Friday September 10 through Sunday September 12, 2021
I’m behind about a week updating this blog. It’s all due to technical difficulties- little to too slow internet being the main culprit. The blog should be back on track in a couple of days.
There’s a couple of ways we could scoot over to Cody from Sheridan. We choose the Bighorn Mountain Scenic Byway following US14 over the Bighorn Mountains to Grey Bull, then to Cody.
Once leaving the Tongue Valley the road gets pretty steep and windy. The good thing is there’s lots of pull outs and scenic areas that our combo will easily slide into. The unfortunate thing is the air is thick with smoke, limiting what would be gorgeous views to hazy vistas. We’ll gain over a mile in elevation, cresting at Granite Pass, 9033′.
About two thirds of the way up the eastern slope all hell breaks loose. The driver information center located on the instrument panel sends an audio alarm as well as a “low coolant” message, then a “check engine” alarm, then the engine quits on a very steep grade with no warning. With no power steering I managed to muscle the rig partly off of the road. Crap! Set the brake, recycle ignition, the engine fires- no codes and the engine temperature gauge reads normal. Yay! I get to a pull-out and check for leaks and a low coolant and nothing seems amiss. Turns out the steepness of the hill and the hard pull might have triggered the warnings. I’ll put a little more antifreeze in the expansion tank when we get to Cody. I think that will solve the problem. We have no more rig problems the rest of the this leg of the trip.
Cresting Granite Pass US14 goes on a long downhill slide the scenery changes dramatically until reaching Grey Bull (1875 souls.
The town invites travelers to mingle with the locals in its restaurants and bars and asks that you step into history at the Museum of Fight and Aerial Firefighting, their Dinosaur Geoscience Center and to drive a short distance east to the World Famous Red Gulch Dinosaur Track Site. Of course I had researched the area months ago but an aging mind forgot all about what Grey Bull had to offer so we just passed through……..
We’ve been to Cody several times before. Cody (9500 souls) is the seat of Park County.The town is named after Buffalo Bill Cody who helped found the town. It is nice town to visit with lots to see and do, the main attraction being the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. It is five museums under one roof and a must see.
One can also partake in chuckwagon dinners, and nightly Cody Stampede Rodeo through the first week of September. The National College Rodeo is in town September 11 and 12. Old Trail Town has a large collection of old Wild West and trapper buildings. Downtown, Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel is still a big draw. And downtown retains its heritage of the original two story brick buildings.
We chose not to visit museums rather absorb the flavor of the town. We like old towns and feel that we can get to know them better by interacting with and supporting the locals.
We chose to do this buy buying an ice cream cone at one of the old establishments…… It’s Saturday, September 11, the 20 year anniversary of 911. The town was very busy yesterday but not today. Both ice cream shops were closed- bummer! We are actually happy that so many businesses have shuttered their doors on this very heart wrenching day.
A few miles west of town is the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Ollie likes to chase the wind driven waves that slop onto the shore, but not today. An algae bloom warning is posted so he’s not getting wet. Instead we drive back on US 14 through three tunnels that parallel the Shosone River.
Our stay at Cody KOA is OK. The newer sites are fairly large and all but tent sites are on gravel. People are respectful of their neighbors and keep their speeds down not wanting to kick up dust. The park features a very large dirt area which at least a part of could be converted into a nice dog park, yet it goes with a very small 15’x15′ area for pooches. Our boxer uses it as his bathroom and little else. Conversely, the park is large and Ollie likes to walk the abundance of fence lines. Just on the other side of one of the fences are horses. Ollie likes horses and can’t take his eyes off of them!
Tomorrow we’ll head the sixty miles to Yellowstone’s east entrance, drive through a portion of the park and land in West Yellowstone, Montana.