Prune Creek to Yellowstone ~ Enjoying the Journey

June 29, 2017 - Cody, Wyoming, United States

Boy was it cold last night!  I broke out the sleeping bag to go over our down comforter shortly after going to bed.  That was most helpful.  I afforded Bill some privacy this morning by taking a hike up the hill by our camp.  I really thought the path would go up the hill and down to Prune Creek but instead, it just continued up another hill.  I decided to climb.  Prune Creek campground hikeThe view from the top of this hill filled my soul.  The hill was covered in a blanket of wildflowers and the rain the night before made everything fresh.

When I returned to camp Bill was gone.  He had taken his own stroll; passing me in the woods.  I guess I wasn’t so observant!  We both enjoyed the hot shower feature of our new pop-up before breaking camp.  I am still not sold on the toilet but I do have to admit that shower felt really good!  We left lovely Prune Creek campground at 10:30. Prune Creek Hike


Alternate 14 was lined with purple lupine.  There was very little traffic making it easy to pull off the road when we spotted a moose grazing along a stream.  The road climbed to an elevation of 9430 feet where we got out to take a look.  It was freezing!  Farther down the road was a sign for Medicine Wheel National Historic Site that advised it was down a gravel road to the left.  I apparently chose the wrong left.  We ended up almost stuck on a 2-track.  It took much maneuvering and patience on Bill’s part, to turn the pop-up around before we were mired in mud or stuck on rocks.  I was very anxious.  Sometimes scenic routes fail.  When we did find the right road for Medicine Wheel NHS, it advised that trailers needed to be dropped prior to taking the 3 mile road to the site.  We decided to bypass.Moose in the Bighorn Mountain range


Once out of the Bighorn Mountains we stopped by the visitor center to use the facilities.  I had been hearing a faint train whistle or perhaps a humming from the luggage rack on the RAV4.  I had asked Bill previously if he heard it and it seemed like every time I asked, the noise would stop.  The noise was really discernable at this stop and again, I shushed him to listen.  Nothing.  Then I spoke and I heard it again.  “Listen!”  Nothing.  The next time I spoke and heard the noise again I realized it was coming from my own head!  Apparently my reliance upon earplugs has put something out-of-whack in at least one of my ears.  I thought the Authentic 1880s Train had followed us all the way to Wyoming!  Turns out it was all in my head.


My Bill and Bill CodyWe arrived at Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming by 2:15.  The center has five distinct display areas.  We planned to do the Buffalo Bill Museum (for obvious reasons) and the Plains Indian Museum.  If time had permitted, Bill would have also done the Cody Firearms Museum and I would have done the Whitney Western Art Museum.  As it was, we’d still need to set up camp in Yellowstone later today.  We spent a little over two hours exploring the exhibits.  My Bill and Buffalo BillI do think the better part of a day could be spent; time permitting.  It is remarkable to see all the places in the world that “Buffalo Bill” traveled with his shows; many even in our area of Michigan.  He was quite the showman and performer.  I found myself wanting to buy a biography (he wrote his own autobiography) to learn more.  The problem is that fact and fiction were quite interwoven in the days of Bill Cody.  He would perform in theaters in the east during the winter and resume his scouting job during the summer.  He was a “wild west” celebrity with books written about him and his “adventures” (likely more fiction than fact) in multiple languages.  In fact, Bill and I recalled the books we’d found on a canal boat in Amsterdam about Buffalo Bill.  We had no idea what languages in which the books were written.


As we drove into Yellowstone National Park we were met by a large herd of elk near the Fishing Bridge.  It was after 7:00 p.m. and there was no place for a car and trailer to pull over for a good look.  We hoped we’d find these guys later in our visit.  We set up camp at Canyon Village Campground by 8:00 p.m.  I’d made reservations 6 months earlier and the campground was full as were most in the park.  We barely fit into our site.  Thankfully, Bill is very good at backing our trailer into a persnickety place.  It’s quite chilly.  We are heading to bed after a delicious meal of cheese, crackers, and leftover sandwich meat.


Prune Creek Hike
Prune Creek campground hike
Moose in the Bighorn Mountain range
My Bill and Bill Cody
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