Family travel tips to share and how to master hotel stays is one of the most important.

Final Lecture Tour: Billings, Montana plus Cody and Gillette, Wyoming

I had the honor of making yet another series of lecture presentations. Sadly, however, this was my final lecture tour for the 2009 – 2010 season. The trip started on May 10 with an on-time flight (thru Salt Lake City Airport) to Billings, Montana. (My last visit to Montana had been to West Yellowstone in 1985.) I had a total of 27 attendees for my noon presentation on May 11. I wish I had more time to tour the area but I was on a tight schedule and had to move on …

The above photo shows the center of Billings.
The event was followed by an enjoyable 2-hour drive (in a rented Chevy Tahoe) from Billings to Cody, Wyoming.

Although I stayed in the Cody Holiday Inn (comfortable yet unremarkable), I was told to have breakfast at the Irma Hotel (pictured above). I had a thoroughly delicious meal featuring two HUGE pancakes!

The highlight of my stay in Cody (that is, other than my May 12 evening lecture which attracted 22 attendees) was a three-hour visit to Cody’s renowned Buffalo Bill Historical Center – shown above. For the admission price of only $13.00, I was able to take in five separate museums all rolled into one! I highly recommend this place!!!

William Cody – nicknamed “Buffalo Bill” Cody. The man for whom the city is named.

Annie Oakley, an expert markswoman! (Originally named Phoebe Ann Moses.) Annie appeared in Buffalo Bill’s “Wild West” show which toured the USA and parts of Europe from about the mid-1880’s up until about 1913 (when the soon-to-start World War I had people distracted).

Last stop – Gillette, Wyoming. Only a dozen folks showed up for my 45 minute lecture on the evening of May 13. The reason: the weather was so nice, it was said everyone was outside running errands, camping, etc. Still, the following morning (May 14) I was able to take in the Rockpile Museum – an interesting little museum set up by the county – and then visit one of America’s best known National Monuments ……

The Devil’s Tower National Monument! This gem is about a 1-1/4 hour drive east of Gillette. Well worth the trip. The rain, which had hung over central Wyoming most of the week, had cleared away and this happily made for some absolutely fabulous picture taking opportunities! By the way, this is where they filmed the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind about thirty years ago.

And last but not least, I am happy to report that ALL my flights were on time!! A thoroughly enjoyable experience!!!

PS: By the way, I recommend the above book to anyone who loves to travel. Thankfully my trips abroad have never involved the sorts of hassles encountered by Greg Mortenson (the author) in his efforts to build schools in Central Asia. This book is a great read.