This was a day of variety. It started with a choice activity between trail riding by horseback or visiting the Buffalo Bill Dam. Seventeen boys chose to go on the horseback ride. I mean, this IS cowboy country! They were matched with a horse and got saddled up. We found out that the head wrangler was also a rodeo cowboy and there was a chance he would be riding in the Cody Rodeo later that night. (He didn’t.) All the boys enjoyed their ride up into the country above Cody. We’ve used this same outfitter since 2006 and have always had good rides.
The other group of boys enjoyed a visit to the Buffalo Bill Dam. The dam was originally built to provide water for irrigation for thousands of acres of farm land in the Cody region and was eventually outfitted to provide electricity. At the time it was built (around 1910), it was the tallest dam in the world. A couple of boys were finally able to buy their US Parks Passports and I bought one too.
Lunch at Arby’s was next and then we drove a few minutes to Heart Mountain Interment Center. We watched an orientation movie and then had a docent answer questions and get us started on a tour of the center. Heart Mountain was home to over 14,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II. The boys were so attentive and had such good questions that the docent gave them a compliment…which means a treat is coming their way. The group picture was taken in front of a guard tower.
We returned to our hotel around mid-afternoon for either chill time or swim time. Two of our campers, Nick Browne and Cullen Jorgensen, had a reunion with Neil Adams from Red Lodge, MT. Neil was with Nick and Cullen (and me) last summer when we were in Europe. It was great to see him again.
We went to downtown Cody (just a couple of blocks from our hotel) and the boys finally had time to do a little shopping in small groups. I know they enjoyed this first taste of “freedom.”
Dinner was at a Chinese buffet and the boys loved it. We got our money’s worth there.
We finished the day by going to the Cody Night Rodeo which takes place every night of the summer. During the break, kids 12 and under have their own rodeo event. They get to run after a calf (poor calf) and attempt to get the ribbon off of its tail. There were dozens of kids participating including several MTA boys. And…our own Tripp Teague won. He got gift certificates for a trail ride and a treat at Dairy Queen. It has been over 25 years since the last MTA campers snatched the ribbon.
It was another fun and fulfilling day.
Click to see photos from the day’s activities.