Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, Cody

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Smoky

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We are currently at Cody.

We stayed four days at Jackson Hole and then traveled to Yellowstone, in the South entrance and out the East entrance and on to Cody.  As soon as I can I will upload some photo highlights from this trip.

The passage to Cody was treacherous.  They were repairing road damage on the east entrance, and we had to travel some unpaved road without guard rails, and ravines of several thousand feet on our right side.  An uncomfortable feeling in a 40 foot motorhome pulling a station wagon.  <g>

On the way into Cody, a few miles outside of town, there was a bad auto accident.  A cop was directing traffic from the main road onto a gravel road (called "Stagecoach Road").  I tried to refuse the detour and asked to wait on the side of the road until the traffic cleared.  Nope.  The cop forced us onto the gravel road.  People in SUVs and pick up trucks went flying past us in both directions, kicking up gravel and I could hear the gravel pinging on to our $8,000 option full body paint job.  Finally I pulled out into the middle of the road blocking both lanes, forcing the people behind me to travel at 5 mph.  The people coming toward me would have to slow down until I moved over to let them pass.  Then I would wave people behind me to pass, but giving hand signals all the time out my window to motion them to pass by slowly.

I would repeat this process after everyone passed.  It took me about 90 minutes to navigate the 8 mile stretch of gravel.  But minimal damage done to our expensive motorhome paint job.  It never ceases to amaze me how thoughtless many auto drivers are when they are around a big motorhome.  Sometimes they take their own life in their hands with reckless passing.  They must not realize what will happen to them if they are hit by a 40,000 pound machine.  They also do not realize how hard it is for such a heavy vehicle to stop or maneuver.

Cody is a wonderful and fun town.  I ate bulls' balls (Rocky Mountain Oysters) at the Irma Hotel (a gift from Wild Bill Cody to his daughter and named after her) but missed watching the 6 pm shootout.  Those bulls balls are the best thing on the menu... crispy fried on the outside and moist on the inside.  Truly delectable and I like them as well as Maryland fried oysters.  People joke about Rocky Mountain oysters, but they are a gourmet delight.

Last night we went to the Cody Rodeo.  It was a blast.  We sat at the Buzzard Roost right over the barriers where they load up the riders on the horses and bulls.  Very exciting!  I will try to upload a picture or two later.  Cody has a rodeo 7 nights a week including holidays from May through September.  They are not little rodeos, but full sized rodeos with all the different events.

I spent two full days in the Bill Cody museum and wished I had more time there.  Will upload pictures from that also.
 

KenR

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We took the same trip 2 years ago and had a wonderful time. We stayed at the KOA just outside Cody (at least I think it was a KOA), ate at the Irma hotel (no, we did not sample the "oysters"), and spent hours and hours at the museum. The wife & daughter went off on their own and I spent a lot of time looking at that huge collection of guns.

We spent 6 days in Yellowstone at the Fishing Bridge RV campground. My 6 year-old daughter fell out of a tree and suffered a big cut in her right eyebrow 2 days before we left. She was only about 50 feet from the rig playing with some other kids when it happened. One of her little friends knocked on the door of the rig and we got quite a scare when we opened it and saw our daughter standing there with blood all over her face and hands. We called and a Ranger quickly showed up and we got the bleeding stopped. We went in his car to the aid station and a nurse gave us the option of getting stitches or putting on several butterfly bandages and hoping the cut stayed closed. Since it was right above her eye and the stitches would have left a scar, we chose the bandages. By the next afternoon, she was out running around like nothing had happened. Now you can only see a small scar if you look close.

Jackson Hole was also nice. What a difference from Yellowstone to the Tetons in just a few miles!

Waiting to see your pics. Take care!
Ken
 

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Smoky

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I like the Tetons better than Yellowstone.  though the east side of Yellowstone was much prettier than the south side, which is all I did in 2003.

Still have not had time for pic uploads, but getting to them.  Thanks for yours!
 

