Numbers 6: 24-26

The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

Friday, August 28, 2015

National Dam Day

 "We have the best Dam Volunteers around."
(Sign that greeted us on the way in.)

On August 15, we started the drive into Yellowstone. On the way we past by the Buffalo Bill Dam. It was Great Dam Day so we stopped to look around.

We didn't take the old dam hike but looked around the Visitor's Center and, as you can see, got pictures of the two sides. The construction is a concrete arch-gravity dam on the Shoshone River in the state of Wyoming.

When it was built, this dam was the tallest in the world. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is very well maintained.

There were 2 enthusiastic guys on small watercraft having a field day on the high water. It looked very refreshing! On our way back to the car, we stopped at a tent where ladies were selling baked goods to raise money. We bought 2 large chocolate chip cookies to munch on as we drove. They were the best cookies we've had since Christine's famous cookies. We waited about an hour and after we ate them we discussed whether we should turn around and just buy all she had!

And we arrived...around 3:00pm at our favorite place, the 2nd home, the Caretaker's Cabin. We are now unloaded and hard at work and play. We have a female roommate, Emily, but she will be leaving to return back to PA on August 27th.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

More of Buffalo Bill Museum

Ahh, did I say Indians? It appears between my phone, Bob's phone and his camera, we took 0 pictures of the Plains Indian Museum, seriously!

But we did get this beautiful statue in the courtyard. It is called the "Statue of the Plains Indian." Once again, the museum was full of history and memorabilia from days gone by and a culture lived by only a few today.

We also saw a demo on raptors. These two gorgeous birds were injured, brought in, nursed back to health and became part of the program. 

They didn't fly, but only sat and looked at us like they were very bored.

The top bird is a Red-Tailed Hawk and the owl is a Great Horned Owl.

From there we walked around the Whitney Western Art Museum. The art work includes paintings and sculptures. The paintings were oil, watercolor, pen and ink, etc., all very detailed and exquisite in color.

I didn't know what Bob was taking pictures of so can't say who the artists are, but they are super examples of some of the art.

Several of the sculptures were outside in the courtyards. Many were done by Frederic Remington. But there is a 'who's who' of western art included in the collection.

"The Scout, a bronze statue of a mounted rider outside the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, was placed in 1924 to commemorate the town's most famous resident and de facto founder, Buffalo Bill Cody. Heiress and artist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney sculpted the piece." (Taken from Wikipedia)

Walking thru Cody, we found this statue of two male Elk fighting. It defies gravity, as many of the statues do, by having only 3 hoofs actually touching the base. There is one other point helping the front Elk stay in place.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Guns Galore!

The next part of the museum we went to was for the firearms. A true history of rifles, shotguns, handguns, mavericks, pistols, derringers, gatlin guns...are you getting the picture? I've never seen so many guns. Although I am not even mildly interested in firearms, this is an impressive collection and oh, the stories!

So, the collection was from the 1500's on up, all in pristine condition and grouped according to style, type and manufacturer and many of them were owned by famous individuals, including Pres. Teddy Roosevelt.

There was even a section from the old westerns from the movies and TV.

Outside in the enclosed courtyard we also visited the cabin where Cody was raised. It had been transferred to the museum grounds and, of course, renovated.

And since we had the Cowboys on this blog, the next one will be on the Indians!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Buffalo Bill Museum

Buy one ticket, use it for 2 days. Best deal in town! Best way to see and really enjoy the museum.

There are 5 museums in one.

We decided to start with Buffalo Bill and his story.

He married, had 4 children, 1 son and 3 daughters. The son and 1 daughter died early. The other two married and had kids which Cody loved.

This picture was created by some sort of wispy air from a machine and a projector behind. I have my hand in the mist.

His story was so interesting that we would like to buy a biography. Buffalo Bill lived life with gusto and left quite a legacy. I can't even begin to touch on what he accomplished.

The second museum we visited was for the Natural History. The entire museum is so well done and the exhibits in this part did not disappoint.

Some of these animals look like they are just pictures, but they are mounted to look so special.

Check this out...Bison from this side, looks pretty normal...

Here's the other side.

As we left the building for the day, this family of Menonites were outside waiting to be picked up. The only differences from the Amish in the east seemed to be the haircuts and colors of clothing. All the guys had the bowl cut. All the females had head coverings so we assumed there is long hair underneath. It was fun to end the day at the museum here.

Lastly, we had dinner at The Irma.

Bob ate from the buffet and I had a salad with salmon on top. Another dinner we had to waddle away from!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Rodeo (or Rodayo?)

The Rodayo, an American tradition, time honored and interesting to watch. This one opened with a nice prayer and no apologies for it.

We were seated in an identical set of stands as this one across the field.


Then we stood for the National Anthem. Go figure!

This rider made circles around the field while the Anthem played.

To open the program, these girls rode all around the field in several formations. Lots of practice needed to perform this nicely!

The announcer informed us that the events being held each night were real events, and all riders and contestants were competing in various rodeos around the region for the end of season prize.

