Early morning in a McDonald’s in Libby, Montana and I run into this guy.
“You’re a real cowboy!” I burst with exclamation. He smiles with a twinkle in his eye at my naive wide eyes and says “howdy”. Then humbly returns to his coffee, oatmeal, and smartphone.
Welcome to the west!
Traveling through on a bike, the nostalgic western cowboy feel stretches from Montana’s western boarder through to top of the Big Horns in WY. The above recording was made while painting these Oregon trail re enactors up in the Big Horns. Father on guitar, and his two Chinese daughters are award winning fiddle players.
While the real cowboy ranchers and are all over no one displays “the west” better than Cody, MT. The town thrives on the nostalgic feeling which has been cleverly been packaged and marketed as a must see before heading to Yellowstone. There, Buffalo Bill is the idol, the icon of the town and most of Wyoming. Just as Buffalo Bill became internationally famed for western entertainment, so has his town.
I visited the rodeo which happens every night during July and August. This is, however a real rodeo. Participants are competing for points to go to nationals rather than a repeat performance of stunts and showmen. Before the show, I got a glimpse from above of 2 of the cowboys right before the music chimed them to the arena.