Ron

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Hope you are enjoying Cody Smoky.  Liz and Jack are also in Cody now.  I think they were planning on taking the Chief Joseph highway to the Beartooth highway over to Red Lodge and back in their toad.  Beartooth is not a Motorhome road.  If you haven't taken that trip I highly recommend it for a days outing.  More scenic than Yellowstone and nor crowds to deal with.
 

Jackliz

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Ron said:
Hope you are enjoying Cody Smoky.  Liz and Jack are also in Cody now.  I think they were planning on taking the Chief Joseph highway to the Beartooth highway over to Red Lodge and back in their toad.  Beartooth is not a Motorhome road.  If you haven't taken that trip I highly recommend it for a days outing.  More scenic than Yellowstone and nor crowds to deal with.

We did take that trip today and the scenery is breathtaking.  We did see a couple of RVs on that Beartooth highway. One was a Providence motorhome pulling a toad coming through really narrow and steep passages. The other was a Foretravel U320 going up one of those steep roads. Jack and I just shuddered at this. Even in our Jeep, I have second thoughts about ever doing that route again. Our grandson did get to see and handle some snow at the side of the road. He really got a kick out of that. I will upload a photo of the snow and a mountain spired peak.

When we got to Red Lodge, there was a bikers' rally going on in full force. There was no place to park , literally. We had to settle for a lousy lunch. We came back via Route 308, then 72 back to Cody. The trip back was no where as spectacular as the Chief Joseph and Beartooth highways.  We saw some wonderful places for camping but not with a 40 ft. Wanderlodge.  ;D 

Now we are trying to decide how to get up to Billings, MT.

Regards,
Jack , Liz, Cole, and Oreo the cat. ;D
 

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Wendy

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Thank you soooo much for the pictures of snow ! We are baking here in Kansas....100 degrees in Lawrence with who knows what humidity. The A/C can barely keep up with it and Mr Sam's tongue has been hanging out a mile. The 90 degrees at home is beginning to look actually pleasant ! Of course, the view of the lake is pretty darn nice....if we only had that boat !
 

Ned

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Wendy,

Here's the view from our campsite.  A short walk will let us see 2 glaciers too.
 

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Wendy

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Ned said:
Wendy,

Here's the view from our campsite.? A short walk will let us see 2 glaciers too.

Oh, thank you !! I'm turning up the A/C, sticking my nose in the vent, looking at the picture, and pretending I'm somewhere cold. I'll think of today when I'm shoveling snow in January and be grateful for the snow.
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Smoky said:
Finally I pulled out into the middle of the road blocking both lanes, forcing the people behind me to travel at 5 mph.  The people coming toward me would have to slow down until I moved over to let them pass.  Then I would wave people behind me to pass, but giving hand signals all the time out my window to motion them to pass by slowly.

And we wonder why non RVers hate motorhomes!! We have met the enemy and he is us. Did you ever think that the reason they were passing you and thowing gravel on you was because you made them mad by driving so slow. In all my years of driving tour buses and motorhomes on dirt and gravel roads I have never found the need to drive that slow. And to have the audacity to drive into oncoming traffic is beyond belief. You sure have given RVers a blackeye.
 

Wendy

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Alaskansnowbirds said:
And we wonder why non RVers hate motorhomes!! We have met the enemy and he is us. And to have the audacity to drive into oncoming traffic is beyond belief. You sure have given RVers a blackeye.

I'm with you Don. Maybe the SUVs wanted to get past Smoky because his motorhome was throwing gravel onto their paint jobs?? Or maybe they just didn't want to go 5 mph? Whatever their reasons were, it's almost always best to just move over to the side and let them go by. Never a reason to add to road rage. Reckless passing is, well, reckless but, Smoky, this sounds like you were just ticked off because they were pinging gravel on your "expensive motorhome paint job" and your blocking of oncoming traffic was the reckless behavior.
 

