Cody, Wyoming

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We drove to Sheridan, Wyoming for lunch at Taco John’s since we kept passing them, and we figured we needed to give it a go. We heard a bad snowstorm was about to hit Mount Rushmore and the Badlands, as well as into Sheridan so we had to book it more West to our destination, so as not to get caught. As I was driving us on 14 West, we had no idea we would be going through Bighorn National Forest, but sure enough, the roads got steeper and windier with each turn we made. As the elevation rose, we went through the most beautiful snow-capped trees and it was breathtaking. We took it slow since there was precipitation (and pretty much a white-out as we were driving), but it was such a surprising treat to drive through.

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Cody, Wyoming was our destination for the night with a Couchsurfer named Ruth and her husband Peter. They are the most endearing couple you’ll ever meet, and it really felt like coming home to grandma’s house. When we arrived, we met their three dogs Biscuit, Gloria, and Laddie, then sat down for a turkey meatloaf dinner with vegetables and baked potatoes. We were very appreciative to have such a nice meal, and we enjoyed getting to know them as we talked over dinner.

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Peter later encouraged us to get back on their road (highway 40) a bit further because it was scenic and had a lot of animals. We had about two hours of daylight left, so we went for a drive, getting off on random dirt roads and following them until we saw something that caught our eye. We saw elk for the first time on the trip. Wyoming is absolutely stunning! We had no clue what to expect, but there are gorgeous mountains and sweeping landscapes in all directions. When we got back, we talked to them some more before having showers and getting our own king sized bed for the night!

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In the morning, we woke up and of course Ruth, being the sweetheart she is, made poached eggs for us along with this “Amish baked oatmeal,” which were both great. They are members at the Buffalo Bill Wild West museum, so they followed us there and walked in with us so we got admission for free. They left for Mother’s Day brunch eventually, while we took our time in the museum (it was huge!) There was a lot of great stuff to see, and I actually understand who Buffalo Bill is now, whereas before I knew his name but didn’t know why he was significant. Being that we could leave the museum and return again, we went to lunch at a local place called Bubba’s BBQ before returning to finish the rest of the museum.

Ruth and Peter suggested we take a scenic drive if we had time, so we drove on Chief Joseph Scenic Byway for quite a few miles, up into very snowy mountains. It was gorgeous, as always, and we returned to have dinner with them again. They are so helpful for getting to know the area and have tons of advice about Yellowstone. We were sad to leave them in the morning, but were excited to check out the places they recommended.

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