Well…a week from my last post and I have to admit we’ve done not all that much except for the museum trip detailed below.
Last Monday…7/22…we contacted the local urologist to see about Neil’s kidney stone…and got an appointment for the following Wednesday 7/31…so over a week just to get the original consultation. With that in mind…we did nothing from Monday through the following Sunday…grilled some dinner, went out to the Elks Lodge once, did a few chores around the rig…and not much else.
Did laundry, went grocery shopping, went to Mass on two Sundays…and that was about it…although we did manage a little Fun Stuff© in between there.
This is chronologically at the end of the post but I figured I would put the kidney stone update first before getting into more interesting stuff. Neil had his appointment this morning with the urologist here in Cody and is scheduled for the catheter/laser/pick up the pieces in the little basket procedure next Tuesday August 6. With the “come back in a week or so to get the catheter out if it’s needed and come back for a final check a week or so after that…looks like it will be late August before we’re ready to head out.
With that in mind…we’ve cancelled our reservations through early September and are working on getting our New Horizons appointment moved to September 9…assuming we leave here September 3 the day after Labor Day as we currently think we’ll have 6 days to cover the 900 miles to Junction City…and assuming we get out of there by the end of the week…which is always questionable at Camp Horizons…then we’ll be able to make our scheduled appointments in Elkhart and White Pigeon MI for bearing annual maintenance and jack maintenance on time. What exactly that does with the eastern half of US-50 trip is still under dynamic observation as we say…but those plans are mostly blown up and we’ll try to pick off anything we can as we head east.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post.
One day last week…I don’t even remember what day exactly…we headed out to do a couple of things around Cody.
First up was the Hayden Arch Bridge. I have no idea why we went to see this…but it was on the list of “things to do in Cody”…so off we went. Apparently it was suggested to Connie by either her Field Trip app or some other web site…so we went there. I’m not quite sure why it was recommended…it is just your standard bridge over the Shoshone River…but what do I know…Ima just a bear.
This bridge is about 3 miles west of Cody on the road over to the eastern entrance of Yellowstone NP…from there we headed back almost to town and stopped by what is known as “Colter’s Hell”…it was described by mountain man John Colter who departed from the Lewis and Clark expedition before it was completed and is a region of thermal activity…not surprising since it’s not that far from Yellowstone and the associated thermal features there so it is powered by the same magma pool under the mantle of the earth. It is located right next to the Shoshone River which flows thorough Cody…and also incidentally through Calgary AB where we’l be for the Calgary Stampede next summer…and although it does smell sulphur like similar to the the Yellowstone thermal areas…there’s really nothing to see. Again…it didn’t look like much but it was on our list of things to do…so we did.
That was like middle of last week and we ddi nothing afterwards until Monday this week when we headed out to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This is actually a pretty neat museum…easily the equivalent of anything in the Washington DC area. It’s composed of a central hub section with at least 6 different museum areas in a hub and spoke arrangement around the hub. Admission was $36 for the two adults and that covers two days.
We got there about 0930 on Monday morning and paid our entrance fees…then spent the rest of the day until about 1630 visiting various exhibits, going on a couple of guided tours, and going to their Raptor Experience for both the morning and afternoon sessions.
We went on a tour that concentrated on the Indian peoples of the region…and another one that concentrated on the Cody Firearm Museum…but the two visits to the Raptor Experience were the highlight of the day.
First up was this notice on the main entrance door…I guess they don’t give a hoot about concealed/non-visible firearms…but then this is WY and it is in the west where the 2nd amendment still applies.
This is a really neat sculpture…the mountain lion is a mounted specimen but the elk head and antlers were carved from single pieces of weed…antlers separate of course.
Next up…the Raptor Experience…the museum has 11 permanent resident raptors (or birds of prey)…they’re a bird rehabber and both nurse birds of prey back to health for release and provide permanent and educational homes for life for those that cannot be released to the wild. The remaining photos in this post were from both the morning and afternoon sessions…all of them were injured somehow that they cannot be released back to the wild. Their injuries range from busted wing from a car impact…to being blind in one eye due to some sort of puncture injury…to having the inability to move their tail due to some other sort of injury and hence not being able to steer while flying.
Keep in mind that all of these are captive birds brought out for display…I did my best to crop arms, gloves, signs, and shoulders out of the photos as much as possible…but given the opportunity to get this close to them and get such spectacular images…you’ll have to just overlook any minor people parts, fences, signs, or whatever in them. Neil was very judicious in getting shots that were as uncluttered as possible to show you these magnificent birds. Sure…they’re permanently disabled and captive…but they are beautiful and he thinks that the slightly non-natural setting is counter balanced by the excellent close up views which most people never get to see.
Bald eagle Jade.
Sculpture of Crazy Horse
Red Tailed Hawk.
Exercising his wings…as you can see from the underside of his tail…he actually doesn’t have a red tail…this is actually pretty typical for a red tailed hawk out west, eastern ones have much more prominent red underside on the tail.
Great Horned Owl.
Peregrine Falcon…this raptor preys on other birds which it takes out of the air while on the wing…it has been clocked at 230 miles an hour in a dive…known as a stoop in bird talk.
Exercising his wings again…as you can see from the droop on the right side this one is unable to properly utilize the right wing and hence can’t fly.
Devouring a mouse…it took less than 60 seconds for it to completely dismember and devour this tidbit for lunch.
Moving into the museum after the morning raptor session…this is a grey wolf…never mind that it is actually brown…it is still a grey wolf.
Neil took a photo of Connie along side another grey wolf…again ignore the actual color…we knew these were large canines but this shot really gives you a perspective on how big a wolf actually is…before this one was mounted it probably weighed 125+ pounds.
Back for the afternoon raptor session after the Peoples and Firearms tours.
American Kestrel…a pretty small raptor not much larger than about the size of a blue jay or robin.
Our Raptor Experience host…Melissa…with the Swainson’s Hawk on her hand.
With that…our first day at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West…we’ll be there again tomorrow for some more tours and who knows what else. They have a total of 11 birds at the Raptor Center and we’ve only seen 6 or so of them…maybe there will be more tomorrow.
Turns out…not so much for tomorrow. We did the second half of the museum on Tuesday along with a couple of tours but there wasn’t anything nearly as interesting or photogenic as the raptors. We did get this shot of a bronze elk sculpture…the artist must have liked things larger than life size as the sculpture is 6 feet tall at least to the shoulder which is probably 30%-40% larger than life size.
We wandered through the art museum looking for Remington bronzes…we have a reproduction of one of those in our storage unit back in VA…they had a dozen or so of his on display plus another 40 or 50 from other artists but did not have a copy of “Rattlesnake” which is one of his more famous pieces depicting a cowboy on horseback rearing and shying away from a coiled rattlesnake on the ground. Connie was bummed…she really likes that one and wanted to see an original instead of the reproduction we have.
Interesting stuff found on the net.
Turns out that if you’re down in the Southern Hemisphere…the moon is upside down…I never thought of it like that but looking at the image you can see why it’s true.
How to tell a Republican from a Democrat.
And finally…something cheerful.