August 02-20, 2000
For weeks before we left, Teri kept being told "Be prepared for rotten weather, rain, hail, lightning and yes snow." Oops!! This was one of the driest summers Montana and Wyoming have experienced in over a decade. We did get to try on the rain gear once in Idaho and yes Joe was just a little bit closer to a few lightning strikes than he preferred, but on the whole it was an extremely dry trip. Teri has been assured that this will probably never happen again.
We departed Havasu Wednesday August 02 for Mesquite Nevada at 7 pm with the temp running around 105. The 4 hour run to Mesquite was bearable only because it was after dark. We took off out of Mesquite the following morning for Idaho Falls Idaho and two old friends of Joe's, Larry & Helen Bogard where we had reserved their spare room for the next two nites. Joe and Larry are old buds and their friendship and it's origins could take an entire web site. Suffice it to say, when Joe met Larry he was a member of the law enforcement community and he got to demonstrate to Joe that his radar gun will actually show three digits on the display.
Our two days spent in Idaho Falls was awesome....thanks to our hosts. It would have been nice to spend more time there but Cody was calling and we just couldn't wait to get there.
Joe had let it be known way in advance that the idea of traversing Yellowstone Park was not his idea of fun. He's spent a lot of time in and around the Park and the traffic, bad weather and critters don't inspire him to voluntarily travel across this countries oldest national park very often. The one thing that Teri kept hearing was about all the damn buffalo!! Well.....after spending about five hours crossing the park, Teri now believes that there are actually no buffalo in the park. We didn't see so much as one!! Joe thought it was great!! Teri was disappointed, but she did get to see elk and deer, at least they don't like to stand in the road.
The scenery which we passed through on the way to Cody was nothing short of spectacular. For those of you who live in states that do not consist of two million square miles of kitty litter it may be hard to understand the impact that living trees and grass can have on a body. After spending most of the summer dreading the thought of even going outside because your skin will blister within minutes, the sight of mountains and trees is overwhelming to say the least. It makes you want to never return to the desert.
Our arrival in Cody was mid afternoon and the first thing Teri did was to walk out into the grass in the front yard and lay down, shaded by 80 ft high elm trees with a cool breeze blowing.
Joe's father Ray had arrived in Cody several weeks before us. His intention is to spend the rest of the summer at the house and probably return to the desert sometime in October.
We spent the next two weeks basically sitting on the porch with Ray and traveling the area on day trips. Teri had been informed that the house had an east facing porch about 40 feet long shaded by trees. Our daily routine was to get out of bed early and sit on the porch drinking coffee then go for a putt, or maybe do nothin'. What a life!!
Every couple of days we went to see Joe's grandma. She's 98 years old and lives in a nursing home a few blocks from the house. Teri got to know her a little bit and fell in love with this wonderful little old woman. She is a constant collector of just about anything she can get her hands on. Her hearing may not be very good anymore but her eyesight is flawless. From flowers to cigarette butts, a trip outside will net Grandma more than a few treasures.
One thing that Teri wasn't quite ready for was the fact that the Wendy's drive through behind the house captured the daily attention of a horse and carriage. The first time she saw a horse and carriage waiting in the drive through line I though she'd wet her pants. I couldn't really understand what the big deal was, not everyone in the world has a car do they?
Our day trips included the Beartooth Mountains, Red Lodge Montana, the Bighorn Mountains and Billings. One of the highlights of the trip was a jaunt to the infamous Bearcreek Downs. Home of the only Pig Racing Track in Montana. Pitts, the owner went so far as to have Montana state law changed to allow betting on pig racing. The proceeds all go to scholarships with tens of thousands of dollars having been used for this purpose in the last ten years or so.
For the most part we didn't really miss going to Sturgis for Bike Week at all. There were more bikes in and around Cody than anyone could imagine. The nice part was we had a house to stay in with real plumbing and we didn't have to stand in line to spend $4.00 on a fifty cent hot dog. The town of Cody pretty much rolls out the red carpet for the motorcyclists every year. Being a tourist oriented community they need to get those tourist dollars before the season ends on labor day, and end it does. After the first of September Cody gets real quiet.
Two weeks just didn't seem like enough time to explore all the places which we wanted to discover, but then again this won't be the last trip to Cody either. Teri had to be at work on the 21st so along about Friday the 18th we packed up the bike and headed south for a leisurely three day run home. We intentionally kpt v2Ñthe interstate almost all the way home unless we were threatened with weather and had to run for it. We traveled hiway 89 most of the way from Wyoming to Fredonia Arizona (you'll have to get a map to find that one) where we discovered the longest bar in the state of Arizona. The only reason for it's existence that we can think of is that it's on the Utah, Arizona border and those Mormons have to have somewhere to drink don't they?
As usual, coming home sucked!!
Then again, neither of us is quite ready to retire yet, maybe next year