Marsha/CA

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Smokey,

Some fellow campers pulled in this afternoon after coming into Yellowstoneon on the east side in the construction area.  They said it wasn't bad at all; and didn't take as long as you say it took you.  I'm going out that way toward Cody, so I'll experience it first hand.  I've driven tons of different highways with different conditions; and you would have scared me to death with putting your motorhome in the middle of the highway coming towards me; especially if there were no guard rails.  I'm surprised the cops didn't pull you over.

Marsha~
 

Smoky

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Hey folks, don't get into a road rage here in this thread.  :D

Not at all like you are visioning it.

First of all Marsha, I believe you are confusing Yellowstone with Cody.  The bad gravel road was 80 miles from Yellowstone.  I know you are not talking about stagecoach road just outside of Cody.  I invite everyone to send their coaches through at 15 MPH, and then report in here.  ;D

Wendy and snowbirds... we tried all the things you suggested.  When we pulled over initially, several times, it was horrible.  Pickups and SUVs just roaring by and stones splattering everywhere.  They were doing this well before we began our road block strategy.  It was NOT a reaction to us.

Keep in mind this was a VERY narrow country gravel road, with very few places to pull over, and the few shoulders there were right on the road, no real room.  Trust me on this, the driving was mostly locals and they were very very macho about their driving, giving no thought at all to anyone other than they could go fast and they knew the local terrain.  Had we continued just pulling over, we would have destroyed our paint job.  No one in their right mind would want to do this.

And speeding up would have destroyed our suspension.  There was a washboard effect all over the road.  We would not have made more than a mile at 10 or 15 mph.  Truly.

It was The Admiral that came up with the new strategy, and it worked excellently and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Wendy, my wife was the one who pointed out to me a state ranger passing the other way waving to us (friendly) as we pulled over to let his chain of traffic by.  And the majority of people passing us understood completely what we were doing and were friendly once they understood.  Several other coaches stayed right behind us, preferring our strategy to passing us by, even when we pulled over and waited for them.

Sometimes the travelers we meet on the road are much frinedier than the criticism we meet here in the family.  :D  Yeah, I know, family life is honest and tough.  But sometimes miguided.  I will chalk this up as poor explanation on my part, but the Admiral is somewhat dismayed at the reaction here.  :mad:

Here are some Cody rodeo pics to calm everyone down.  :D

 

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Wendy

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I'm not in a road rage....although I am exceedingly hot (106 degrees this afternoon in Garden City, Kansas). But I stand by what the rest of us have said....if you were driving down the middle of the road, blocking traffic, you were wrong. If people were driving excessively fast when passing you, they were also wrong....which doesn't make your actions right. And I don't care if you were in Yellowstone, Cody, or Kansas. Maybe I could safely drive at 15-20 mph on that gravel road in my SUV.....should I have to chug along behind you in your RV plugging along at 5 mph if I can SAFELY pass? And you never said that they passed in an unsafe manner, just that you didn't like them pinging gravel at your expensive paint job.
 

Smoky

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Oh, the dreaded double post again.  This time it happened after I went back to modify my post to include pictures.  The original was left and a second one added with pics... so please read below.  Moderators can delete this dupe message if desired.
 

Smoky

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Thanks Ron.? That particular shot had a lot of luck associated with it.? We were right over the chute where the bronco came out.? I had the shutter speed at 1/500 using the sport setting of the FZ30.? Fortunately it was still daylight.? I had to guess where the horse would be after it burst out of the chute.? For every shot I lucked out on there were dozens that I just could not time correctly.? I have a renewed respect for sports action photographers.? This kind of action photography is not easy.? But this is the best digital camera I have ever had for trying to do this sort of thing.? Thanks to the knowledge gained from this forum and the folks here!? ?:p

Wendy, the reason I posted the information on how we handled that problem was to assist others if they ever got caught in that same predicament.? I cannot claim credit for figuring out the remedy, but I can highly recommend it.

