Rodeo! Cody Wyoming and the Buffalo Bill Museum

Cody Wyoming

Taking a brake cooling stop on the way down Hwy14ALTWe left the Black Hills and traveled North West to the Bighorn Mountains climbed the over 9,000 ft pass and, despite all the warnings of steep grades, overheated brakes, etc. we took Rte14Alt down to the Bighorn River Basin – what a beautiful ride! Then West to Cody, the Eastern gateway town to Yellowstone National Park. Cody is named after William F Cody (better known as Buffalo Bill), who founded the town after seeing the Bighorn River Basin from the top of the Bighorn Mountain Pass. He realized its potential as a ranching center and was instrumental in irrigating the land from the Shoshone River flowing down from Yellowstone.

Campsite view at Buffalo Bill State Park

Our campsite, Buffalo Bill State Park

We stayed a few miles West of Cody in Buffalo Bill State Park by the side of the lake in the beautiful Shoshone River Valley with mountains towering over us on three sides. The mountains were breathtaking, particularly at sunrise with the sun hitting the top of the mountains while the moon was setting behind the Rocky Mountains in the distance. We used this as a base for exploring the town which had lots of entertainment, most with a Buffalo Bill theme. We enjoyed the many old buildings, bars, and the buffalo statues painted differently on each corner which reminded us of the chickens in Annapolis. We spent an afternoon at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West which houses 5 museums and surprised us with its extensiveness and quality (see below).
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Rodeo stadium. filled to capacity on our side, shade!Cody calls itself the ‘Rodeo Capital of the World’. Neither of had experienced this type of entertainment before so, despite misgivings about the treatment of the animals, we signed up for the evening show. We loved the horsemanship, enjoyed the atmosphere and excitement, but came away thinking it would be our one and only, considering particularly the treatment of the bulls and calves. See the video located at the end of this blog which contains part of the opening horse and rider display.
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Buffalo Bill Center of the West

This is a ‘must see’. The center contains 5 museums covering Buffalo Bill; Natural History and the Greater Yellowstone area; Plains Indians; Firearms; and Western Art. The amount of history documented and artifacts was overwhelming, well worth a few hours exploring!

Chuck Wagon

The story of Buffalo Bill is truly the story of the American entrepreneur; he did it all. Pony Express rider, fur and artifact trader, language interpreter, guide to covered wagon trains, guide for the US Army to bring in and feed troops by buffalo hunting, created a theatrical troupe of over 500 individuals of many nations, animals and costumes, traveling throughout the US and Europe.


It took us 3 hours to go through most of the halls at the museums. One thing, however, that struck both of us as missing, was any coverage of the destruction of the tribes and culture by the early settlers.
Cheryl was so impressed with the multiple statues by Remington (such exquisite detail) textiles and clothing created by the women, that it seemed she was snapping pictures ever few seconds! The evidence below.

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Rodeo Opening Equine Display
  • Cody Wyoming

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    Cody, Wyoming

  • 4 Comments on “Rodeo! Cody Wyoming and the Buffalo Bill Museum

    1. Pictures are great, sunrise/sunset is really awesome. I might suggest a cowboy hat?
      From Cheryl: I bought Colin a complete cowboy outfit, boots, Stetson, and vest . . . for his 40th birthday. Brought in hay, organized a BBQ with a live country band – all at work when Colin was CEO and President of Sopha Medical. I’ll have to send you a picture. I’m dressed as Dolly Parton, blond wig! We love that you loved the pictures. Thanks John!

    2. Another great blog with wonderful photos and interesting commentary. I particularly liked the moonscape, and of course, the young cowboy who reminded me of my dance partner at that post rodeo dance I went to some 50 years ago! I understand how you feel about rodeos, though. The animals are not happy campers, which is why they buck around so much. I root for the horses and bulls every time I see one of these (which is about once every 40 years). The woman on the barrel racing horse: great photo! Cheryl, also enjoyed all those wonderful Indian garments: I want one!
      From Cheryl: We loved the story about your young cowboy dance partner, and your sympathy for the animals. I loved the Indian garments and glad you are with me in appreciating them, such hard work!

    3. When you get nearer to the Continental Divide, watch for hikers!
      From Cheryl: I know you are speaking about your brother! We were very careful!

    4. L Amérique des westerns de mon enfance . . . J’adore. Bisous à vous deux.
      From Cheryl: It is our youth too. Even Colin, as a little boy in England, had chaps, capgun, sheriff’s badge, and cowboy hat!

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