Wednesday, August 28, 2013

16th day away from home (August 25th, 2013)

I have missed a couple of days.  To be perfectly frank one day is rolling into another and I am a bit confused as to which day is which now.   

I had a problem with my iPad and wasn't able to jot things down for a while.  It was a simple fix, all I had to do was reboot.  Some days you just want to say, "Duh!"  

I had already bought myself a pencil and paper ready to start writing in the glorious old-fashioned way but then as quickly as I thought about it, my iPad was back to normal and I put those thoughts out of my head. 

 I feel like I have a foot in both camps, I realize my handwriting is becoming chicken-scratch with lack of use, but I also realize that computers are the future.  I wonder if this is how people felt when they invented the typewriter, or even before that, the printing press.  

Let's start again.....August 25th, 2013 

8.25 a.m. we are leaving our hotel in Casper, Wyoming and are 4,289 miles away from home.

We head to Walmart as we saw it last night.  We needed to buy extra memory cards for our cameras, and also a portable hard drive to back up these precious vacation photographs.  Most of them are in the cloud but there you go, we are covering all bases.  I also bought a notebook in case my IPad packed in.  It is acting a little strange.  Also a tin of Altoid peppermints and some cleaning wipes to use on lenses and computer screens.  Hmmmm.....maybe it would be easier to travel with 'film' and a notepad and paper?  Nope, no going back now!

All taken care of and right now Gregg has popped into the Safeway down the road.  He always asks me if I would like a Cafe Latte before we start off and when it is available.  They have a Starbucks stall set up in the supermarket.  What a guy!   He said it is to stop the early morning chuntering, yes he is joking but I am not a morning person.  Now we are at the gas station and he is cleaning the car's front window again. They get  dirty very quickly.

We are on our way to Cody at 8.57 a.m.  and will be in Yellowstone this evening.  I am excited at the thought of seeing Yellowstone again.

9.14 a.m. I took my first photo of the day, a red barn.

9.27 a.m. We saw our first Pronghorn Antelope herd.  There were at least 30 of them.  Gregg was able to stop the car as there was no traffic but they were way off in the distance and I only managed to get a fuzzy few.

We keep seeing Pronghorn Antelope all along the road side, quite a ways from the road and usually behind a barbed wire fence.  They feed on the sage and we read that sage always sticks up above the snow in wintertime, so they have food all year.  Their life span is around 15 years old.

Gregg just stopped the car so that we could take a better look.  There were some closer to the road this time.   

9.44 a.m  Gregg quipped the road was "like a ribbon of licorice ahead of us."   

11:30 AM we traveled through Thermopolis, Wyoming.   We saw deer crossing the road in moderate traffic.  People just stopped their cars and let them pass.  It didn't seem to bother them or the deer.

Really good  cell phone reception in Wyoming, even in the desolate areas.   Thank you Wyoming!

I need to look up Hamilton Dome.  Passed sign at 11.53 a.m.

Found a blogger from Thermopolis, Wyoming but he stopped his blog in 2010.  It's address is here.  

Just passed a sign at around noon for Yellowstone, 110 miles away.

What is a heffer, look it up later. Passed a sign where they were for sale.  Yes I am a city girl and these are the things that interest me on a long journey.

 We visited a museum on Buffalo Bill in Cody arriving at 12.30 p.m.  It is actually called The Buffalo Bill Historical Center which you can visit here.  For a biography of Buffalo Bill you can go here.  

Oh my gosh, it was magnificent!  We could have spent all day, and probably more but at 2.50 p.m. we are leaving the center.  Whoever put this museum together deserves many, many awards.  There are five areas inside the building, we only managed to get through one, which was all about Buffalo Bill.  

We sat and had lunch and the windows looked out on one of the gardens, there were two on either side of the building, with statues of American Indians.  This one is of Crazy Horse. 

Bird houses were next to the window and I watched birds feeding.  The gardens were small but beautifully laid out and well taken care of.

You know, on our last trip out west, we bumped into a couple who had just been to Cody and they did not enjoy their visit.  They couldn't say anything nice about the place and grumbled about everything.  We were at the time thinking of coming here but because they gave it such a lousy rep, we decided to give it a miss and go somewhere else.  We learned a good lesson by visiting Cody.  We hesitated at first, remembering that past conversation but decided to go anyway, saying to ourselves how can a place be that bad!  Well, we loved it and realized that everyone has a different view of things and it may not necessarily be yours.  

Years ago my Mom and Dad sent me the center piece out of an English newspaper.  It told the story of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show coming to Wolverhampton back in the late part of the 1800's.  Wolverhampton (England) is where my parents were from.  I have that newspaper somewhere at home, it is probably in a box down in the basement.  It told of how Sitting Bull was distressed at how poor everyone was, that he sat on the steps of the Fighting Cocks pub and handed out pound notes to people as they walked by.  Is this fact?  I can only repeat what I read in the newspaper and I like to think it is a true story.

Gregg is standing in front of a mural depicting the meeting between Queen Victoria and Buffalo Bill in 1887.  Below is one of his coats.

Cody was a great place to visit and we will be going back again one day.  Like many of the places we have visited, I will be sharing more about the above at a later date.  

3.50 p.m. we entered Yellowstone National Park.  The mileage is now 4,555 miles.   The Park Ranger at the entrance gate asked us if we enjoyed our visit to the Buffalo Bill Center in Cody.  How did she know?  We were really puzzled.  And then as we drove through we realized we were still wearing the stickers we were given when we paid for our tickets.

Smelled coffee on the road.  Figured it must have come from a campfire. I am trying to wean myself off Starbucks, just for a short while and as there isn't one here (yes I checked) it will be relatively easy.

We smell pine, we smell smoke.  Gregg saw two elk, and we have both seen buffalo.

The sulphur smell in certain areas is very heavy but we are in Yellowstone.  We have heard about fires and see the results of many fires from years ago.  We drive on one road and there are signs telling us not to stop for six miles.  The pull-offs are all blocked off along this particular road.  The fear of more fires is evident. Why along that stretch of road and not anywhere else we've traveled we are not sure of the reason but we obey, unlike one car who drove through the cones and parked anyway.  The last thing we saw was a Park Ranger passing by and pulling up behind them.  I am sure they were told to move on and to please not do that again.  

4.47 p.m. we are driving by Hayden Valley, and now Trout Creek.  We see lots of fishermen with waders standing in shallow water in the rivers.  The scenery is incredible!

4.51 p.m. I took photos of buffalo and baby.

As soon as we exit the park at the west entrance we are in West Yellowstone and we head for our hotel.  We will be here for five days.