Cat Ballou

Being in Cowgirl country began to changing my dialog; let her buck, lets ride & gosh darn became apart of my everyday speech.  I thought about buying boots, Levis and a new saddle but gees….I don’t have a horse! Well, maybe I could borrow one.  I do have a brand! My grandpa registered it in the 1940’s.  It’s 3-D!  Onto Wyoming buck-a-roo!

Cody, WY has a rodeo everyday of the summer.  All my riding abilities came back as I bounced up & down in my stadium seat.  I remembered the days when I rode my horse “White Lightening Bob” and my daughter rode  her little mare “Cocoa”.  April was the cutest barrel racer and so fearless!   Every ribbon she won was a trophy of the joy she felt!IMG_7211

The “Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument” memorialize a major battle fought on June 25, 1876, between the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, against the US Army. The tribes were fighting to preserve their traditional way of life as the nomadic buffalo hunters.  Their way of living had been enjoyed & celebrated on this planet for …..gees hundreds if not thousands of years.  The newly formed US Army was carrying out the Grant Administration’s instructions to remove the Lakota, Sioux and Cheyenne Peoples to the reservation in Dakota Territory.  It was a gruesome and horrible battle, it was Custer’s last stand.  While visiting this sacred place, we enjoyed hearing the recount of what happened, by an eloquent story-teller. That afternoon the sky was eerie, filled with smoke from the forest fires which seemed very similar to the dust that was created in the battle. I felt the emotions; terror, fear, anger, pain and shock of those who took park in this piece of history of our county.  IMG_7161

So we are driving up this steep mountain called the Beartooth Pass. I think it is beautiful.  Well the part that I saw was, mostly I was just too terrified to look down.  Then the wind started blowing, the rain came sideways and then the hail came and covered the road. OMG!  Harry became a cautious slow driver, to keep me from coming unglued.  Yes, my knuckles were white but we made it!IMG_1455

We drive west into Yellowstone National Park, we cruise towards Old Faithful Geyser, the smoke in the air from the Berry Creek fire is thick and begins to burn my eyes.  At the ranger station we learn that the road has been closed to the south, which was the way we planed to go to Jackson Hole, the detour takes us into Idaho.  The countryside was  beautiful; farms & ranches with flaxen wheat fields and the sky was dramatic! This photo was taken around 5:00 PM.

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Three hours later than planed, we find our destination for the next two nights; a cabin at the Spring Creek Ranch. The view from our bed was the majestic! The mighty Teton Mountains.  The next day we took a boat across  Jenny Lake and hiked up to Inspiration Point. That evening,  Jackson Hole offered an opportunity to shop. While checking  out the goods, we saw a reenacted street “shoot out”, another bit of storytelling fun.  Our Tickets to the local Jackson Hole Playhouse, to see “Cat Ballou” rounded out the evening.  The actors were mostly University students that are drama and music majors. They sang & danced while serving dinner, it was so much fun.  The play was fabulous!  I’m still singing:  Cat Balou-ou-ou, she has the smile of an angel, but she’s mean and evil through and through. Cat Balou-ou-ou!

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Cody Country-Buffalo Bill Lives On

IMG_7211Cody, Wyoming Stampede

This was a mini rodeo staged every night in the summer.  Cody is known as “The Rodeo Capital of the World”.  The excitement kept me on the edge of my seat!

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West has detailed exhibits & amazing collections of all things western.  It’s consisted of 5 museums including;  Bill’s and the West he loved, Whitney Western Art, Plains Indian & Native American cultures & heritage, Cody Firearms Museum and the Draper Natural History Museum.  Spent a lovely afternoon, taking it all in!

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Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument Indian Memorial honors one of the last armed efforts of the Northern Plains Indians to preserve their way of life.  Hundreds of people died here.  We were fortunate to hear the full account of the battle by a gifted story-teller, who made the events come alive in our hearts. We left with a renewed compassion for all who endured those difficult times.

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Beartooth Highway 212

We made it up the spectacular 68 mile stretch of winding, cliff hugging, nail-biting, cloud skimming road despite the rain & huge hail stones (43 degree’s)!  This road connects Montana to Yellowstone National Park.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to drive through northern Yellowstone into Jackson Hole because of a lightning caused forest fire that was burning out of control.  We detoured into Idaho, making out trip 3 hours longer but the scenic beauty of the area was breath-taking with flaxen wheat fields and the fire lighting up the sky.

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Giddy Up Montana/ Wyoming Road Trip!

Blossom’s

Driving up  Lolo pass in the Bitterroot range, of the Rocky Mountains, we crossed

from Idaho into Montana.  Didnt see a moose, but loved the rugged beauty.

Spent the night at “Blossom’s & Troy Savage’s Bed & Breakfast in Missoula, cozy bed and yummy breakfast.  Walked along the river to their farmers market, purchased huckleberry’s to take to Diane & Chris’s, can’t wait to see the new house that they designed in Bozeman.

This is the view from their driveway!  We had a fabulous time catching up with our dear friends, hiking, seeing the sites, exploring new houses and of course, eating & drinking!

God’s country …for sure!  View from their yard, deer and Hung’s (birds) daily.IMG_7145

In Sheridan, Wyoming we stayed at the Historic Sheridan Inn which opened on June 18, 1893. Buffalo Bill Cody was part-owner, he actually directed the hotel management. Bill held audtitions for his “Wild West Show” on the porch of this interesting hotel.  Having a deep admiration for Annie Oakley, I choose her room to stay in. She was my idol as a kid, gowing up on a ranch, I just knew I could shoot as well as she could!  I had the opportunity to show Harry my special talent, at the shooting gallery of the Wild Bill Cody Museum, the next day.  Oh yes, “little sure shot” lives on!

We discovered that Harry’s second cousin Travis Zeilstra created and is the owner of the amazing “Black Tooth Brewery”. We had a fun chat & tour, led by Travis’s  10 year old daughter, Elizabeth…who has her “own” office in this amazing company.  It was so impressive to see what a young man with vision, drive and creativity has accomplished. The beer has a refreshing quality with flavors expanding with each gulp! Love it!

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It’s a Beautiful World

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Yes, I love to travel!  Curiosity usually draws me to a place, event or
city. Discovering the boundless diversity of the flowers, plants, 
architecture, local customs, food, music, even the smell of the 
air provides intrigue for my anticipated adventure. Every trip feels
like I'm exploring the secret treasure chest in my Great Aunt Annie's 
attic.  I'm drawn to discover what juicy tidbit is just around the 
corner.

My family and friends would like to know which part of the world, my
wonderlust has taken me to, so I decided to write this blog. I'm 
hoping I have the stamina to stick with it! I'm rather undisciplined
and easily distracted by a butterfly, waterfall, trail, babies, puppies &kitty's, glass of wine or the lovely hue of a pastoral countryside, just name a few diversions.I think you get the idea!  We live on a
gloriously diverse planet with so much to offer, so many choices! I'm
trying to see it all!