by humans.

If guns push your button there are 2700 to see in that section and the Western art area has many terrific paintings and sculptures. We certainly did not have time to do it justice before we had to make camp in time to be ready for the evening rodeo.

The rodeo was all we expected it would be, calf-roping, barrel racing, bull riding, bronco riding, rodeo clown - the whole ten yards.  The talent and skill of the riders was fantastic and one event even required one rider to lasso the rear ankles of a running calf, quite an amazing feat.  In the barrel racing one could see the obvious enjoyment of the horses after they rounded the last barrel and headed for the finish line.  A very enjoyable evening and I can honestly say that this is the best rodeo I have ever seen

316 miles today, total trip 3765. States South Dakota, Wyoming.

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