A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Cody WY’

Cody, Wyoming

Posted by graywacke on January 22, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-three-or-four days blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landin above.

Landing number 2241; A Landing A Day blog post number 669.

Dan:  As is obvious from the title of this post, I landed in . . . WY.  This is the fifth state in a row that has been a repeater since I changed my lat/long landing procedure 25 landings ago.  Bottom line:  my Score continues to rise instead of falling (as it must inevitably do), moving from 1151 to 1155.

Anyway . . . here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Buck Creek, on to the Shoshone R (2nd hit):

landing 3a

Zooming back, one can see that the Shoshone makes its way to the Big Horn (19th hit); on to the Yellowstone (55th hit); and on to the Missouri (406th hit):

landing 3b

Of course, the Missouri is part of the watershed of the MM (878th hit).

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) space flight in to NW Wyoming.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip and then hit your back button.

Staying with Google Earth, here’s a shot showing Street View coverage:

ge sv landing map

Even though it’s a ways away, I have a clear shot of my landing and Heart Mountain.  Here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv landing

Speaking of the orange dude, I had to take him all the way south to Cody to get a look at the Shoshone River which passes through a cool water gap on its way to Cody:

ge sv shoshone

Staying with the Shoshone, here’s a GE Panoramio shot of the river between my landing and Cody (by Elifino 57):

pano elifino57

So.  Cody’s a substantial city (pop 10,000, making it the 11th most-populous city in WY) and it’s only 9 miles away.  So, Cody it is. 

While I’ve heard of Cody and I’m pretty sure I knew that Buffalo Bill’s last name was Cody, but I didn’t realize the connection between the man and the town.  Until now.  I think I’ll jump right to the Cody Wyoming story before presenting some interesting tidbits about BB’s life.  From Wiki:

Cody first passed through the area that was to become Cody in the 1870s. He was so impressed by the development possibilities from irrigation, rich soil, grand scenery, hunting, and proximity to Yellowstone Park that he returned in the mid-1890s to start a town. The town was incorporated in 1901.

In November 1902, Cody opened the Irma Hotel, which he named after his daughter. He envisioned that a growing number of tourists would be coming to Cody via the recently opened Burlington rail line. He expected that they would proceed up the Cody Road along the North Fork of the Shoshone River to visit Yellowstone Park. To accommodate travelers, Cody completed construction of the Wapiti Inn in 1905 along the Cody Road.

He owned about 8,000 acres of land around Cody and ran about 1,000 head of cattle.  He operated a dude ranch, pack horse camping trips, and big game hunting business at and from his ranch. In his spacious ranch house, he entertained notable guests from Europe and America.

So who was this guy?  I seem to remember something about a Wild West Show.  Well, here are some Wiki tidbits:

Born in Iowa in 1846, moved to Kansas in 1853.

Father Isaac was staunch anti-slavery activist, was harassed for his stance; was stabbed twice with a Bowie knife after making an anti-slavery speech.

Isaac spent time away from home for his own safety. His enemies learned of a planned visit to his family and plotted to kill him on the way. The young Cody, despite his youth and being ill at the time, rode 30 miles to warn his father.

Cody’s father went to Cleveland, Ohio to organize a colony of thirty families to bring back to Kansas, in order to add to the anti-slavery population. During his return trip he caught a respiratory infection which, compounded by the lingering effects of his stabbing led to Isaac Cody’s death in April 1857.

At age 13, he joined Johnston’s Army as an unofficial member of the scouts assigned to guide the United States Army to Utah, to put down a rumored rebellion by the Mormon population of Salt Lake City.

