This morning, I had to send everyone else to breakfast while I had a work call I couldn’t miss. They walked down to the Irma Hotel- Buffalo Bill Cody’s famous hotel, opened in 1902, in the city he founded- incorporated in 1901. He passed through the area and loved it so much for its proximity to Yellowstone and rich soil, he decided to put a town there. Thus, Cody, Wyoming was born.
William “Buffalo Bill” Cody was quite the character. He was one of those folks that was into a little bit of everything. He was a Union soldier. He was a Scout for the army during the Indian wars, he rode for the pony express, he shot buffalo for the railroad workers to keep them fed- killing so many that he earned his nickname “Buffalo Bill”. There was supposedly another hunter for the railroad folks that was also named William- and he and William Cody had a competition to see who would be able to earn that nickname of Buffalo Bill- in the end William Cody killed 68 buffalo and the other guy killed 48…and he was a part Native American hunter. Says something about how good he was at it.
He became famous in a newspaper article for being a man of the west… and other stories, books, etc all followed turning him into a national celebrity and symbol of the American West. He eventually had a traveling Wild West Show that was seen around the world, showcasing the Wild West of yesteryear to city folks and Europeans looking to get a glimpse of the fabled western frontier.
The hotel has a very cool bar, a personal gift to Bill Cody from Queen Victoria. The Wild West Show had performed in England during the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and had performed for the German Kaiser, the future king George V, etc.
Then it was off to The Buffalo Bill Center of the West. If you ever find yourself near Cody, Wyoming- this one is worth the trip. Its 5 museums in one. Plus an active saddle maker, an active lab (that was removing tissue from a grizzly bear skeleton when we were there) as well as shows, demonstrations and other events. I didn’t allow NEARLY enough time to see everything. So we only got the highlights in a quick meander through. When you buy a ticket, its good for 2 days… and I think you could use a full day to really see everything.
We walked through the Natural History museum first
Next was the William Cody Museum that had so many pieces of memorabilia and antiques from his life.
We went to the Plains Indian Museum next. Again, just tons of amazing artifacts, beadwork, dyed buffalo hides, etc. An amazing collection.
Lastly, we visited the Cody Firearms museum. It was MASSIVE. Like, overwhelmingly massive. If you are super into firearm history, this is THE PLACE for you. Kegan was even like “I cant process any more. I either need all day to sit and go through every drawer, or we need to go” haha
We stopped at another small museum in town called the Cody Dug Up Gun Museum. Kegan made a quick pass through the second-floor one-room museum. Although it was small, it was well laid out and had a lot of neat pieces. The room was filled with displays of found items- guns, knives, belt buckles, etc.- ranging from old west through WWII era. This isn’t the pristine curated collection that you see at the Cody Firearms Museum, but it is interesting to see things that were found. Most are rusty, beat up junk. But that is the draw of it. Someone found a revolver with the hammer rusted in the the cocked position. Did the owner get shot and dropped it before he could fire? Did he get scared by a bear and drop it while running away? Who knows- but it is fun to imagine the story behind all these items. They didn’t allow photos, so you just get narration 🙂
We made one last stop in Cody, at the Old Trail Town Museum- the original planned site of the town of Cody. They’ve moved a lot of old structures from around Wyoming to this site to reconstruct and save these old buildings. A couple of them are famous. One is the saloon where Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch used to hang out. There are even bullet holes in the saloon doors.
After this, it was a lot of driving, just exploring the state of Wyoming…which by the way…is really sparsely populated with a LOT of ranches and land in between towns. We drove a couple hours and I swear we didn’t pass a single house. It was odd.
We found a strange rock formation called Devil’s Kitchen that looked like they needed to film one of those cheesy Star Trek alien fight scenes at the base of it. ha (Norah says Star Wars… to each their own sci fi series. ha)
Next, we drove past a formation called Chimney Rock
Our drive continued through Bighorn National Forest through some nice views and ended at a very high overlook over the valley.
We got to Casper and ate at the Rib and Chop House- which we thought was going to be fairly fancy… and it ended up being Texas Roadhouse without the peanuts on the floor. But- I had a great filet steak with mushrooms and a crab and shrimp stack that was decent. The rest of the group was upset there was no rolls or bread. ha (I guess one benefit of trying to eat keto. I didn’t miss the bread ha)
Off to bed and headed to Cheyenne by way of Laramie tomorrow.