Winter Vacation to Cody Wyoming

Winter Vacation to Cody Wyoming

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In the middle of February, I took a long-weekend winter vacation to visit my dad in Cody Wyoming. For those unfamiliar, Cody is located 45 minutes from the East entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Here is a google map link to put the isolation into perspective.

High Desert

It’s interesting to note that this area is actually a desert. It gets very cold but stays dry most of the year. The annual precipitation in Cody is 10.6″, which is close to Phoenix’s average of 8.2″ and less than Las Vegas’ average with 14.9″. Snow accumulation is high in the mountains but very little near the actual town.

The weather wasn’t much colder than the cold days here in ny but what did bother me was the dryness. My lips felt so dry I thought they were going to fall off. I felt continuously parched and just dry, in general. It’s easy to forget just how much we are used to something as simple as having moisture in the air.

Family

It was nice seeing my dad. This was the first time my dad, sister, and I have been together since I was maybe 8 years old. Being there with my sister was helpful. As mentioned here before, I have been dealing with financial issues with my dad for a while now. Spending consecutive days with him alone is a lot to handle, so having the two of us there was a good sanity-check.

Beauty Everywhere

I wish I could make the photos below more real to you. Everything there is beautiful – everywhere you look. It’s amazing. Since it is a desert, there are no trees (and the ones that are there are short) so you really can see everything for a distance. Even with rolling hills, it’s just a vast land.

Wild Animals Everywhere

Another amazing part of this trip was how many wild animals we saw while just driving down the road (the East entrance of Yellowstone is closed in the winter).

On our drives we saw:

  • Pronghorn (Antelope)
  • Big Horn Sheep
  • Wild Horses
  • Buffalo
  • Cattle


Sights

Buffalo just roaming around in a field on the side of the road! Big horn sheep on the side of a rocky hill! Wild horses grazing! It’s amazing sometimes to think this type of “wild” still exists. It’s easy for me to forget sometimes living here at least.

Plus, numerous animal bones on the side of the road. That was weird.

The nature highlight for me was seeing stars in the sky! Since it is never actually dark at night here, the most I can see at night is one or two stars. Seeing a giant sky of them again is such a treat.

In town, we visited the Buffalo Bill Historical Museum in Cody, which I absolutely recommend. There was a great exhibit on Yellowstone wildlife and also Buffalo Bill. As a history nerd, I loved it.

The photos above include shots of an abandoned property my dad knew about. It has since become a bit of a junk pile which is an amazing juxtaposition with the beautiful nature in the background.

Costs

Money-wise, this was also a great trip. We did a lot of riding around. My sister and I agreed that she would pay for the hotel + rental car (her and her husband are doing well) and I would pay for all meals. So we did eat all of our meals (including breakfast) out but most were so cheap (comparatively) it wasn’t a problem. At one restaurant for dinner, the three of us ate for $20.

Breakdown

  • Food: $175
  • Misc (museum, car fuel, etc): $84
  • Airfare: $358


Share some of your favorite off-beat vacation stories below.

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3 Replies to “Winter Vacation to Cody Wyoming”

  1. Great pictures. I’m glad you were able to see your dad.

    Me and W were thinking about going on a vacation like this. I really want to go to Havasu Falls!

    1. Seeing my dad is always a conflict of emotions but more than anything it showed me that he doesn’t actually need all the money he asks for. So that certainly helped with the guilty-factor I had been feeling before.

      Aside from that, I absolutely recommend visiting Yellowstone. There is a canyon & several waterfalls of its own plus all the geysers, hot springs, and other amazing beauty!

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