Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cowboy Country and Cody, WY

Pictures L to R: Highway into Cody; The cherry wood bar at the Irma Hotel in Cody; Part of the Buffalo Bill Reservoir near Wapiti, WY; Green Creek Inn and RV Park.

24 July 2009 Cody, WY to Wapiti, WY

For most of the trip to Cody we sat in silence, just watching the scenery go by. Most of the drive between Thermopolis and Cody was very windy, so Dave was constantly fighting either a head wind or crosswind. He is guessing it was blowing at about 30 mph. As we neared Cody, we had to follow a pilot car for about a five mile stretch, and were amazed at the stupidity of the drivers ahead of us…trying to pass each other as we were being led!

We found Cody much to our liking. Yes, it is very touristy, particularly so because of all the Buffalo Bill hoopla and hype, but charming nonetheless, especially if you like the cowboy and Indian lore. We decided to stop and walk around town, but will save the world-class western museums for another trip. At one “Antique and Gun Shop” we stopped at, there in the corner was a gentleman, J. O’Ryan, working with leather. He primarily works on gun leather, horse tack, saddles, bags, and virtually anything you can think of that is made of leather. In fact, O’Ryan’s Custom Leather’s motto is “You name it, I make it!” Dave was very excited when he said he could make us new straps for our trunk—and that it would only take about an hour. The straps are perfect—high quality workmanship at a reasonable price.

We had lunch at the Irma Hotel, which was built by Buffalo Bill Cody back in 1906. Inside the restaurant is the original cherry wood bar that he had built, and it has just stunning workmanship on the woodwork. The ambiance is very “western” “big game” turn of the century, and the food and service was great.

Since the weather was iffy—possible rain, but still very windy, we made our way to Wapiti, WY, which is about 20 miles west of Cody, heading toward the east entrance of Yellowstone. We found a wonderful owner operated inn, Green Creek Inn & RV Park. It is small, but very clean and very well equipped, and much more reasonably priced than what we were finding in Cody. They have, I believe, 12 units, and a couple cabins, as well as RV hook-ups for maybe 10 rigs. Their facility also has on-site laundry facilities, grills and picnic tables, and stunning views. It is within walking distance to the Shoshone River. Jeff and Carolyn Rogowsky welcomed us with friendly smiles upon check-in; I’m sure we’ll find our way back someday.

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