Okay, I don’t think there’s an actual town named Podunk, but this is damn funny. Someone is not happy with their town. I passed it just as I was making my was east out of the Yellowstone/Tetons area and into Cody, Wyoming, my next destination.
Cody is truly a western town and is proud of its heritage. Its namesake is “Buffalo Bill” Cody, one of the characters you learn about in middle school history. I checked out the Historical Center in his name in town and was truly impressed. It was one of the most amazing facilities of its kind I’ve ever seen – in a teeny little town in Wyoming. Whodathunk?
It included a natural history museum which explained in detail the interplay of the region’s (Yellowstone, Great Plains etc) flora, fauna and weather, a huge exhibit explaining the adventures of Buffalo Bill (that guy got around and essentially birthed the idea of the “Wild West” that became so popular around the world), a firearms exhibit, Western Art display and finally a Great Plains Indians museum which told the incredible story of these amazing people. It, again, made me a bit ashamed to be a Euro-white guy. [We wronged these people every way to Sunday. We pushed them further and further west, breaking treaty after treaty we made with them and, after forcing our religion, disease and values upon them (dismissing theirs as pagan) finally forced them to submit and adopt a Euro way of life, something they had no interest in and essentially breaking their very rich and spiritual way of life in this land. Sad. But, hey, Americans are rich and powerful now! Woohoo!]
Eager to celebrate America, I then headed down to the towns rodeo arena. Cody is the self-proclaimed Rodeo Capital of the World and holds a rodeo every single night in July and August. No jokin’ Hoboken. This, I would not miss. I’ve been to the Red Bluff Round Up in California a few times and am for some reason very drawn to this and the other exhibits of modern Western life. Was I a cowboy in a former life? That’s it – I’ve found my calling. I’m going to be a green-neck. An environment loving redneck. Done.
The rodeo did not disappoint. The setting was amazing – an arena situated at the base of the mountains in a dry sagebrush plain area. There were storm clouds above us, threatening rain most of the night but creating an eerie but beautiful look all night.
The life of a rodeo cowboy is not an easy one apparently. Those guys definitely earn their money. Life on the road, the chance of getting gored or stomped to death by an angry bull and all that. Maybe I’ll cross that possibility off the associated green-neck activities. And keep the part about picking purdy flowers.