Cody, the new member of our family.

August 27….Day 16

We rode into Wyoming a few miles and ate breakfast at a rest area with a playground(those are the best) While the girls burned up some energy, I cleaned and Darryl was able to make calls and get work done before we packed on some miles. It’s a long way to Yellowstone.

Gilette, WY is 89 miles from the SD border where we stopped to get Oliver a bath, picked up some scrap-booking supplies and found a cute frozen yogurt shop called Sweet Frog. 20140827_160005 (2)

 
As storm clouds loomed over us once again we pressed on to keep out of the bad weather and ended up in Buffalo, WY at a helpful visitor’s center which afforded us useful information where we talked to a local volunteer working the joint and she told us where to camp for the night. Bless her because without the guidance we wouldn’t have found this:

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Big Horn National Forest was another hours ride but it was worth it. A desolate campground that uses the honor/envelope system whereas a lockbox with envelopes to deposit the camping fee and use the grounds. We got the first empty spot on the river.

After eating dinner and washing up we were put to sleep by the shushing sounds of the water and woke up well rested with the midwestern sun.

Travelling with the time zones is easy heading west, we’re not looking forward to working against the sun on the way home. Mom and dad have to find a lot of patience to stow away for these busy bodies at 11pm on the east coast.

August 28th     Day 17

We ate breakfast, then went for a peaceful walk in the forest.

Butterflies and birds flitted by as squirrels played in the trees. Chipmunks scurried across rocks and we saw deer eating at the river’s edge before they climbed the nearby mountainside. The beauty of nature was abundant and the girls soaked every ounce of it in while Darryl and Dogwood had their naps.

We packed up and continued through the mountains on some questionable roads for a few hours when we arrived in Cody, WY. Aah, Cody!

Named for famous Wild West Showman “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the town is teeming with history of cowboys, indians and the “Hole in the wall gang” of infamous Sundance Kid.

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Steak dinner at a local restaurant left us disappointed but Darryl was able to have parts shipped to a HVAC company in Cody and finally got our A/C fixed. When we don’t really need it anymore, it’s possible.

A geocache left us at a recreational complex atop a hill with a grand view of the town. Bonus: a water supply too! Now that he knows what to look for Darryl is finding water everywhere.

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We stayed the night talking planning and sharing a drink. It’s nights like this that we get to connect, have some adult conversation and just enjoy being in each other’s company…we still got it!

August 29…. Day 18

The morning was filled with history and one of my favorite reasons for homeschooling. We visited Old Trail Town where we toured original 1800’s cabins filled with artifacts from the era. We learned about early western life and what it was like to be an outlaw, a posse member and an indian.

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The kids asked questions and looked on in awe and wonderment. Lemon was particularly curious about how they would wash themselves. (that’s my girl!)

Another fantastic learning experience for us all. We ate lunch and found a Laundromat to rewash everything from Keystone.

This place was clean, reasonably priced and the real bonus was the machines did their intended job.

Mama bought a pair of cowboy boots and instead of heading over to Yellowstone as we had originally planned we decided to wait until morning so as not to miss “the most beautiful 50 miles” according to President Theodore Roosevelt.

After thinking about it further we decided to call Cody home for the weekend it being Labor Day and the anticipated traffic and people bombarding Yellowstone for the holiday did not appeal to us.

Our first experience boon docking at the Wal-Mart which is a “thing” for campers. We didn’t know. Other than the few RV’s we see at our local Wal-Mart back in PA I never really thought about it. For us it was a matter of convenience and that it was where we were when we decided not to venture into Yellowstone just yet.

August 30 & 31 Days 19 & 20

We found several playgrounds to explore as well as washed every ounce of removeable fabric from the RV. Went grocery shopping and enjoyed our standstill. I didn’t realize how much being on the road was taking it’s toll on me until we stopped for a bit. Cody is great!

I’ll take the blessing of waiting to move on because it’s been storming for these past few days. Luckily we got to spend them here at an indoor pool and rec center.

One last night in Cody and we’re sad to leave. It’s the type of place where strangers are friends and it just feels like home.

Monday, September 1st….Day 21

Well, we woke up and left a piece of our hearts there in Cody to be sure we return. Just before entering Yellowstone and after travelling that 50 beautiful miles we stopped for lunch and shopped the giftshop, I getting a cozy mug that says “Cody”, Darryl a utility knife that says “Cody” (can you tell we liked Cody?) Juniper our future geologist a bag of rocks, Lemon chose a deck of playing cards, Ash and Oak a horse and frog cuddly friends.

We were able to splurge here because a lovely couple admiring our family during their meal decided to pay for ours on the condition (the waitress relayed to us) the kids pick something special.

Karma is in deed real and will come back to you.

I have been struggling to find a way to pay this one forward. We never did get to thank that lovely couple but it was the perfect way to end our stay in Cody and that kind of act of generousity is the very definition of what Cody is. Also a reminder of the way this country used to be and hopefully what it can become again.

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