The first stop on my most recent road trip was Cody, Wyoming. It wasn’t really on my list of “places I must go”, but my friend decided to come with me on the first half of the trip, and Cody was on her list. We drove straight from Jackson to Cody on our first day. Because our route took us through Yellowstone, we stopped at the Fishing Bridge area for a few hours to walk and picnic.
Driving from the East entrance of Yellowstone National Park to Cody was filled with tall red rocks and curvy roads. Just before arriving in town, we stopped at Buffalo Bill State Park and Reservoir. The bright green waters set against the dusty colors of Wyoming was beautiful. Then we stopped briefly at the Buffalo Bill Dam before driving through the tunnel into Cody. We stopped in at our campsite, set up our tent, and prepared for our weekend.
I’ve already mentioned Buffalo Bill a couple of times, as you may have noticed. Some of you might know who this Buffalo Bill character is, but I had only ever heard the name. I went to Cody with no clue who he was, what he did, or why he had his own town. You can come to Cody with zero knowledge of this man, but you certainly can’t leave without learning his story.
We spent most of the day at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. It contains five separate museums in one place: The Draper Museum of Natural History, Buffalo Bill Museum, The Plains Indian Museum, Whitney Western Art Museum, and the Cody Firearms Museum.
Most interesting to me were the Natural History and Art museums, while the firearms museum was mostly me sitting on benches thinking “these guns all look the SAME”. But the Buffalo Bill Museum is probably where I learned the most.
I won’t go through the whole story, but I at least know who Buffalo Bill is now. His real name is Bill Cody, the founder of Cody, Wyoming. He was world-famous back in his day for creating stories and plays and a whole crazy show about the good ole’ Wild West. He toured the globe, putting on performances of the classic “Cowboy and Indians” variety. I can’t say I would have had any interest in said show, but creating a name like that for yourself back then must have taken a lot of work.
After the museums, we walked around town a bit, ate some pizza, and then went back to camp another night. Camping really was my favorite part of visiting Cody. I can’t say I’d recommend going to Cody, Wyoming–you can certainly die happy never having been there–but I never turn down an opportunity to go somewhere I’ve never been before.
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