Thursday, August 20, 2015 / Layover day in Cody, WY, rode to Buffalo Bill Dam / 14 miles
Today was an optional ride day. Riders could ride to the East Entrance of Yellowstone (100+ miles, out and back, uphill to Yellowstone, downhill back), could ride to the Buffalo Bill Dam via the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway (14 miles round trip), or could hang out in Cody and sight-see.
After quite a bit of deliberation, we decided to ride out to the Buffalo Bill Dam. The route allowed us to ride on the old section of road below the dam that is no longer open to the public. Even though we really, really wanted to rest, we also hated to miss the opportunity to see the historic road. Long ago, this was the only route to the Yellowstone East Entrance.
The road below the dam is very steep (14% grade), but cool! The canyon walls are close together and the road hangs on the side of the canyon. The Buffalo Bill Dam, completed in 1910, provides electricity, along with water for irrigation, to the surrounding area. It was a remarkable engineering feat, particularly considering the methods used in 1910!
Over the last several days, we noticed a general haze, particularly when viewing the horizon. Wildfires in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California, caused the haze. If you look back through our pictures, you can see it, too, starting in Red Lodge the first night. BUT, today, it wasn’t just a haze, it was thick smoke! Heading back from the dam the change was significant.
After we returned from our short ride, we washed clothes, walked around Cody, walked through the Irma Hotel (Buffalo Bill’s hotel), and ate lunch in town. In the middle of the day the temperature was in the mid-70’s, similar to our fall-weather. It was also a little odd to think about 75 degrees seeming like warm weather! After returning to camp, we visited with our CGY friends and had a nice relaxing afternoon!