7. In the Wild,Wild West.

After leaving Great Falls Montana, we headed for the state capital of Helena.  There we went into the capital building and saw the architecture of such a stately structure.  We like touring each state’s capital when we go on a trip, because it tells the history and stories of that state.  

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 That night we ended up in the little town of Gardiner.  After calling all morning for a site in we finally found a campgrounds in that area.  It had a different feel to it and found out that it was run by a church and it was their yearly retreat that weekend.  Some of the members were dressed in all white and the New Age group came from all areas in the world.  At the camp site the air was filled with little flying bugs EVERYWHERE!  It took us three days to kill them all inside of our fifth wheel.  I did manage to snap this beautiful picture before the rains came into the campsite.

The next day was Yellowstone National Park.  We got there early 8:00 am, so we could beat the crowds and get a decent parking place.   The Annual Park Pass we had bought earlier for $80 for both of us was going to start paying off.  Just to get into the park it was $30 but we just showed our card and drivers license and away we went.  The ranger said this year they should see 5 million people visiting the park!  A new record breaker.  Later in the afternoon her words proved true.  The roads were full with cars and crazy people not following any signs or rules.  At times it was chaos!  We did manage to go on a five mile hike to Beaver Pond and we also saw bubbling mud pools and steam geysers.

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We decided earlier that some issues on the fifth wheel needed to be looked at.  So we made an appointment back in Montana to get them fixed in a couple of days.  We did not want to go to far with the problems and opted to go to Jackson Hole Wyoming for the 4th of July.  

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The route we had to go over had a 10% grade.   We had to give the truck a rest halfway, because the breaks were so hot from going down the steep mountain pass.

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In the morning we went to the annual parade.

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Explored the western themed town, and saw a gunfight.

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Went to the rodeo.  Kelly and I met at a rodeo dance almost exactly 38 years ago!

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We also visited the Grand Tetons which was not far away from Jackson Hole.

Then we went back into Yellowstone and I think everyone had the same idea.  People everywhere after the holiday weekend.  Kelly decided to go on a hike and bike ride while I stayed with the truck and trailer.  We had to put my bike out behind the trailer so no one would block us in.  Right away a man started to move my bike even though I had a note on it.  He asked me who’s bike it was and I told him it was mine.  Some how the bike got dropped and it still has some issues.  Speaking of issues, one of our tires on the trailer had a slow leak and about every 200 miles we would have to pump it up.  We ended up going to the same garage that Kelly’s best friend Loren worked at in Yellowstone for a couple of summers.  A horseshoe nail had pierced the sidewall of the tire so we had to just buy a new one.  The guys there were great, and within an hour we were back on the road for Cody Wyoming.  

Cody is a great town full of history and scenery.  That night we stayed at a private campground that was brand new.  They had Tepees that you could rent on airbnb.

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The next day we both wanted to see different things, so we split up. Kelly went to the Wild Bill Cody Museum (5 museums in one) and I wanted to see a cooking demonstration and a recreation of the original town of Cody.

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“Cookie” Bob demonstrating how to fix a typical chuckwagon meal of coffee, beans with salted and cure bacon and sourdough biscuits all in dutch ovens.  It was really interesting to watch and taste.

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I got to go into one of the cabins Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid stayed in.

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After our mornings adventures we went into downtown Cody to have lunch.  Kelly opted for the buffet at Irma’s restaurant.  She was the daughter of Buffalo Bill and the original bar that was a gift from Queen Victoria was still there.

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Then we left the Cowboy and Western themed city for Montana again to ride off into the sunset.  More to follow…

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