On more than one occasion, going way back to my youth, I have spent time in Cody, Wyoming. But, as with many intriguing places, it has not been enough. So, one of these days, I am going back.
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is reason enough for a lengthy stay. The Center includes five fine museums—one dedicated to Buffalo Bill, one to Western art, one to firearms, one to Plains Indians, and one to natural history. Each is worthy of hours, days, even, of browsing. And learning. For deeper learning, there are the collections at the McCracken Library. And, tucked away at the Center, is the Western Writers Hall of Fame where several people of my acquaintance, including some I count as friends, are enshrined.
You can also see Old West artifacts at Old Trail Town, join the tourists every night at the rodeo, and visit Bill Cody’s historic Irma Hotel. And there are other attractions in town and in the neighborhood.
Like many of the West’s finest places, Cody caters to the tourism trade, so some of what’s on offer is contrived and romanticized and does not appeal to me. Still, there’s enough of the real West, old and new, to make Cody worth another visit. Or two. Or more.