On Monday, August 28, we headed Southeast out of the Tetons and over the continental divide into the Wind River drainage and Central Wyoming. Our featu
reed stop that day was at the National Bighorn Sheep Center in Dubois, which had a nice museum describing the various types of bighorn sheep around the world and other information about their behavior and habitat. We proceeded further and turned north at Shoshoni, camping in a gorgeous deep canyon carved by the Bighorn River. We enjoyed a nice conversation for a couple of hours (no campfire) with a young couple just out of college on a big tour west before heading to graduate school.
On Tuesday, we stopped briefly on our way north at Thermopolis, boasting the largest mineral hot springs in the world. The state runs a bathhouse there and we were able to enjoy a short stint in the pool for free. With showers before and after this was a welcome way to rid ourselves of road dust. We arrived in the late afternoon in Cody and found a campsite at Buffalo Bill State Park on the Buffalo Bill Reservoir created by the Buffalo Bill Dam on the Shoshone river. This dam was the tallest in the world at 325 feet when completed in 1910.
The rest of Tuesday and all of Wednesday was devoted to the B
uffalo Bill Center of the West (https://centerofthewest.org), a set of five connected museums which James Michener described as the “Smithsonian of the West.” One of the museums covered the life of William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, while others were the Plains Indians, Whitney Western Art (many Remingtons, Russells, Bierstadt, and Morans, Proctor), Firearms and Draper Natural History. Cynthia also got to visit three separate art galleries and exhibits within the museum, including one that included 115 contemporary artists. It’s a bit hard to provide a visual image of the Center, but I invite you to explore the link. We actually had some unforcasted rain, which thankfully, along with a steady breeze, has blown away the smoky haze that has plagued us for the last few days.