Big Boy statue, Wapiti, Wyoming

I knew this was here or I would have flown right past it.  Off in the middle of a farmer’s field, pretty far off the road, actually, sits this Big Boy statue on a concrete slab, patiently waiting for someone to build a restaurant behind it.  Apparently this mysteriously appeared in 2013 and no one claims to know anything about it.  I have a full frame picture I can send anyone who is interested.

I didn’t want to march out in the field for a closeup because for all I knew there was some guy inside with a 12 gauge shotgun just waiting for trespassers.  “Git off my land Mister.  Go on now, Git!”

This is on the road between Cody and Yellowstone.  I was trying to get back through the park before one of the roads on the west side was closed for the night (8P-8A for maintenance).  Well I got delayed twice, once by a herd of bison who literally stopped traffic for 15 minutes or more as they blocked the road, and a second time after I came across what appeared to be a bicyclist who had been struck by a vehicle.  I had no cell signal, which was the case most of the day, and had to drive about 15 minutes before I could try and call 911.  I finally found a spot but it didn’t seem as though my call went through.  Sure enough, someone from Yellowstone Emergency Services called me back but I had to stop in a turnout (in a very specific spot where she could hear me) so I could give her the information.  I made it out just in the nick of time but still had a 90-minute ride home.

Surprisingly I didn’t see any wildlife on the drive back to Bozeman (was worried about all those damn black cows).  I got back to the house at 10P local time and it was just about totally dark.  My windshield was plastered with bugs and I could barely see (I need some of those NASCAR tear-offs).  I am one tired buckaroo but my first day in (and out and in) Yellowstone was very rewarding.  And I plan to go back down there tomorrow.

Put 509 miles on the car today.  4,465 miles for the trip so far, and I’m only done with Day 9!


I tried to get the levity out of the way today.  There will only be two posts tomorrow night regarding a more serious subject.



Cody, Wyoming

Cody is what I always visualized a Wyoming cowboy town to be.  As you can see, they say this the Rodeo Capital of the world.  You can stop at the DQ and get a Blizzard AND rodeo tickets (seriously, it said that on their sign).  If I wasn’t staying so far away I would have loved to stay and watch the rodeo at 8PM.  I’ve never been to one and it seems like this would be the perfect place.  May need to come back and do that someday.

Before I got to Cody I passed a truck sitting by the road.  And in case you didn’t know, Yellowstone is almost entirely in Wyoming, so once again I spent most of the day driving down there.  Well this truck was at one of the many watercraft inspection stations I’ve seen this trip as I pop in and out of the state.  State law mandates that all watercraft entering the state MUST stop at these inspection stations run by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission.  So here was this truck, sitting by the road in the frickin desert, waiting for boats or jet-skis to mosey on by.  I though, “how lonely of a task is that, especially when it’s a gazillion degrees?”.  So I turned around to go back and ask how their day was going….

Turns out it was a nice young lady who said she was substituting for someone else.  She had inspected a total of two, count ’em, two watercraft today, and wasn’t really expecting any more.  I told her I hoped she was well paid and she said she was.  She said she is going for her Masters degree so spends the time studying (while keeping an eye on traffic).  It was good to hear she was using her time wisely and not just reading some steamy romance novel.

This all happened just south of The Middle of Frickin Nowhere, Wyoming.  Actually, it was near Clark, WY (pop. 300).  She was out there with just the truck, a small shelter for shade, and a port-a-potty, bless her heart.

As I left the desert town of Cody to head back towards Yellowstone I felt like I went through some kind of time/space warp.  There was a tunnel (3 quick ones, actually) through a big mountain and when I came out the other side here was this gigantic lake.  It is the Buffalo Bill Reservoir and it is huge.  I sure didn’t see that comin’.


Snowball fight at 9,965 feet

Saw these young ladies frolicking in the snow.  Don’t worry, I asked their Dad, who was standing next to me, if it was OK to take their picture before I did (unlike my mother asking our neighbor if it was OK for her to cut some chives after she already had.  Frances Grey!!).

And it appears that the mountains with substantial snow left at the top reach 10,000 feet or higher.  There is obviously some snow below that level but that is where the serious accumulation remains.

Highest point reached today was 11,052 feet (and STILL no cell service!!).  For those of you wondering about the numbers, my spiffy new GPS unit provides altitude on demand.  I’m on my 3rd GPS unit, by the way, having thrown the first two out the window when I got aggravated with them.

Beartooth Butte, Yellowstone

No butt jokes, please!  This is Beartooth Butte and Beartooth Lake in the northeast portion of Yellowstone National Park.  And it’s butte, pronounced as in “Trump said Macron’s wife was a beaut”.

I have sooooo many mountain pictures and I don’t want to bore you with too many, but when I do post any I’ll try to pick the best ones.  As Al Pacino said in “Scent of a Woman”: I’m just gettin’ started….   Given my itinerary expect more mountain, stream, lake and snow pictures to come.  And hopefully some interesting wildlife.  Saw lots more bison today, alone and in groups.  Also had to stop (again) as several cows crossed the road.  Is it a herd?? A pack??  A bunch??

Talked with some newlyweds from Oregon who saw a group of antelope being chased by a bear earlier in the day.  Still haven’t seen any elusive Bighorn Sheep so far this trip, although there were more warning signs.  I did see some ordinary sheep in eastern Wyoming yesterday on my way up here.  Alas, no other critters today.

Oh, and I figured out why there weren’t many motorcycles in Sturgis.  It’s because they are all in Yellowstone.  Saw almost as many bikes as campers & motorhomes, and there were lots of both.