Cody, WY, that quintessential western town. Home of Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley and stomping grounds of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Where else can you still see cowboys riding horses down main street? From the veranda of the historic Irma Hotel, built by Buffalo Bill for his daughter Irma, we watched a shoot-out in the street, we also attended the famous Cody Stampede, did our usual back country exploring and then met up with our good friends Will and Allie, now living in Australia.
We set off to find the ghost town of Kirwin, 30 miles into the back country. Snow melt from an almost unprecedented amount of winter snowfall has made rivers into raging torrents. As we continued up the dirt road a river crossed our path, we got through it only to be met by more and more water crossings. It was a hot day and the water was almost rising as we were watching and finally we came to a crossing that was just too deep. We were alone and with the rising water we feared that if we made it across we might be trapped on the other side. So close, we later found out from the visitor center that nobody but the rangers had made it up there yet this year, due to the water.
One day we went to the Heart Mountain Internment Center on the outskirts of Cody. Almost all of the 450 barracks have been removed, but over 10,000 Japanese were interred here during WWII, making it the third largest town in Wyoming at the time. A very nice information center has been built with original photos and home movies depicting what life was like in this harsh setting.
On our last day we all went to the fabulous Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This museum that has five different museums in it – The Buffalo Bill Museum, The Whitney Western Art Museum, A Natural History Museum, Plains Indian Museum and the Cody Firearms Museum. A ticket is good for two days and had we planned it correctly we would have gone back for the second day but our week was over and we have to move on.