Disguise and Gals

Andy Clarke

I love Wyoming. It’s a world apart from anywhere I’ve visited in the United States.

Last night, after I’d sat outside the RV working late in the dark, I noticed that the refrigerator and cabin lights weren't working. Neither was the water pump or microwave, all of which pointed to a fault with the RV’s 12v power supply.

An early morning call to Cruise America’s Traveller Assistance line on a borrowed cellphone suggested a faulty battery so we headed to Park RV in Cody for an $80 replacement. Sadly, the battery was just the start.

Marty — worn, bearded and with an obvious passion for hunting the elk whose heads lined his office walls — told me that the battery wasn’t charging when connecting to mains power. We ordered a replacement power converter ($300 plus an hour's fitting) for next day UPS delivery and, with a borrowed battery charger, headed for a late breakfast at the (recommended by Marty) best place in town (“Ask fer Dee. Tell her I sent yer.” (We didn’t of course, it’s not a very English thing to do.))

Our Place is exactly the kind of diner I love. Kitsch, seedy and full of men with no necks and huge plates of biscuits and gravy, steak and fruit pies. I’m no fan of biscuits and gravy, so I ordered eggs, sausage, hash browns and toast, washed down with two cups of ¢25 coffee.

Across the street from Our Place is a reconstructed Wild West town made up of authentic Wyoming buildings from the 1880’s through the turn of the 20th century.

Cody, Wyoming

The buildings have been lovingly restored and include a cabin hideout used by Butch Cassidy and another where Sundance Kid and Kid Curry planned to rob a train.

Cody, Wyoming

Wagons lined the street and every building was full of original furniture and artefacts. Life in Wyoming was tough back then, not just for the Martys of the 1880’s but for the wildlife around them too. Everything from dusty bison, moose and elk to cougar and mountain lion heads hung from the walls, and I know this was disturbing to Alex.

Cody, Wyoming
“Them good fer nuthin’ low down varmints put ham on ma vegeetarian pizza. I’m a steamin!”

But it’s easy to judge what happened back then by today’s standards. It’s also wrong to judge today’s Western standards — a love of hunting and a suspicion of Obama (I’ve heard this many times from Western people on this trip) — by city living, liberal standards.

Passing a ten foot high pile of antlers we headed back into town for hat (window) shopping, sarsaparilla and pastries in a bakery diner down on 8th Street.

Two happy inflatable cows hung from the ceiling and a toy bear’s head, mounted on the wall, watched us eat.

Miles walked 1
Miles driven 5
Campground Ponderosa Campground
Tune of the day Famous In A Small Town by Miranda Lambert

Feed the bears

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