After the great day of witnessing the many wonders of Wyoming on the way to Cody, we arrived in the late afternoon. There were a few things we needed to do immediately, fuel for the Roadtrek and fuel for the body, as in great local meat. We had googled meat markets and went through town to a local butcher. The meats were sensational, they said, later we found out it was true. They also had a loaf of Black Rye, the best rye we have ever had. On the way back to the KOA campsite we stopped by the Cody Visitor Center. We found out the events we did not know about, such as the Stampede Parade the morning of the 3rd and some of the events that surrounded the Stampede Rodeo that was taking place over the week, ending up on the night of the 4th of July.
We went to the KOA and set up camp. This is involved! We make sure the vehicle is balanced using an 8 inch level, checking front to back and side to side. Good news it only required a little balancing front to back using orange level pieces that John’s sister Carol bought us when we first got the RV. Next we hook up the hose for water and plugged in the electric. After that is done, we have to adjust the satellite so we can get out favorite stations. My god, it is tough, but you have to make it as perfect as you can! It was warm so the air conditioner made the night a comfortable sleep.
Still on literally eastern time, we woke up at 5:30 and were ready for the day. Since the last thing you care about is how we got ready for the day, we will not tell you. The Visitor’s Bureau told us the best way to prepare for the parade was to park a few blocks of the parade around 7:30 and place your chairs on the main street. We laughed because one of the traditions at the Masters Golf Tournament is that you can place your chair anywhere on the course and no one will sit in it or move it! Well guess what that is the same at the Cody Stampede Parade! The next recommendation was breakfast at Pete’s Cafe. A terrific shop that reminds you of the soda fountain at the local drug store back when you were young. This could have been a Norman Rockwell drawing. The backed goods were nothing short of perfect and the breakfast came out great. We enjoyed breakfast and then decided to check out some of the local stores on Main Street. John loves western belts and we found a great one, he also needed a new buckle for an older belt and we found a good one to replace the broken one.
We continued to walk around, the parade was to begin at 9:30 then headed back to our seats. All of us remember the wonderful local 4th of July Parades of our youth, God, Country and Honor to our flag. Below is the lead color guard. The ONLY active mounted Marine Color Guard.
Unfortunately, that is not politically correct in many parts of the country. Cody, never got the memo! We watch marching bands play songs like “God Bless America”, “The Marine Hymn”, “I’m Proud to be an American”, “This is a Great Country” On to the rest of the parade in pictures:
People from all walks of life participated in the parade, military, US forest Service, Rodeo riders and clowns. What made this so special it was all about the way the people here in Cody live their lives. This was a true celebration of the 4th of July, freedom for all, independence for our country!!
After the parade it was time to travel about 20 miles out-of-town to see the wild mustangs. The McCullough Peaks Horse Management Areathese is pubic land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This area is about 100,000 acres. The herd is managed to stay at around 100 head of McCullough Peak horses. To control the size of the herd, wild horses go up for adoption every year. The BLM has an application process to adopt. We kept looking for the entrance to drive up the dirt road to look for the herd. We had gone to far and stopped and a gentleman told us to head back towards Cody and keep an eye out to the right side of the road for the horses. Our first stop we found a barbed wire gate with a note about the wild horses. We opened the gate and went in about a quarter-mile and looked out over the valley, no horses and the road was getting a little tricky so we turned around and headed back to the road.
We went back, pulled the Roadtrek through the gate, John then proceeded to lock himself inside, oh well, he can be a little slow at times!!
We drove farther towards town and saw another entrance. A much better road and drove in about a mile, off to the right we saw herd of wild horses.
Our surprise was that if they had just been a few hundred yards over the ridge, we would not have ever seen them. What an unbelievable experience!!!
Back to the camp for a little rest and clean up before going to the rodeo.
The camp supplied a bus service to the Stampede Rodeo that would leave at 7pm. The Cody Stampede Rodeo has been held since 1919 every July 1-4. It is considered one of the best outdoor rodeos in the United States and is held each summer We arrived and went to our seats which faced directly at the shoots for the events. Of course the battery died in the camera so we were left with our iPhones. We had a fabulous time. To start the event the Marine mounted color guard, that had been in the parade, entered the ring, then the local veterans came in with the flag, and a young girl sang our national anthem. Wonderful!
We watched both individual calf roping and team roping followed by steer wrestling, saddle and bareback bronc riding, bull riding and barrel racing. The rodeo clowns were fun to watch, but a tough job! it was brilliant and we had a fantastic time. As the sun set behind the arena it was absolutely beautiful..WOW..
Cody is a great town to visit, it is all American. If you can make it to Cody you will enjoy the true history of the old west and a friendly welcoming populist. We look forward to returning sometime in the future.
It is time for the visit to Yellowstone!