Our coach would have been severely mutilated and the suspension destroyed had we acted in the manner you suggest.? I wanted to turn around and go back with a rebuttal to the cop who ordered us on that road, but alas no possible way in 8 miles to get turned around.

The cop was wrong not to let us volunteer to wait out the accident, and the state trooper passing the other way acknowledged the correctness of our action with his friendly wave as he passed by.?

It was a very serious situation and one that should never have been allowed to happen.? While we did nothing wrong or illegal, I would have gladly traded a high dollar fine in return for the results of how we handled our 8 miles of pure hell.? If you can imagine Quartzite, ten times worse... but compressed into a very narrow road, equal dust but loaded with mobile fast flying pea sized gravel, and far worse washboard bumps than QZ, you might get a "conservative" idea of how bad it was for us.? Picture the kind of terrain our SUV caravans fly around in on the daily QZ adventures, then picture a 40 foot full body paint motorcoach, fully loaded for full time traveling,? trying to do the same thing.? Heheh.

Next time you pass through Cody in your motorhome, please take a Stagecoach Road detour on the west side of Cody and do about 15 miles per hour, pulling your toad, then report in with the results.? ?;D? I also doubt your insurance company will help pay for the subsequent damage LOL.? Of course, you would have to pick a day that the road was being used to detour interstate traffic if you want to feel the effect of flying gravel.? Heheh.

Seriously, there are times when a motorhome driver must and should take drastic action.? Most auto and pickup drivers mean well but are sometimes not cognizant of the different factors faced by people driving a 40,000 pound coach with delicate skin.? Our solution did not come from any rage at all.? It came from a concern that folks did not understand the effects of their actions and was a carefully calculated and a very safe solution to the problem.

Your admonitions would be in perfect order if we had done this on a regular paved country road.

Here are some more rodeo shots
 

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Marsha/CA

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Smokey et al,

Tim and I are now in Cody.  We left Yellowstone and came to Cody via the East entrance; highway 20 out of Yellowstone. 

Smokey after your report about the road conditions,  I was a bit hesitant to come that way.  We even gave some thought to changing our route; but decided to tackle it anyway.  We must be more seasoned mountain drivers than you are.  We didn't think the road was treacherous at all.  It was well marked and wasn't anything like you presented.  Not being offensive here, just trying to present how the road appeared to us.  We had about a 15 minute wait to allow for the pilot car to come through from the other side.  Tim kept the motorhome in either 1st or 2nd and with using the exhause brake it was a very easy drive.  The road was watered down to help with the dust, although we got some, it wasn't near as bad as we expected.

We have never been out the east entrance and thought the drive through Shoshone National Forest was beautiful.  We were a bit sorry that we made reservations at Absaroka Campground, as we saw a couple of National Forest campgrounds that looked great.

I'm attaching a photo of a nice brown trout I caught on the Madison River the last night we were there.  I ended up with 3 fish all around the 18"- 19" size.  It was spitting rain, so there are rain drops on the camera lens.

Enjoy Sam's CAmp.  We will be heading east towards Indiana.  I have to be in Angola, Ind by Thursday the 27th at the latest.

Marsha~
 

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Ron

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I don't think the construction area was where Smoky had difficulty.  It was East of that closer to Cody.  Because of an accident the investigating officer diverted traffic onto Stagecoach road.  I doubt if Stagcoach road is ever maintained since every time I have been on it was such a bad road that it would be hazardous to travel it above 15 MPH.  I suspect the construction zone would be a supper highway compared to stagecoach road.


Although I have never been on Stagecoach road in anything but a Jeep the last time I was on it I thought they should either fix the road or close it altogether.  Knowing that  road is so bad,  had I been there and they tried to route me over it in the motorhome I would have said excuse me I have a problem pulled over shut down and acted like I had  mechanical difficulty rather than go on Stagecoach road.

Why Stagecoach road would make many of the off road trails in Moab look like super highways in comparison.
 
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