According to Cody’s account in Buffalo Bill’s Own Story, the Utah War was where he first began his career as an “Indian fighter”:

Presently the moon rose, dead ahead of me; and painted boldly across its face was the figure of an Indian. He wore this war-bonnet of the Sioux, at his shoulder was a rifle pointed at someone in the river-bottom 30 feet below; in another second he would drop one of my friends. I raised my old muzzle-loader and fired. The figure collapsed, tumbled down the bank and landed with a splash in the water. “What is it?” called McCarthy, as he hurried back. “It’s over there in the water.” “Hi!” he cried. ‘Little Billy’s killed an Indian all by himself!’ So began my career as an Indian fighter.

At the age of 14, in 1860 Cody was struck by gold fever, but on his way to the gold fields, he met an agent for the Pony Express. He signed with them, and after building several stations and corrals, Cody was given a job as a rider.

When he was 17, he enlisted as a Private in the Union Army, Kansas Cavalry.  He served two years.

Here’s a picture of him at 19:


He moved to Rochester NY and got married.  He had four children, two of whom died young while still in Rochester.

In 1867 he moved back west, and hunted buffalo for the railroad. This was when he got his nickname “Buffalo Bill.”  Cody is purported to have killed 4,282 buffalo in eighteen months, (1867–1868).

He was then a scout for the Army during various Indian wars.  He scouted for Indians and fought in 16 battles.

The legend is born

In 1869, Cody met Ned Buntline who wrote a story published in the New York Weekly which was based on Cody’s adventures (largely made up by Buntline). Then Buntline published a highly successful novel, Buffalo Bill, King of the Bordermen. Buntline wrote many other sequels from 1870s through the early part of the twentieth century.

Here’s an 1875 picture (likely his most-dudely time of life):


And an 1880 shot (still quite dudely):


In 1883, Cody founded “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West”, a circus-like attraction.  With his show, Cody traveled throughout the United States and Europe.

Shows typically began with a parade on horseback, with participants from horse-culture groups that included US military, foreign military, cowboys, American Indians, and performers from all over the world in their best attire.  Turks, Gauchos, Arabs, Mongols and Georgians, displayed their distinctive horses and colorful costumes. Visitors would see feats of skill, staged races, and sideshows. Many historical western figures participated in the show. For example, Sitting Bull appeared with a band of 20 of his braves.  Annie Oakley and Wild Bill Hickok also appeared.

Performers re-enacted the riding of the Pony Express, Indian attacks on wagon trains, and stagecoach robberies. Some shows ended with a re-enactment of Custer’s Last Stand, in which Cody portrayed General Custer.  More commonly, the finale was a portrayal of an Indian attack on a settler’s cabin. Cody would ride in with an entourage of cowboys to defend the family.

Here’s an 1890 shot of Buffalo Bill with Sitting Bull and friends:


Buffalo Bill’s Wild West toured Europe eight times, the first four tours between 1887 and 1892, and the last four from 1902 to 1906.

Here’s a wistful shot of Bill (1903).  If Springsteen were around, Bill would be humming “Glory Days”:

Buffalo_bill_cody 1903

And a poster advertising the show (about the same timeframe):


Cody died in 1917 at his sister’s home in Denver.  He was baptized into the Catholic Church the day before his death.

Phew.  Close call for Buffalo Bill’s immortal soul.


As a frontier scout, Cody respected Indians and supported their rights. He employed many, as he thought his show offered them good pay with a chance to improve their lives. He described them as “the former foe, present friend, the American”, and once said, “Every Indian outbreak that I have ever known has resulted from broken promises and broken treaties by the government.”

Many Indian family members traveled with the men, and Cody encouraged the wives and children of his Indian performers to set up camp – as they would in their homelands – as part of the show. He wanted the paying public to see the human side of the “fierce warriors”; that they had families like any other, and had their own distinct cultures.

There you have it.  I bet that you now know more about Buffalo Bill Cody than you did a few minutes ago.

Time for some GE Pano shots of Heart Mountain.  First this, looking east by BroxTopD:

pano broxtopd

I’ll close with this shot taken just north of my landing (looking west), by K. Stahley:

pano K. Stahley

That’ll do it . . .




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