My first day in Cody, Wyoming
I’ve told my Wyoming story backwards. Before the ranch, the cowboys and the wild horses, I stayed in Cody for a night on my own. In planning my trip, I purposely booked a flight that arrived a day early so I’d be there in plenty of time before the photography workshop.
I flew from San Francisco to Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody, Wyoming, changing planes in Salt Lake City, Utah.
I got a ride to my hotel for US$15 with Cody’s Town Taxi. My driver was a local girl who was amazed that I’d come all the way from Australia to her home town.
I’d booked a room at The Irma Hotel, which was built by Buffalo Bill in 1902 and named after his daughter Irma. The hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the chief landmark of the downtown Cody historic district.
I arrived too early to check in; the hotel was fully booked and my room wasn’t ready yet.
“Is there anywhere I can leave my suitcase until I can check in?” I asked the cowboy (‘staff member dressed as a cowboy’) at reception.
“Sure thing,” He said. “You can leave it right here behind the desk.”
I hesitated, as it was hardly a secure area. But I really didn’t want to drag my suitcase around for the next few hours. “Don’t worry,” he said. “You can leave it right here, it’ll be safe. We haven’t lost one yet.”
When I returned to The Irma at check-in time, I was relieved to see my suitcase exactly where I’d left it. In fact, it was no longer was the only suitcase behind the front desk.
The Irma has ‘standard’ and ‘historic’ rooms. I’d booked a historic room and was given Room 18, ‘The Bob Rumsey’ (all rooms were named after Wild West/Wyoming historical figures). There was no lift, and no staff member offered to help me with my suitcase, so I lugged it upstairs myself. The floorboards creaked a little and the furniture and decor was suitably old-fashioned, but the room was clean and comfortable, with a not-so historical TV that I could watch in bed, and air-conditioning that kept me nice and cool.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed from the pictures that the bikies were in town. They paid no attention to me and I wasn’t concerned; but I didn’t want Jac to worry about me being alone in a town full of Hells Angels, so I didn’t mention it to her when I emailed her that night. In fact, I didn’t mention it until I had left Wyoming – just to prove there had been nothing to worry about.
At 6pm Monday to Saturday from June to late September, the Cody Gunfighters put on a Wild Western show in front of The Irma Hotel on 12th Street. It’s free to attend and it’s first come, first served for seats along the curb, at the Irma’s picnic tables or standing room at the porch; but for US$2 you can reserve a front row seat, which is what I did. It was an entertaining performance that started with a safety demonstration, with lots of jokes all the way until the noisy, smoky gunfight.
For dinner, I went to Millstone Pizza Company, a newish place in town recommended by my Town Taxi driver. It was pretty busy; I could either wait for a table to come free, or sit at the bar right away. Either way, I had access to the full menu, so bar it was. I had the choice of two empty bar stools: one next to a group of blokes chugging beer and talking loudly and animatedly about football, or the other, next to a guy who appeared to be having a quiet a drink on his own. I picked the quiet guy, who turned out to be an engineer named Derek, in town on business. Although I hadn’t been looking for company, it turned out to be a very pleasant dinner, chatting with Derek about all kinds of subjects, including the differences between Australia and the United States. I ordered the BBQ chicken pizza, with grilled chicken, home-style BBQ sauce, red onion, cilantro (that’s coriander back home, and thankfully, not too much) and loads of cheese. At the end of the night, we left the pub and walked together until the next traffic light; as our hotels were in opposite directions, we said good-bye and went our separate ways.
The next morning, I had breakfast in The Irma’s restaurant – Irma’s Scramble with eggs, sausage, red peppers and onions with hash browns, sourdough toast with lots of grape jelly (I should’ve smuggled some of those sachets home!), and a couple of rounds of unsweetened iced tea. It was a bustling dining room and it took a while for my waiter to get to me, but the food arrived pretty fast.
After breakfast, I checked out of my room and left my suitcase behind the front desk (this time, with a little less apprehension) until late afternoon when I met up with the photography workshop group. You know the rest!
So why did I tell the story backwards? Sometimes certain parts of the story are easier to write than others… so that’s what I work on first.
Mentioned in this post
Cody’s Town Taxi – 24 hour service
Telephone: (307) 250 8090
Peter’s Cafe and Bakery
1219 Sheridan Ave, Cody, Wyoming USA
The Irma Hotel
1192 Sheridan Avenue, Cody, Wyoming USA
The Cody Gunfighters (warning: auto-play music)
Millstone Pizza Company
They have a video game arcade too.
1057 Sheridan Avenue, Cody, Wyoming USA
My solo USA trip (2014) – about this series
I travelled alone to the United States from late July to mid-August. This trip covered California, Wyoming and Colorado. The primary reason for the trip was to attend a couple of workshops, one on hot air balloon photography and the other on photographing wild horses and cowboys. I also caught up with an old school friend.
- Santa Paula, California, USA – Part 1
- Chasing Balloons, Part 1 – Citrus Classic Balloon Festival
- Chasing Balloons, Part 2
- Santa Paula, California, USA – Part 2
- San Francisco, Part 1 – Golden Gate Hotel (checking in), North Beach by Night walking tour, Sam’s (burger)
- San Francisco, Part 2 – Golden Gate Hotel (breakfast), Hop-on hop-off bus tour. Golden Gate Bridge, Haight-Ashbury, The Pork Store, Painted Ladies, Hearts in San Francisco project, Jardiniere
- San Francisco, Part 3 – breakfast in Chinatown, Ferry Building, sea lions of Pier 39, In-N-Out Burger, Fisherman’s Wharf and dinner with strangers at House of Nanking
- San Francisco, Part 4 – walking around Chinatown, Bacon Bacon truck, Mission District murals, Bi-Rite Creamery and Katana-Ya ramen.
- Wyoming cowboys and staying at K Bar Z ranch
- Wild horses and dining out in Cody, Wyoming
- My first day in Cody, Wyoming – this post
- Denver, Colorado – Part 1 – Mizuna, Cherry Creek North Food & Wine festival, Chihuly exhibition at Denver Botanic Gardens, Argyll Whisky Beer, Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs
- Denver, Colorado – Part 2 – The Curtis, Sam’s No.3, Etai’s, Bistro Vendome, Civic Center Eats, The Buckhorn Exchange, Syrup, Denver public art