Kay’s comment at lunch sums it all up. “This is the Smithsonian of the West.” How right she is. We were simply not prepared for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Probably the best done museum we’ve ever been too. We started out at 8AM as the place opened and we went through the Buffalo Bill Museum first of course. We had no idea. BB was the first real rock star. Known all over the world in his time. What impresses the most is the maps of the US and Europe showing all the places that he took his show. Now we’re talking a cast of several hundred plus all the horses, buffalo etc. I think 4 seperate trips to Europe performing before all the English royalty, German royalty, and French royalty. In all, he took the show, distance wise, more than the distance to the moon and back in his lifetime. It is really rather incredible to think about it. Annie Oakley was along for most of it as well. Still quite a tragic life in many ways. More about that when we get home. Next we went to the Plains Indian Museum (all these are seperate wings in the complex). Have never seen anything done finer. You will leave there with tears in your eyes. Next we went to the Whitney Gallery of Fine Art. Has it all. Remington, Russel, Caitlin, Rungius, Wyeth are all there plus many, many more. Every famous American painter of the West is represented. Bronzes and paintings that will take your breath away. The Draper Museum of Natural History was next. Three stories high starting witht he Alpine zone at the top and you descend all the way down to the Wyoming desert floor. Each level a whole tour in itself. You leave there with a whole new appreciation for Yellowstone for sure, along with the rest of Wyoming. Kay said she thought she’d skip the Firearms Museum so we split up. I took one step in and put the brakes on and went to get Kay. If you’re thinking rows of guns, yes, it’s got that, but that’s just a drop in the bucket. A fully recreated log room with the best Boone & Crockett heads of all time, recreations of all the famous factory floors in Amercian and British gun making, Teddy Roosevelt’s weaponry that he took to Africa on his Safari after leaving the White House and more and more historical artifacts. You can’t swing a dead cat in there without hitting something famous. So we went very briskly yet it took us 7 hours to get through it all. No wonder everybody told us that you just can’t miss this place. It will just blow you away. I now have a goal of bringing my grandchildren here some day. They will get a priceless education that they will never get anyplace else.
The historical society of Wyoming has taken the original Cody townsight and acquired many, many of the most famous Wyoming log structures and re-assembled them at that location just to the west of current day Cody. Not just that, they have taken some of the most famous BODIES burried in Wyoming and reinterred them there. So off we went to visit Jeremiah Johnson (one of my personal heroes) gravesight, Butch Cassidy’s cabin, the cabin that the Sundance Kid used to hole up in before robbing the train at Red Rock, and on and on. Really neat stuff. Robert Redford who played Jeremiah in the movies was a pallbearer for the reinterrment and lots of pics of that day.
So what do you do after all that? A beer at the Irma Hotel of course. Now we’re resting up and icing down our leg muscles in preperation of fighting the crowds for dinner at the Irma (named after one of Buffalo Bill’s daughters). Should we not fall face down in our plates, we are on for the 11AM guided tour of Cody tomorrow morning. We may sleep till 10:45.
PS: The much anticipated snow flurries predicted for last night failed to materialize, proving that Wyoming weathermen are just as inept as Texas weathermen. It only got down to 54. How’s it supposed to snow at 54? We’re lovin’ it though as we hear of the high temps in Boerne everyday. We may have to build ourselves our own cabin up here and wait till winter sets in before headin’ south.