Our plans to stay in West Yellowstone, MT were shattered when we could not get reservations at Grizzly RV until September 15. We decided to go ahead and do some other sightseeing in the nearby area while waiting for our reservation. In the meantime we found another RV park, Yellowstone Valley Inn, located between Cody and Yellowstone National Park. As we approached the RV park, we realized that we stayed here 32 years ago in a pop-up tent trailer with Lindsay age 5 and Leslie 18 mos. A few changes have been made through the years!
Cody, Wyoming was founded in 1895 by William Cody, at the height of “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s fame. Cody is the most prominent town on the doorstep of Yellowstone National Park and has evolved into a tourist town.
In Cody, we visited the Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum. The museum is five world-class museums and a research library—all under one roof. The museums include; Buffalo Bill Museum, Cody Firearms Museum,Draper Natural History Museum,Whitney Western Art Museum, Plains Indian Museum, and the McCracken Research Library. These museums explore the life and times of William Cody, the heritage of the Plains Indian people, and the story of the greatest tool on the frontier, the gun.
Most of our time was spent in the Firearms Museum(Ken’s favorite) which houses the most comprehensive collection of American firearms in the world. There were over 7,000 firearms and more than 30,000 firearms-related artifacts. Ken could have spent the entire day in this museum!
We stopped for lunch at Irma’s Restaurant. The restaurant was in The Irma Hotel, built in 1902 by Buffalo Bill Cody. We ate in the section with the famous cherrywood bar, a gift from Queen Victoria, dating to the period of construction. The food was so-so, but it was fun to eat in a historic restaurant.
On our way back to the RV Park, we stopped by the Buffalo Bill Dam and Visitor Center, in the Shoshone Canyon. At the center, we watched a lengthy movie on how the dam was constructed. Work began on the dam in 1905. When it was completed in 1910, it was the highest dam in the world at 325 feet.
We took a drive on Stagecoach Road before returning to our coach. It was a nice ride that took us by several ranches. Life is definitely different in Wyoming!