Monday, July 02, 2012

Cole Camp: Wyoming Edition

Every year (or so), my mom's side of the family gets together for "Cole Camp." This year we met in Cody, WY, outside the Eastern entrance to Yellowstone. We rented a large lodge to fit the group (we had almost 30, more than 30 if everyone can make it!). We all drove into WY by Thursday evening and everyone headed out by Sunday night/Monday. We had one LONG drive from Minneapolis to WY - including a stop in Rapid City, SD for a hotel (and swimming) for the night. We drove straight through on the way home, which was even crazier. Luckily, we were all tired enough to just ignore each other and/or sleep (Mia included!). While in Cody, we checked out the Buffalo Bill Historical Museum, Old Trail Town, the downtown strip - including the historic Hotel Irma, and hit up the nightly rodeo (our first time!). On Saturday, most of the family split into groups and drove into Yellowstone for the day. We drove the southern loop, seeing Old Faithful and the chromatic pools, the canyon and falls, and various wildlife including elk, buffalo, mule deer, and a grizzly bear! Sunday was spent with the family, catching up and trying to survive the heat wave (and subsequent power outages).

On the way out, we stopped in Spearfish, SD to see David's grandma (and introduce her to miss Mia).
 We also stopped in Sheridan, WY, at Blacktooth Brewing and tried all of their beers - yum!

 Dan and Kendra were intent on finding "real" cowboy boots - and they did! Dan was sporting some nice, high black socks with his boots...
 Wine tasting at Buffalo Jump.
  This winery doesn't grow their own grapes, instead they import pre-made wine from CA and alter it to make it their own. The bulk wine is shipped in these large boxes and cartons!
 Visiting Old Trail Town - a strip of historic buildings maintained in Cody.
 Inside Old Faithful Inn (gorgeous!)

 We met up with part of the family for hiking around Old Faithful and a picnic lunch.
 Mia was not a fan of the stinky sulfur smell coming from the geysers and pools!
Morning Glory Pool
 Emerald Pool
 Sunset (or Rainbow?) Pool
By this point, we had one tired kiddo.
 Canyon area - view from the top of Lower Falls.
Mia and Huck (her cousin who was born on the same day as her!) They had so much fun together!
 The whole crew!
 Lucky me, I won the traveling trophy for organizing this year's event. This thing is now sitting in front of our basement TV so I see it every night.

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