Monday, August 3, 2015

2015 Western Trip – Days 8 & 9 - Onward To Cody

These two days were spent traveling from North Platte, NE to Cody, WY with an overnight stop in Douglas, WY.

The Trip
Traveling US-26 gave us a great view of the countryside and the farming/ ranching activities and it was interesting to watch as we headed west to a dryer climate, how things moved from almost total agriculture (corn and soybeans) to a mix of ranching and farming to nearly all ranching.  On the second day of our trip from Douglas to Cody, we spent most of the day driving through the vast dry expanse of northwestern WY – it is a huge and barren land.  

I was surprised when we came upon the Boysen Reservoir and dam which seemed to be in the middle of nowhere.  It is an impoundment of the Wind River and is mostly located on the Wind River Indian Reservation.  We even got to see a BNSF train headed up river below the dam on the main line from Billings, MT to Casper, WY but I wasn't in a position to get a shot of it.

It seems the Wind River becomes the Bighorn River when it exits the canyon near Thermopolis, WY.  Between Thermopolis and Cody, we passed through the small town of Meeteese, which sits on the Greybull River.  We knew nothing about it when we went through but noticed it looked like it would have been a good place to stop.  With a population of 330, it is home to Chocolatier Tim Kellogg who makes and ships his gourmet chocolates to fans around the world.

The Routes
We left North Platte on I-80 and exited at Ogallala, NE to take US-26 on an angle up to I-25 just west of Guernsey, WY.  I thought US-26 was a very good road in NE with good scenery, a good road surface, and four lane some of the way.  When we got into WY, the land looked the same but the road surface was not quite as good, but still fine.  I-25 in WY up to Douglas was a little rough and more typical of what I see in the East.  

On the next day we continued on I-25 to Casper, then took US-20 to Thermopolis then WY-120 to Cody.  These were all good roads except for a few rough spots on WY-120 and the drive down the Wind River Canyon was curvy but I would still recommend this route. 

I tried to add a map here but couldn't figure out how to do it - all I could get was the actual link - any advice appreciated.

The Campgrounds
Like most of what we’ve seen in the west, the Douglas KOA was gravel with a little grass.  Our site was plenty big enough for us without unhooking the car and we were pleased with that.  As we usually find at KOA’s, the folks at the office were friendly, helpful and escorted us to the site – I always appreciate that and would stop-over there again.  

Our next stop was the Ponderosa Campground in Cody, WY and based on my research, it was the best one in town.  It was located downtown and pretty near everything, but still too far for my knees to walk.  This is our site and as you can see we have a nice grassy area next to us for the dogs.

The campground was fine but our end site was right next to the road to Yellowstone so we got lots of traffic noise especially from motorcycles – for you Harley fans, the sound is not all that great when you’re trying to sleep in. I believe every bike in the western US that was not at the Sturgis rally was in Cody – a group of 11 just went by as I was typing this.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


7/31 – 8/1/15 event date


  1. You are making some good time and enjoying interesting sights along the way.
    Enjoy !

  2. To add a google map share and copy and paste the link into the html setting at the spot where you want it , Or a screen shot of the map save as a Jpeg and insert like a picture.

    1. George - if you're willing I need way more detail than that - I barely understood what you said, unfortunately. Thanks

  3. Hi Larry and Bev, I haven't had much time lately to blog --but I just wanted you to know that we are SO enjoying following you on your trip. We will be near Jackson (Tetons) the end of August --and I'm so excited. I love Yellowstone and the Tetons --so we're going to experience more of it this year.. (We were there in Sept.of 2012.) SO--you are not too far north of Yellowstone at Cody. We have not been in that part of Wyoming.... BUT--you are headed to an area which we hope to visit sometime. The northeast is FULL of waterfalls --and I hope we make it there.... Take lots of pictures to share.

    Safe travels.
    Betsy (and George)

  4. I love those wide open spaces of Wyoming, Montana, Nevada. I prefer the no trees and the being able to see for miles and miles. Cody's a fun town.

  5. Love Cody. Lots to see and do in that area.

  6. Larry, Vast yet beautiful country! It always impresses us when we view how other people live and work around the USA. We've never been through eastern and central Wyoming. When we went to Yellowstone, we flew into Salt Lake City and then drove up through western Wyoming to the parks. When we go west again, we'll have to check out the area and what it has to offer. Hopefully, no Harley's blowing by your next RV stop! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  7. It's gorgeous country there Larry. I would have not been able to resist the Cowboy Cafe. I know how those big bikes sound. We stayed in Maggie Valley, NC one Sept and there was a Rally in the Valley every weekend. The house we stayed in was near a big curve and the bikes roared around. I'm sure it must have been fun if you'd been on the bike, but it became annoying to hear after a while. Take care and drive safely.

  8. It sounds lovely, when we lived in colorful Colorado it was nice to go thru Cody on our way to the pacific northwest to visit family..We live here now..It is the hottest year from 2014 thru 2015 in 100 years of weather reports..No rain, no snow, no ski season(s) no crops because of the dangerous crops, lots of wildfires and Seattle has had 11 days of 90 degree heat ...booo hooh, we live at the tip of the state near Portland Oregon, we have experienced over 25 days of nearly 100 degrees and there is no end in sight, we escape to the Washington coast and I cry like a baby when we are forced to return with our 3 kitteh cats, we had to buy two air conditioning units my kitchen got to be 107 can you imagine and we could not be in our home, only 1200 sq feet but like an inferno, 37 years old come this September..Hottest year in record keeping and the meterologists on the tv and radio say it will not snow, ice or rain much for all of 2015 and possibly 2016 yet Phoenix got tons of rain and so did Nevada how can that be, you better believe there is global warming...enjoy your trip to the pacific northwest but there are many restrictions because of the severe drought and wildfires and proceed cautiously this is the most unusal heat and high records in the weather records in all of the pacific northwest, usually we get 200 days plus of inclement weather but we have not had that in about 3 full years..still enjoy this area, it just won't be as green as normal and many camping spots near rivers are limited due to the extreme HEAT & DROUGHT, rivers and places that normally got water are at record lows so many who depended upon that for their livelihood are out of luck...

  9. Yeah Sturgis is a big deal out west - sorry for the loud camp site. The landscaping changes are fascinating. Looks like all is going well! What a grand adventure!

  10. Given how inclement the weather often is in Wyoming, the roads are pretty good. I'm always appreciative of the fact that their US Routes are nearly as fast as the interstates, and so much more direct. Looks like you are having a nice trip, Larry.

  11. Loud rode noise (especially Harlies) would be no fun! It looks like you are having a pretty nice trip so far.

  12. Wonder if you are planning to visit The Blue Canadian Rockies on the Banks of Lake Louise? Sorry that is a lyric line from The Bryds. We have been there and the golden poppies are blooming.

  13. Just took a 'drive' though all of your trip photos. What an great trip you're having - apart from all the bikers. Since Harleys are made in right here in the Milwaukee are and Milwaukee hosts some huge Harley Fests I know exactly what you mean! Looks like some darn good eating being had too ;)

  14. Perfect view of the Super 8 Motel, ha ha. Sounds like your trip is going well. I love shots of dams, the engineering and construction of them has always fascinated me.


I appreciate and enjoy your comments