The Buffalo Bill Center of the West
We got to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West soon after they opened in the morning after we enjoyed coffee and fruit at a local restaurant. The museum boasts of having the largest firearms collection in the United States. When we were there they had part of the collection of the Smithsonian on display too.
The whole collection is awesome, they have the original builder’s patent model of the Gatling Gun, and a Gatling Gun used in the first experiments to build an electric powered Gatling for use in aircraft. The firearms cover two floors and they have cases that pull out of the walls with just about every variation of a particular firearm.
Overall the museum is a history of American firearms from around 1500 to the present day. They have everything from matchlocks to machine guns. They have displays of weapons from every war in that time period. They also have firearms used in famous films and TV series like Paladin’s Colt and black gun belt. We wandered through the guns for several hours in amazement at the sheer volume of historical pieces.
The rest of the museum is fascinating too. It tells of the life of Buffalo Bill who started as a Pony Express rider, after service in the army during the Civil War he became a buffalo hunter for the railroads, Later he was a scout for the Army and wrote many books about his exploits. After an 11 year stint as an actor he opened his wild west show which had a 30 year run. The museum has many of his artifacts including a fascinating motion picture of his wild west show from the early 1900s.
A buffalo bites the dust
We left the center in late afternoon and drove to a resort near Yellowstone National Park, we spent the night there. In the morning we headed into Yellowstone skirting the north shore of Yellowstone lake and then heading over to Old Faithful geyser, luckily we got there about 10 minutes before the geyser erupted. It was an awsome sight and erupts on a schedule to the delight of tourists.
Later in the day we toured the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole before stopping for the night in Evanston Wyoming near the Utah border. The next morning we headed west on U.S. 80 into Utah.
Stay tuned for more of the great adventure.
About Bill Wells - A retired yacht broker, Bill is currently the Executive Director of the California Delta Chambers & Visitor's Bureau. He is an active member of the Northern California Fleet of the Classic Yacht Association. In their spare time he and his beloved wife Sue cruise their 1937 Stephens cruiser Ranger to boating events throughout the Delta. Bill is active in matters helping to preserve and protect the California Delta. He chronicles his adventures in the monthly Delta Rat Scrapbook column for Bay & Delta Yachtsman magazine.
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