So Nature is Calling
Hmmmm, so you are walking around downtown exploring the shops and galleries when you feel a need to look for a bathroom. Or you have small children and they have to use a toilet NOW. Well in down town Cody you are in luck! Being a tourist town Cody realized that it would be a convenience to shoppers to have a Public Restroom available. Be aware that the doors to these restrooms are very heavy, so don’t send your small child up the stairs to use the bathrooms by him or herself. The child may not be able to open the door, so may assume that the door is locked and someone else is using it. You don’t want to stand around waiting for someone to come out who isn’t really there. So give the door a good tug, and if unsure simply knock. If no one answers, pull harder. These restrooms may be found on Sheridan Avenue in the 1300 block next to the Plush Pony, a woman’s clothing store, and on the opposite side of the street from the Silver Dollar Bar.
Riding at Shoshone Lodge
We spent a night at Shoshone Lodge on our way to Cody in order to fulfil one of our holiday objectives: riding in Wyoming! At Shoshone it’s possible to stay just one night, and to book a ride by the hour, which suited our modest ambitions perfectly.
The prices here are very reasonable. We paid $25 per person for an hour’s ride that was actually well over that length. Longer rides are charged as follows:
2 Hour Ride......................................$45/person
Lunch or Dinner Ride........................$65/person
Tenderfoot Day Ride........................$100/person
Sourdough Day Ride........................$145/person
Day Ride in Yellowstone Park (first 2 persons)..$165/person
additional persons - $115/person
Overnight Wilderness Pack Trips.... $295/person
But we are very inexperienced riders so the shortest trip seemed the best option. We felt well looked-after by George the wrangler, and loved the experience of viewing the wonderful scenery around the lodge from the saddle. Our horses too took good care of us, though mine, Gilmour, nearly slipped at one point while Chris’s Strawberry was more interested at times in eating than sightseeing! I have to confess that we were well into the ride (probably just after that slip!) before it occurred to me that we should perhaps have asked if we could borrow hard hats, by which time it was far too late; so I don’t know whether they’re available for those who are more sensible than we were and think to ask for them.
Scenic Drive to Big Horn Canyon
Drive through Lovell, Wyoming to the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (often called Yellowtail Reservoir by locals). This was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, following the construction of the Yellowtail Dam by the Bureau of Reclamation. This dam changed the Bighorn River into a magnificent lake tucked into a gorge with sheer canyon walls, some cliffs reaching over 2000 feet high. Bighorn Lake extends approximately 60 miles through Wyoming and Montana, 55 miles of which are held within spectacular Bighorn Canyon. The Recreation Area is about 70,000 acres in size, and traverses the northern Wyoming and southern Montana borders. Bighorn sheep frequent the area, as well as numerous wild horses found in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. There is a visitor center near Lovell, Wyoming where you should stop to obtain information. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is one of the lesser-known treasures in the United States. It contains breath-taking scenery, countless varieties of wildlife, and recreational opportunities, such as boating, fishing, ice fishing, camping, and hiking.
East Gateway Town to Yellowstone National Park...
"...and a wonderful wild west town!"
We only spent one night is the town of Cody, but it was a great one! We stayed in a hotel where the beds were "heavenly "and had a fun morning exploring Main Street and having lunch in "Buffalo" Bill Cody's hotel. After lunch we visited "Old Trail Town",which is a collection of buildings from the late 1800's that were rescued from across the west to be preserved in this little town. It was a really interesting place! After that it was time to get back on the road, so back into Yellowstone we went stopping along the way to check out the Hoodoos....
The Wild West Hot Air Balloon Festival
The Annual Wild West Balloon Fest is usually held in early August. People from across the country bring their Hot Air Balloons to enjoy a social gathering, competitions, and various events. The public can watch these balloons being blown up and launched. In some cases, wind conditions permitting, you may even be lucky enough to get a ride, especially if you helped out. The photo above shows a launched balloon as seen past a balloon being inflated on the ground.
The balloons are first laid out on the ground where they are inflated and prepared for launching.
The Hot Air Balloons look so beautiful as they fill the Cody Skies.
Higher and higher they climbed, as they floated away out of sight.
First a fan is used to begin filling the balloons with air. Here you can look into the Sierra Trading Post's balloon as the fan begins filling it.
After the fans blow air into the balloons, a flame is added to heat the air, making the balloon buoyant. In this photo you can see the flame being adjusted.
This is the oldest hot air balloon in the United States still flying. The bottom of this balloon is made of 4 ounces of rip stop nylon, while the top is constructed of 2 ounce. This is a heavy balloon by today's standards.
The Sierra Trading Post's balloon was inflated and placed on a tether. They were the last balloon to be inflated and had planned to give short rides on the tether to those spectators still present in Mentock Park, where the balloons were launched. Unfortunately a light gusty wind arose, and after one trip aloft, they decided to deflate their balloon, as the conditions were not safe for their planned activity.