Day 5

Written by admin. Posted in 2009 Stories From the Road

CODY WY.

Another rustic cabin type motel, only this one has one of the best beds I have ever slept in and I would highly recommend the Cowboy Lodge to anyone visiting Cody Wyoming. It was still raining at check in and the owner even offered up his car if I wanted it. There was a chuck-wagon restaurant with country show next door but Bubba’s BBQ was about a mile up the road so off into the rain again for BBQ.

cody motel 1

Didn’t get to sleep in because even though I am on vacation it doesn’t mean I can ignore work completely ( at least not this early into the vacation, it gets easier later) and I had a couple of early morning conference calls to participate in.  After the calls, it was an easy laid back morning and off to downtown Cody to tour around and shop. Downtown I met a Shaman with a feather and a crystal ball and willing to read my fortune for 50 cents, not one to pass up a bargain I stuck my quarters in the machine and Shaman printed my future for me. He said a call from a stranger will have a pleasant surprise for me ,damn, now I have to start answering my cell phone. He also said that those who have tried to interfere with my happiness will soon find out they have no influence over me at all, ole Shaman pretty darn smart so far. Then he said my calm spirit will see me through emergencies, good omen for a trip like this I think. 50 cents seems like a pretty good deal to see my future.

Finally leave Cody and head east towards the Bighorns. I have taken the southern route from Cody to Sheridan before and decided to take the northern route this time even though the road construction signs were telling my not to. Something seem to be pulling me that direction. The route took me through Powell and then Lovell and on up into the Bighorns. It was a 10 percent grade to the top and  on top before getting deep into the mountains I found  a spot to park and look out over what appeared to be the whole state of Wyoming, at least the plains. I have posted the pic but it didn’t really do it justice.

Bighorn basin 3

Deeper into the mountains a sign appears “Historic Medicine Wheel”, turn left and road immediately turns to dirt and becomes one lane, oh well I’m committed now so I  keep going.  Another couple of miles and the one lane road ends at a parking lot and the remainder of the road is blocked off and turns into a walking trail. I ask the ranger if Ineed to sign in or anything and she said “No, but it is a 1 1/2 mile trail to the wheel”.  I looked up the trail and almost chickened out, it was late looked like rain and that darn trail was steep but hey, I’m here and already committed and the wheel was now becoming a magnet.

long walk medicine wheel 4

The Medicine Wheel is estimated to be 10000 years old and how it got there or the reason it is there is shrouded in mystery but it is still in use today by native Americans as a place of spiritual meaning.  The wheel measures approximately 80 feet in diameter and is made of rocks with a central cairn and 28 rock spokes radiating to the outer rim. Placed at various intervals around the rim are six smaller cairns of which 5 touch the outer rim leaving one of the cairns about 10 feet outside the circle. The wheel is a place where many have experienced their vision quest, a place of ritual, a place of prayer, a place of lasting vision. Native Americans and others have left offerings around the perimeter of the wheel.

medicine wheel 5

medicine wheel offerings 6

I slowly circled the wheel taking in all of the offerings left by others and on the second trip around around I stopped on the west side of the wheel in front of one of the cairns. Facing the east I put my hand on one of the posts and I am not sure what happened next, I seemed to be in a trance and the wind came up and blew really hard for 2-3 minutes. I think it was 2-3 minutes, it could have been longer, I lost all sense of time. When I came to, the wind had stopped and I looked over and saw a young lady looking at me like I was a ghost. I smiled at her, but she just continued to stare at me, I turned and walked the other way and started the long trek back down the trail. I seemed to have a lot of energy I didn’t have before, I felt warmer too.

medicine wheel view 7

The above picture is a the view  from the trail leading to the Medicine Wheel. The wheel is located above 10,000 feet and near timberline,  there was still snow in a few spots along the trail. I finally made it back to the trail head and sat on my bike a minute looking back towards the top of the mountain where the wheel is and all I could do was say WOW.

I slowly made my way down the dirt road back to the pavement where I met another biker who was stopped.  He asked if the dirt road was good enough for a motorcycle and if it was worth seeing the wheel. I told him the road was good enough for a motorcycle but once you got to the trail head it was another mile and half of walking. He said “f ck that” and started his bike and turned around. Stupid white man I said to myself.

