Every year, sometime in January, the Dude Ranch Association holds a convention for all of us fellow dude ranchers.  This year is was held in the Cody Wyoming, home of COLONEL WILLIAM F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody.  So we packed up the family and took the 22 hour/1252 miles West to Cody.

After many miles of sage brush and mostly flat land mountains finally appear.


We were worried about snow but instead Barry had to hold the van on the road when gusts of 50 to 60 mph winds would come across the highway.


Traveling is so much more fun now that our youngest is 8.


There is always a lot of sleeping on such a long drive.


The start of the Boysen State Park.

We drove through Boysen State Park in Wyoming where the Wind River runs along side the road.  During this part of the drive we always make the kids turn off their electronic devices because of how interesting and beautiful the pass is.

The truck in front of us gives you and idea of the size of things.

At the convention we get renewed and refreshed with new ideas and it always gets us excited and ready for the next season.   We love seeing all of our friends we have made over the years from coming to this event and we always seem to make new ones.  It is half vacation half business I guess you could say.

Walking the streets of Cody, WY.

Lunch at the La Comida

Cody found his dream “climber” wagon while we were there.

Cody is located just outside the West entrance of Yellowstone National Park.  If you drive up the canyon towards the West entrance this time of the year(which is closed in the winter) you can see all kinds of wildlife due to them moving to lower grounds for food.  Our favorite are the big horn sheep.  They are much harder to spot in the summer when they are up running around in the rock.

Heading up the canyon.


Can you see the big ram? You will need to click on the photo to enlarge it to find him.


They are literally right on the side of the road.


Another ram.


Mule Deer Does: We saw a lot of mule deer. They are so much bigger than the white tail. Notice their big ears, it’s how they got their name, they have ears like a mule. 


A big herd of elk.

People ice fishing. The weather was pretty mild, around 40 and 50 degrees. Usually it is a lot colder and the ice fishermen will be more out on the lake.

When we came back we stopped at Cowtown Candy Company.  April from Three Bars Guest Ranch had gone there earlier and said they had this most magical white chocolate covered stuff  and we should get some.  Okay, maybe she didn’t call it “magical stuff” but after we ate some we did!  Cowtown’s truffles were good but this white chocolate covered “puff” stuff was the best.  If you ever go to Cody you have to go in there and try some, actually don’t even worry about trying it, just buy a bag it’s worth it.

Huge jawbreaker.


Old fashion rock candy.


Cameron was sad because he ate all of his candy.


All dressed up for the Educational Trust   banquet and fundraiser.

After lots of good meetings and classes it was time to pack back up and head South.  It was a short trip but well worth it.

Nebraska Sunset: There is beauty in every part of this country if we just look. It’s a little blurry but there is no stopping on I-80. 🙂


Another early start to driving home, day two.


Kansas Sunrise

Home Sweet Home!

Growing up in Utah there is just something about the West that will always have a piece of my heart.  If you haven’t done it you really need to visit Yellowstone National Park.  All of the Yellowstone entrances are unique and different.  If you decided to go through Cody and the West entrance there are a several things you should take a moment and see/do:

1. Visit the Dude Rancher Association Heritage Center  building right in downtown Cody.  Make sure you tell Colleen and her staff “hello” from Horseshoe Canyon Ranch.
2. Visit The Irma: “A place in history”.  Buffalo Bill named the hotel after his daughter.
3. Buffalo Bill Historical Center.  You will need plenty of time to explore and see all the center has to offer.  Very interesting and informative.