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Published: June 13th 2017
Geo: 44.5264, -109.056
Day 6 continued
We got a snack at Canyon Lodge, took some photos of Tower Falls, met a mama buffalo and her calf and headed out of the NE entrance along the Beartooth Scenic Byway, which had only opened 3 weeks before after being closed all winter. We actually checked about whether it was still open when we entered the park, as the snow and cold weather had re-closed some mountain drives like Trail Ridge in Rocky Mountain NP.
Beartooth involves traveling NE along US-212 through Cooke City to Red Lodge, MT. It's a climbing, winding road with lovely vistas, that takes you to 11,000+ feet. There were fields of snow still left from winter, and as we climbed to the pass, there were 8' walls of plowed snow lining the hairpin curves. Exciting, to say the least, if you're the driver. The most scenic spot is the Beartooth Loop overlook of Gardner Lake, normally a very blue lake that was iced over. Beautiful nonetheless. There were even snowboarders enjoying a June run.
We descended into Red Lodge, turned east on 308 to Belfry, then took CO-72 south back to Cody.
We got back early enough to spend 4-6 pm at the Buffalo
Bill Historical Center, a museum complex that alone is worth the trip to Cody. Awesome museum. It's made up of 5 museums in all:
1. Western Art***** … full of Remington, Russell, Bama (my new favorite artist)
2. Plains Indians**** … cultures, traditions, values and histories
3. Buffalo Bill Cody *** … flagship museum opened in 1927 focuses on William F. Cody (1846-1917), guide, scout, frontiersman, showman, entrepreneur, American icon
4. Firearms**** (only if you like firearms)
5. Yellowstone Natural History**
We went to dinner at Terrace Grill next to the Rodeo (same hotel clerk who made last night's suggestion made this one). The food was underwhelming. While dining we decided our plans to do the rodeo that night were ambitious. The long day of driving, the museum and dinner were enough for the day. And besides, the hotel personnel said it wasn't a real rodeo, more like the WWF. Guess I'll wait and try to take in a "real" rodeo at Cheyenne Frontier Days some year.
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