My kids are now grown and my wife and I miss the vacations we used to take as a family. Reinforcing the lasting memories those times gave us; it’s now a firmly established household joke that I always had an agenda for each of the trips. In other words, my intrigue of studying early western vehicles always seemed to ensure we traveled through areas where wagons or coaches could be found. Okay, I’m guilty as charged but, there truly are a lot of incredible vacations where these icons of America can be included.
From the California coast to the Rockies, Texas to Indiana, Washington D.C to Kentucky, St. Louis to Florida and New England to the Dakotas, America’s wood-wheeled history is all around us. Capitalizing on that heritage and the surrounding attractions can provide some wonderful opportunities to learn and further appreciate the foundations of our great nation.
To that point, several years ago I was speaking at a conference in Cody, Wyoming for the National Stagecoach & Freight Wagon Association (NSFWA). This is a great group of folks and the event was one of the best planned that I’ve ever had the privilege of attending. As a gateway to Yellowstone National Park, Cody is full of activities for the entire family. It’s easily accessed by air travel and the small town includes a world-class, western heritage museum known as the Buffalo Bill Historic Center.
Just up the road from the museum, Old Trail Town is a must-see stop for western vehicle enthusiasts. During the NSFWA event, we had a great time going through Old Trail Town’s heavy mountain wagons, chuck wagons, sheep camp wagon as well as other original condition, business and military vehicles from the 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s a lot to take in but a great stop if you want to study these connections to yesterday.
Yellowstone, itself, is an impressive day trip (or longer if desired) from Cody. Old Faithful and all the scenic wonders of this national park provide a drive-thru experience that will have you wishing for more batteries and memory cards for your cameras.
If you’re looking for other areas of the country to explore and wonder what might be available, you can check out the “Destinations” section on our website for ideas. Maybe the posts there can help point you in a memorable direction. Just don’t be surprised if you end up earning a reputation for ulterior motives!