Monday, September 19, 2011

Buffalo Bill & Cody

Our stay in Cody continued with a hike to the top of 8,123 foot Heart Mountain and a visit to the Japanese relocation center near the mountain. We also had visitors as Sherri & Mike, (aka Capt'n Catfish), arrived from WashPA for a week-long stay. The four of us explored a bit of Cody on the local trolley and toured The Buffalo Bill Historical Center.The view of Heart Mountain as we approached on the dirt road. The mountain is part of the Heart Mountain Ranch Preserve, 14,000 acres owned by the Nature Conservancy, that saved the land from development. The climb of 2500 feet over 3.6 miles was rather steep, but very scenic.

Here we are at the top. If you want a nice hike without many people, this is the place. We made the top late in the afternoon and were only the fifth and sixth people to sign the book that day

Part of the 360 degree view from the top. Once again it was smoky from the fires in Yellowstone but we could still see Pilot and Index Peaks in the distant Beartooth Mountains.

The Heart Mountain Relocation Center was used to house Japanese Americans, most of them US citizens, who were forced from their homes during WWII. This was one of the low points in the American history of civil liberties. It was as if the Japanese were less likely to be loyal to their chosen country then the millions of German and Italian Americans whose home countries we were also fighting. After they were allowed, these people showed their loyalty to the US when more than 400 from this camp enlisted and served in the military.

Here are Sherri and Mike at Buffalo Bill Dam. When completed in 1905 it was the highest dam in the world. In the 1980's it was raised 25 feet to increase the capacity of the reservoir by 50%. This is an interesting stop with a nice visitors center.

The Buffalo Bill Historical Center is named for William F. Cody who used his experience as a pony express rider, fur trapper and army scout, who also won the Congressional Medal of Honor, to create his Wild West show. This museum is often referred to as the Smithsonian of the West with its extensive collection of Western art and artifacts. There are five wings that feature Cody's life, Yellowstone natural history, a collection of 4000 firearms, Western art and the Plains Indian People.

Part of the exhibit about Buffalo Bill (center). On the left is Annie Oakley who was a featured performer in his show and on the right is Pawnee Bill one of the many Indians, including Sitting Bull, who were in the show that traveled throughout North America and Europe.

Some of the displays and artifacts in the Plains Indian Museum. There were several exhibits on their relationship with the buffalo.A few of the many pieces of art. For someone who dislikes snakes, the rattlesnake picture was very interesting as it was very, very large. Another is of Custer's Last Stand and a sculpture of Sacajawea. The historic center ticket is for two days and you really do need that much time to see all five wings. It is a must see stop if you get to Cody, a neat little town that is more than just a stop on the way to Yellowstone.


Merlene + Dan Goan said...

That was quite a hike.....we're impressed!

Sherry and Charley Dilworth said...

Cody is a great place. We spent 10 days there in early August and also visited briefly last year. Lots to do and lots to see but it sounds like you are doing that already!! Have fun and safe travels!!