At our first assigned site we had to dry camp until we could be reassigned to another site the next day, because 1) we could not get any satellite whatsoever, and 2) we could not even open our passenger front slide (let alone our awning) due to the proximity of the tree next to us. Even after we moved to the site next to it the next morning, there must have been 3 or 4 other 40+ foot motor homes assigned to that very site, while other smaller trailers were assigned to other sites with no such problems, instead of to those with trees like this one, since trailers don't have overhead satellites or as many slides.
Across the street from us there are a group of about 8 RVs from Texas (3 of them Texas Aggies, like Bill). So one of them offered us tickets to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West for the next day. They had just been to it that day and were not planning to return the next day, though the tickets is good for two consecutive days. So, even though we were not planning to go right away, with the benefit of saving the $36 fare ($18 each senior), we opted to go on Wednesday. That alone would have been a great day... a visit to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (5 museums in one place) plus a savings of $36; but it got better. Towards the end of our walk of the museums, as Bill is taking photos we hear a familiar voice say, "Well... I''ll be damned, look who is here, Iris?" It was our great friends J.T. Bowyer and his wife Iris, with their daughter, Lindsey, from Harker Heights, TX. You may have heard about them in our posts from last year when we were detained at J.T.'s RV Service shop, (Lonestar RV Center) when we had the Thor Challenger gas coach and were there first for service and then due to having been creamed by a car out of control. It was during that time that we went shopping for the coach we have now, and it was J.T. who got a more favorable deal for it as he was the President of the Texas RV Dealers Association. It was such a delight to see them again.
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West was a fabulous place to visit, not to mention HUGE to walk all through it. It is five separate museums in one...
1) the Draper Natural History Museum;
2) the Buffalo Bill Museum;
3) the Paul Dyck Plains Indians Museum;
4) the Whitney Western Art Museum; and
5) the Cody Firearms Museum ...
PLUS, a research library featuring art and artifacts of the American West, located in Cody, WY. It was founded in 1917 to preserve the legacy and vision of Col. William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody. It is the oldest and most comprehensive museum complex of the West, and so important that it has many exhibits on loan from the Smithsonian Museum.
THE CODY FIREARMS MUSEUM
The Cody Firearms museum was Bill's favorite, displaying the most comprehensive collection of American and foreign firearms in the world, ranging from the 16th century to modern manufacture. The Winchester Collection, the heart of this museum, was transported from New Haven CT to Cody WY in 1976. Visitors are able to trace the evolution of modern firearms technology from its earliest days through today's variations. If you are into firearms, you'll know why from all the photos.
THE DRAPER NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
The Draper Natural History Museum features approximately 20,000 square feet of interactive exhibits highlighting geology, wildlife and human presence in the Greater Yellowstone region. The taxidermy of the animals portrayed in the museum are of world renowned taxidermist, such as Jack D. Putnam (prev. Curator of exhibits at the Denver Museum of Natural History for nearly 25 years), and Nature's Design collection Taxidermy of Cody. All wildlife are excellently portrayed in action as they would be in life. .
PAUL DYCK PLAINS INDIAN MUSEUM
In 2007 the Buffalo Bill Center of the West acquired the Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, recognized as the most historic, important and privately held collection inn the world of Plains Indian artifacts. The Plains Indian Museum features the stories and objects of the Plains Indian people, their cultures, traditions, values and histories, as well as the contexts of their lives today.
THE WHITNEY WESTERN ART MUSEUM
No Photography was allowed within this museum, but it features paintings and sculptures of the American West. This gallery first opened in 1959 and was later united with Buffalo Bill Museum, but in June 2009 it re-opened following a re-installation. The gallery is organized thematically, with spaces dedicated to heroes and legends, the heroic cowboy, wildlife, horses in the West, inspirational landscapes, first people of the West, and the Western experience. Replicas of famous artists like Frederic Remington, Alexander Phimster Proctor, N. C. Wyeth and others help visitors learn about the artists and their techniques.
THE BUFFALO BILL MUSEUM
The inaugural museum opened in 1927 in a log cabin across from the current location. It was reinstalled in 1986 and is now part of the 5 museum complex. It offers a comprehensive view of the life and times of William F. Cody, as well as of the "Buffalo Bill" character he created through his Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.. The exhibit also reveals an intimate portrait of this major American figure, including his personal successes and failures, as well as his financial fortunes and misfortunes.