I’m In Love with Buffalo Bill Cody

Cody, Wyoming was the first stop we made in Wyoming going from South Dakota to Yellowstone.  We (me, Leonard and my grand-wonder Aubrey) met our friend Tee-Gie Hamilton and her three precious grandchildren in Keystone, SD.  After three days of “playing” at Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park and soooooooooooo much more, we headed out toward Yellowstone.  We got as far as Cody, WY – totally exhausted.  We drove over the pass allowing the grands to actually play in snow at the top of the pass.  This is a rare opportunity for children from south Louisiana…and quite a wonderful sight to see.

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We got to see very little of Cody on this first trip because our goal was to spend the day showing the grands as much of Yellowstone as is possible in a day and where we were to work.  The bridge between Grant Village (where we were to work) and Old Faithful (our main goal) was completely closed, so the grands didn’t get to see it, but did enjoy Yellowstone Falls, the Yellowstone Grand Canyon, falls and Mammoth Springs before driving up to our friend’s home in Livingston, MT for a few days of rest.  We put the grands on a flight home to New Orleans from Bozeman on June 2nd (sniff).

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Our first day trip on our first day off was to Cody.  We (Tee-Gie, me and Leonard) packed our lunch and headed to The Center of the West Museum.  This is a must see stop, I would give it a minimum of two days, we had one.  This is just a tiny sample of the incredible western art (eye candy) available at this wonderful museum.

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We made a brief stop at the Cody Reservoir Dam, created for irrigation on the Shoshone River.  We went to the Irma Hotel for supper before heading back to Yellowstone.

Yes, the water up here is emerald green...I am used to brown.

Yes, the water up here is emerald green…I am used to brown.

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The Hotel was built by Bill Cody for his daughter, Irma and is still quite the show piece.  The bar in the salon is made of Rose Wood given to Bill Cody as a gift by Queen Victoria.

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After Leonard and I left Yellowstone for the summer we headed back to Cody for another afternoon at the museum and dinner at the Irma Hotel after a Wild West show done by local volunteers to raise money for local children’s charity done in the street next to the Irma Hotel. These volunteers portrayed Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Calamity Jane, Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Wild Bill Hitchcock.

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After dinner we enjoyed a true Cowboy Music Show featuring Dan Miller, his youngest daughter Hannah, Wendy Corr and Ed Cook – well worth the time and money (which was reasonable).  http://cowboymusicrevue.com/about-the-band  Check out more information on the band on this link.  So very talented.

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South Dakoda – Part III – BLACK HILLS & BADLANDS

We arrived in Keystone at about 4:00 p.m. (Mountain Time), to meet up with our friend and her three grandchildren (Isabelle 15, Collin 13 and Hamilton 11).

Keystone reminded me of a small Pigeon Forge, TN town with a western flair the moment we drove in.  We stayed three nights at the Econolodge.  It is an older, but clean and comfortable motel, with the necessary INDOOR pool/hot tub.  Keystone is definitely the best location to see all the incredible and splendid sites of this area.  You could easily spend a week here.

First night we all gathered at The Ruby House Saloon, fashioned after a Victorian era, Wild West bar.  After we drove up to Mount Rushmore for the evening light show.  The show started at 9:00 p.m., we arrived at 8 with still plenty of daylight to see this masterpiece.  Just so you know, it gets refreshingly cool here at night in late May.

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The next day we drove to Wind Cave National Park.  The drive, for me, was the best part.  It was a thirty mile drive through mountains and prairie, which hosted Buffalo, White-tail Deer, Prairie Dogs, Prong Horn Antelope, Black & Grizzly Bears, Rattle Snakes, Elk and Chipmunks.  We saw all but the bear and the snakes.  The Prairie Dogs were the biggest hit because we just pulled off the road and the pasture was full of them – barking and alerting the tribe of us “dangerous predators”.  I chose not to go into the cave because I’m still have a bout of vertigo and sweet husband stayed back with me.  Our friend took all four teens into the cave for an hour and half tour…brave and kind woman.

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Our plan was to drive back to Keystone to let the four teens take the alpine coaster, ropes course and zip line (an approximate 2 hour adventure), but thunderstorms moved in and the whole event had to be canceled.  We promised (weather permitting) we would try again in the morning.  They were greatly bummed, but settled for pizza at the pool/hot tub.

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Next morning was 46 degrees and rain.  We took them to an indoor fun house that promised extreme optical illusions.  Sweet husband stayed back and did laundry.  From there we drove past Mt. Rushmore to the Crazy Horse Monument.  This is enormous and ambitus and privately funded.  It was started in 1948 and will not be finished in our grandchildren’s life time.  They also have a wonderful film and museum.  I and the two 15 year olds were invited to dance with the Lakota Indian who was demonstrating several of his native Lakota dances.

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On our way home, we drove through Custer State Park on the Needles Highway.  This road, which in my opinion did not qualify as a highway, goes through the most incredible, massive, magnificent, vertical needles of granite.  It is only a few miles long, but took us well over an hour.  Prepare to be amazed.

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Arriving back at the motel, we hit to pool/hot tub again and had a picnic on the beds in one of our rooms.

In Downtown Rapid City are bronze statues of ALL of our Presidents.  Yes, they literally have them all.  It is called, “Presidents Walk”.  This is just a sampling.

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Next stop:  Cody, Wyoming…they have painted Buffalo on the downtown streets (way cool).