Cody WY…

One of our goals is to experience all the entrances/exits of Yellowstone National Park.  This trip took us to the East Entrance through Sylvan Pass and spending sometime in Cody, Wyoming.  As always, the trip was fantastic.  We love traveling through the different passes!  Just outside the East entrance and right alongside the road, we were fortunate to watch a mama grizzly and her two older cubs digging for roots.  Their power never ceases to amaze us!

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Waterfall along Sylvan Pass

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A busy morning of shopping in the town of Cody, as we needed to get prepared for the Rodeo in the evening.  Of course, that meant cowboy/cowgirl hats and the purchase of our first Stetson!

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We grabbed a bite to eat for lunch at Mojoes and headed to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum.  This place was awesome!  Five museums under one roof!  So much to see and so little time!  The five museums are Buffalo Bill, Draper Natural History, Whitney Western Art, Plains Indian, Cody Firearms.  We made it through three, the Natural History, Buffalo Bill and Plains Indians.  We loved the history of Buffalo Bill and the Plains Indians!  The picture of the guns from one of our favorite TV shows “Bonanza”!

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At 6:00 p.m. we headed to Irma’s Hotel for the gun fight! Buffalo Bill built the Irma Hotel in 1902 which he called “the sweetest hotel that ever was.”  The hotel was named after one of his daughters.  The mock gunfight in the street lasted about ½ hour.

 

After dinner we headed to the Stampede Rodeo.  It was our first rodeo!  We found ourselves hooping and a hollering watching the bronco riding, barrel racing, calf roping, steer riding and bull riding!  The cuteness for the evening was watching the five year old boy and girl barrel race!

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Five year old boy!
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Five year old girl!

Yee Haw, what a great evening!

Old Trail Town, historic western buildings dating from 1879-1901

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Virginia City…

Virginia City, Montana is a much alive ghost town.  As you walk the streets it is as if the town was frozen in time.  It is an Old West Victorian gold mining town.

Stage coach rides, train ride to the next town Nevada City, ghost tours, saloons, vigilantes, hangings, Boot Hill Cemetery, lots to see and do in this gold mining town!

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Hyalite Reservoir/Palisades Falls

We decided on our way to Bozeman we would take a little side trip to Hyalite Reservoir located about 10 miles up Hyalite Canyon.  It’s a beautiful glacial lake that is a wonderful place for kayaking due to the restriction of no wake, allowing only low speed motoring for trolling.  The area offers campgrounds, hiking trails, waterfalls, kayaking, fishing and picnic areas.  The day we were there it was breezy and a bit chilly for us.  We had a jacket on and couldn’t believe they were swimming and paddle-boarding in this glacier fed reservoir!

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The highlight was Palisades Falls.  A short hike with magnificent views and equally magnificent falls!

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View along the hike!

 

 

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Palisades Falls

Parade Rest Guest Ranch…

Every year the workampers at Yellowstone Holiday Resort are invited to Parade Rest Guest Ranch for the experience of a real Montana dude ranch!  Parade Rest is rich in history and a beautifully maintained ranch situated by the Grayling Creek.  It was part of the 200 mile long Bannock Indian Trail used by the Bannock Indians to go from Idaho to the abundant buffalo hunting grounds beyond Yellowstone Park.  For more information click Parade Rest Ranch.

The evening included a horse back or wagon trail ride led by experienced wranglers through the pines to a pavilion with a beautiful view of Hebgen Lake.  A delicious cowboy cookout was prepared for us with all the trimmings, corn on the cob, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, watermelon, salad, carrot cake and the best steak in town!  Live Country Music was provided throughout the evening, nothing better than the outdoors, friends, good food and John Denvers Country Roads!

Big Sky…

Our closest Walmart and Costco are two hours away in Bozeman, MT.  We try to plan on doing our big shopping in this cute town about every three to four weeks.  About half way on our trip to Bozeman is a lovely town called Big Sky.  This weekend we decided to do some exploring in this beautiful area.  First stop was Ousel Falls Trail.  It was an easy hike on a well maintained trail to an absolutely gorgeous waterfall called Ousel Falls.  At one point, as we got closer to the falls there was a bend in the trail where you could feel the mist, smell the scent of pine and hear the roar of the water but the falls was not visible.  It was exhilarating to your senses! Here is a picture of this beautiful area which was followed by lunch at a great little cafe “Hungry Moose Market & Deli”.

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Our second stop was The Soldiers Chapel.  The interdenominational chapel was built by Nelson Story III and his wife Velma in 1955.  It was built to commemorate his son who was killed in action in the South Pacific in 1944.  His son was a member of Montana’s 163rd Infantry.  The chapel serves as a memorial to his son and the 81 soldiers of the Montana Regiment who died in World War II as well the soldiers of the 163rd Infantry.

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Upon entering, you are in awe of the view of the picture window with the cross.  The Lone Mountain at 11,000 feet and the beautiful big sky!

The stain glass window at the back of the church depicts a wounded soldier, in a lush tropical setting, reaching upward to the hand of God.

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A beautiful chapel to preserve the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

 

Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center

The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is located in West Yellowstone, MT.  The Center has many interactive exhibits which are great for both adults and children.  It has over 25 taxidermy mounts.  Lots of information on both grizzly and black bear habitat, bear protection, folklore and much more.

The Naturalist Cabin is located between the two wolf packs.  Floor to ceiling windows allow you to get up close and personal with the wolves and it’s great for picture taking!  They also have a raptor exhibit and it looked like they might be expanding by adding some new exhibits like the otters!

Earthquake Lake…

Yellowstone Holiday Resort is located along Highway 287 which is known as the Earthquake Lake Geologic Area.  Approximately 17 miles from YHR is the Earthquake Lake Visitors Center.  An informative movie in the Visitor Center explains the night of August 17, 1959, when a severe earthquake that measured 7.5 on the Richter scale  with the epicenter in the middle of Hebgen Lake.  It triggered a massive landslide sending 80 million tons of rock crashing into the canyon blocking the Madison River which formed Quake Lake.   Hebgen Lake is known as “The Lake that Tilted.”  The north side of the lake dropped 19’ submerging cabins along the shoreline.  Three sections of Highway 287 fell into the lake.  As a result 28 lives were lost.

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Massive Land Slide
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Madison River
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Massive Land Slide
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Landslide blocked the Madison River to create Quake Lake
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Quake Lake

All along Highway 287 are various stopping points of information regarding that frightful night.  Refuge Point was a high area which was a haven for many survivors that night and the set up for first aid and helicopter evacuation.  The Ghost Village has the remains of many cabins that floated when the lake tilted that night.

We recommend a visit to this area of history.  Additional information at Earthquake Lake Visitor Center