Cody was just a stop on our way to Yellowstone National Park. Focused on our first trip to Yellowstone, we hadn't done any research into Cody other than to determine that it had motels and was an hour's drive east of the park. Plus, we'd heard it had a rodeo.
On arriving in Cody, though, all the connections snapped into place: The road to Yellowstone is the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway, and it would take us past the Buffalo Bill Dam on the Shoshone River. In town is the Buffalo Bill Historical Center (www.bbhc.org) a complex that includes the Buffalo Bill Museum and the Cody Firearms Museum.
Cody had been a fur trapper, U.S. Army scout and a Pony Express agent when he founded Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, a troupe that at various times included ''Wild Bill'' Hickok and Annie Oakley and featured such stunts as roping and bronco riding. And in 1895, he was instrumental in founding the town that would be named for him.
Cody thrives on its Wild West roots and calls itself the Rodeo Capital of the World. So we knew what we had to do: Go to the Cody Nite Rodeo (www.codystampederodeo.com).
The rodeo, more than 60 years old and held every night in summer, features bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling and the like. Along with several thousand other spectators, we hollered and clapped and were hoarse by the end of the evening. And in the morning, as we headed to Yellowstone, we felt that we'd gotten a taste of the Wild West.
This is one in a series of postcards by Marjie Lambert, assistant Travel editor, who has been to all 50 states.