Bronc riding? I'm not sure that is what this is called, but its certainly more than horseback riding! Note the strap around the horses back, in front of it's legs. When a rider finished the required 8 second ride, or was dumped off, the 2 guys on horseback (one in pic here) would race along side the bucking horse and release the strap. The horse immediately calmed down. This practice gives me pause but I'm sure the animal rights people check it all out. Not my favorite thing to watch though. Out of 6 riders, only 2 stayed on.

Then came the calf roping. This was almost funny at times to see the calf outwit the cowboy. When the calves were released, they knew right where to go to get out of the ring. In fact, all the animals knew what gate to head to, even though there were riders to direct them.

This was fun to watch. All kids 12 and under were invited to come on the field to participate in an event. Two calves were released, each with a handkerchief on its back, and the first kid to grab the hankie and take it back to the clown in the center got a prize.

This was an interesting event. Two cowboys for one steer. One ropes only the horns of the steer and the other has to rope the 2 hind feet. Several roped the neck and/or one leg, or missed altogether, so there were again only 2 that completed the task out of 5.

This girl is running the last leg of the 3 barrel race. They had room to turn on the 'after-burners' at this point.

This was an all female event, but we were told that if a boy under the age of 12 wanted to compete, they were allowed. Then a dad and a 5 yr old take to the field to run the barrels. There was no competition, of course, but it made everyone smile.

Last up was the bull riding. Boy, is this brutal to watch. Out of about 6 competitors, only one stayed on the 8 seconds. But he couldn't get his hand untwisted from the rope so when he jumped/fell off, he was being drug all around the arena. There were 2 cowboys and a clown trying to get to him, but they couldn't get too close or risk their horse trampling him. After about 20 seconds, which seemed a life time, he got loose. It took a minute for him to stand up and walk off the field but his right arm hung limp at his side. If he didn't break something then he at least tore every tendon, nerve and/or muscle on that shoulder and arm.

Again, if you look at the back of the bull, you can see a rope tied around it's middle. These devices obviously had something to do with making them buck.

Fortunately, he was the 2nd rider so the trauma we witnessed wasn't the last thing we left with, but Bob and I won't soon forget it! With all the events, we were there about 2.5 hours. We enjoyed the evening  and are glad we finally got to see the Cody Rodeo.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Moving On...

To Denver... but since there wasn't extra time left, we only stopped for lunch. Bob spotted a Jimmy John's Sub Shop and we decided to give it a go. Once in, the manager (Steve) happened to be there with the workers and we admitted we've never been to one so had to take a minute. Steve called to the kid ringing us up and said "Comp their order and add chips and drinks to it." We couldn't believe we got the whole meal for free! I told Steve he'd be on my blog, ha! Jimmy John's subs are a definite step above Subway and about the same price. There's my commercial.

On the way to Cheyenne we had to go thru these tunnels. Look at that solid rock they had to blast thru. Pretty amazing to see.

This tunnel entrance is for the railroad tracks. It's the same on the other side. All we could figure is they (RR) are trying to minimize the damage from falling rocks on those tracks. But seriously, wood held up with individual boards for support? Whoa!

We passed thru Cheyenne and managed a short visit with Allan and Edna at their new house. It was nice to see them if only for an hour or so. The day ended with a run down room in a run down hotel that we were glad to get. Being so close to Cody, apparently they all book up early. Sigh.

Now, a 4 hour drive to Cody, with a stop in Thermopolis (this town always makes us think of Super Man!) was the plan for Day 8. Okay, make that 6 hours. We stopped in Thermopolis for a walk around the hot springs park and then had lunch at a local little shop. This spot is in the middle of nowhere and has hot springs all over the place.

We made Cody in time for a little nap and to attend the 6:00 Western Shoot 'Em Up show (along with a few hundred of our friends). This is held every night June - August in the street beside the Irma Hotel.

The Irma (as its called locally) was built by Buffalo Bill for his favorite, and oldest, daughter, Irma. It has a large restaurant and hotel. Some of the original furnishings, such as the bar, are still in use today.

Annie Oakley, Black Bart, Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and a few others entertained us for 30 mins in the street.

The bullets they used were blanks but had plenty of sound going for them. Wild Bill showed Bob and I (we bought a raffle ticket after the crowd had left) his gun and how he packs the gun powder in the chamber using peanut butter!

Script was totally lame but its all done for charity and was a lot of fun to watch. The money they make from renting the chairs ($2 ea) and selling posters and having a rifle raffle all goes to charity.

The actors are all volunteers. At one time, the character of Buffalo Bill Cody was played by his real grandson. "Bill Cody" still walks around the restaurant in the evening and greets people at their tables and poses for pictures.

Final stop for the evening was the Dug Up Gun Museum. It is exactly what it's name says. They had a wonderful display of rifles, shot guns and pistols that have been extracted from the earth from all over the US. They ranged from pre-civil war time on up. There were 2 rows of glass cases on each side of the row and they included bayonets, bullets, memorabilia and pictures.

It is free but they ask for donations. The guy who was there to run it, also owns it and is a real enthusiast. I have a brother-in-law that would spend all day in here I suspect!