Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cody Wyoming

So today we just pretty much hung around Cody, did some shopping, and a little driving around to see the sights of Cody.  Cody was founded by its name sake, Buffalo Bill Cody, who first visited the area in the 1870's.  He returned in the mid 1890's, and the town was incorporated in 1902.  Originally the town was located at the east end of the Shoshone Canyon. The site was named Cody in 1895. Streets were laid out and named for originators of the community, including General Phil Sheridan.

As one would think, everything is centered around "Buffalo Bill" and the "Wild West"...
From large signs hung on buildings...
 ...to the famous "Irma Hotel", started by Buffalo Bill back in 1902 where they still hold re-enactments of a wild-west shoot-out, and it has been in operation for 110 years now.
 Even the park above has put a wagon in front of it to give it the "old west" theme.
Of course, there is the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, where there is a statue of Buffalo Bill riding the Pony Express horse outside commemorating his role with the Pony Express back in 1860 at the age of 14 years old.  
 And EVERYTHING focuses around the big, nightly summer armature rodeo held every night during the summer.
 One can't miss the "Fort Cody Restaurant' with the giant copy out there waving you in.

 Many of the buildings along the main street are focused on the tourist, as is this trading post above, or the "Silver Dollar Bar" below.
But again, EVERYTHING focuses on the rodeo....many people come to Cody just to see a rodeo, and it is suppose to be a good one...although we are among those who came to see it.
Cody calls itself the "Rodeo Capital of the World".  Cody also hosts the Cody Stampede Rodeo, a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo.  It is one of the largest rodeos in the nation that is held over 4th of July Holiday.  Many of the top cowboys in the country attend, and it has been held from July 1–4 every year since 1919.

Over by the rodeo, is the "Old Trail Town",  where the first Cody City  stood back in the early 1890's.


Today the "Old Trail Town" is a collection of not just Cody City buildings, but historic western buildings and artifacts. Buildings include a log cabin owned by a Crow Indian scout for Custer, and two cabins used by Kid Curry and Sundance Kid back in the early 1880s from the "hole-in-the-wall" area of north central Wyoming.  It now has 25 buildings, 100+ horse-drawn vehicles, and a collection of memorablilia of the old Wyoming frontier.
Cody Wyoming has a lot of history for a town which started 120 years ago or so.  Although there was no town at first, it was a important area to the Indians, to the fur traders, and many paths went through the area where the Shoshone River comes out of the mountains to the west, and runs through the basin area.  There once was many hot springs, geyser cones, and other geothermal features in the area too....much of which are now extinct, or covered by the large reservoir to the west of town.

As for us, we are ready to move on to explore the Bighorn area to the east and north-east of us.  Not a long travel day, but it will put us at the foot of the Bighorn National Forest where we should have a day trip or two to see sights around there...and perhaps some more Bighorn Sheep.

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