I headed east and the road gradually climbed in altitude and eventually came to the road construction the signs  had warned me about and suggested that I take another route. It was my lucky day because they must have been rained out and even though the signs warned of flagmen and long delays, I never saw them and was able to cruise on through, albeit at 25 mile an hour. I have read about people travelling to Alaska on motorcycles and they described the road as a muddy path where they would often spin out and fall over, pick it up and go again only to spin out and fall over again. Eventually they would make it over the hill only to repeat the process again going uphill. The road I was on now had turned to mud and I was going uphill and thoughts of the Alaskan highway tales filled my mind.

alaskan highway 8

Did I spin out and fall over? Stay tuned.

Cole

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Comments (13)

  • MI Gal

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    I’ve decided I like starting my day reading your stories. 1) We could have raced up the the Medicine Wheel. 🙂 2) I want to hear more about this girl who was there staring at you…. was she real? how old? was she just shocked to see someone else was actually up there? was she an Indian? Did you or she leave something behind to become one with the other Indians who had visited?

    Reply

  • MrChuckles

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    Maybe the girl was staring at him because he’s turning a little “wild” at this point. I know it is only a few days in but these trips seem to start him leaning to the uncivilized side fairly early on. From what I’ve seen and what he’s told me, he likes it better on that side anyway. I’ve always said he should have been a mountain man. The pay sucks but it suits him. 🙂

    Reply

  • Chief

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    I think the shaman in Cody actually put a little voodoo on you. Either that or the ole hippy met you before and you swapped cigs with him. Or another theory that maybe you slipped into the twilight zone.

    Reply

  • Mom

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    Mayb e your Indian ancestors were trying to tell you something or you got hold of some pyute weed.

    Reply

  • Lucille

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    Biker girl thinks you have been touched. I see that you have grown, medicine wheel has touched you, and life will change from here. You know it. This journey is like no other. Writing your words every day has given you clarity. You are open to the spirit of the journey. Enjoy! I see a sweat lodge in your future.

    Reply

  • Jo

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    Wow, I can just imagine the feelings you must have had standing there at Medicine Wheel, had to be a soul moving experience. You are giving me a list of must do’s, ya know? I feel as though I am the one on this trip, your writing is amazing and I look forward to reading the next day’s adventure. I am sure that for all who have read your blog once will return until the trip is through….this year anyway! I am really enjoying this.

    Reply

  • admin

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    MI Gal, you now live near sea level so i think i can still take you on a foot race in the mountains…..well maybe not. lol

    The medicine wheel experience is something i will not forget and yes there is more to the story but I am not ready to share.

    Day 6 is going to be a little late in the morning but i will get it posted, had a little trouble with the internet so had to start over and damn tired now.

    I really enjoy reading the comments at days end as much as everyone seems to enjoy the stories at days start.

    Cole

    Reply

  • Jeff Kelling

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    Hey Cole,
    We’ve not yet met – but I’m getting a really great idea of who I think you are from your writings in this blog! I have some cousins I think you may know, and I was very fortunate that Mitch sent the link to this website; he really made my day by doing that, & you are really making my week down here in HOT Arizona. I am riding with you in my mind!!!

    I am loving your words, & the sites & thoughts you are sharing; Please Keep It Up even if, as another said before, it becomes work. I’m sure I will be able to pay you with a cold beer one day for your ‘troubles!’

    After your safe return, and another winter passes, I’m gonna invite you to ride to Alaska… keep that in the back of your mind, ok?!
    Ride safe…

    Reply

  • Bro Bob

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    I know our forefathers are riding with you on their ponies. You had to be in a truly spiritual place at the Medicine Wheel. I think I know who you saw there. We will talk about it sometime. You know “we” are special people. I am feeling a real closeness to my bro right now. Keep up the writing. You have everyone hooked now with more readers coming on everyday. I even linked this blog to my Facebook page.

    Reply

  • admin

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    Jeff, I am glad you found the site and I have read much of yours and it was motivation for me doing this. Arizona huh? I have not been to the Grand Canyon yet, I think I must be saving it for something special.

    Bob, you need to take a trek up to the medicine wheel!

    Reply

  • sully

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    Like right and left on the political spectrum, tears and laughter are never far apart when reading such spiritual writing

    Reply

  • Bev Deister

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    Hey, did you ever fall over? You never did say.

    Reply

    • admin

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      No, I held it upright! LOL

      Reply

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