We were supposed to head to Cody, Wy this morning but we arrived here so late yesterday that we’d had no time to explore the town. So, we eat our leftover cold pizza for breakfast and we go out to stroll up and down the main street of Red Lodge, Mt.
Doc and I step inside a t-shirt shop and have some fun reading all the humorous sayings. We each buy a shirt and then walk down the street to a bookstore. It’s silly to shop in a book store. Books are heavy and we can’t take them home in our luggage. We browse the store anyway. I’m amazed at the variety of books carried in this little shop. It’s as if the owner hand picked each single copy and that he did it with me in mind. I can’t buy any but I get lots of ideas. Doc buys a photo history of the Beartooth Highway. It’s small and thin and won’t add much weight.
At the back of the store we find a tea shop. The back wall is lined with jar after jar of tea leaves from all over the world. It seems that it would be impossible to choose just one but the girl working the counter really knows her tea. She asks me a series of questions. Do I want black or natural flavored tea? Natural. Am I in the mood for something fruity, floral, or spicy? I choose fruity. Do I have a favorite fruit? Raspberry, maybe? Peaches or apples? I really like tropical fruits, I tell her. She walks over to the wall and takes a jar off of the top shelf. She shows me the piña colada blend. I order it. Doc orders some sort of black tea that is a shop specialty. Both teas are excellent.
We drive out to the RV park where our family is camping. They’re up and about and ready to come into town to do some shopping. We bring them back to the tea shop where Doc gets into a conversation with the owner. The girls choose their own cups of tea. Doc and the owner appear to have a lot in common and they talk for a long time while I continue to browse the book section.
Usually, I am not much of a shopper. But Red Lodge is filled with interesting little shops that are not at all like the typical souvenir tourist trap town where one shop has the same “I heart Montana” shot glasses as the next. Each of these Red Lodge shops is unique and filled with interesting clothing lines, jewelry, pottery, beads, housewares, and more. A shop called “Whispering Pines” sells woodland décor pieces, all of which I love. Doc spots a sign that reads “Welcome to our campfire where friends and marshmallows get toasted at the same time.” It makes him laugh. It’s $28 and too heavy for our luggage. I promise to paint him one when we get home. I make a mental note to search out some of the other interesting pieces when I get home.
Kameron, Savannah, Serena and I hurry off to the next shop. We stop at a particularly cute little house with a bright purple trim and a purple picket fence. Hot pink lounge chairs sit in the front yard. It’s a boutique filled with all sorts of interesting clothing, incense, beads and more. I buy what Doc will refer to as “a hippy shirt” that is hanging on the clearance rack outside.
A pottery shop contains beautiful and expensive art pieces. A floral shop sells outdoor garden décor. A photography shop sells framed prints of Yellowstone animals. A glass shop sells all sorts of glass… everything.
As we are standing in a bakery, trying to decide between the peanut butter cookies or the elephant ears, we see Doc and Mark pass by the front window of the bakery. Serena sticks her head out the door and calls them in.
It’s late afternoon and I realize we have probably been shopping a good hour longer than we said we’d be gone and the boys still haven’t had a chance to play music.
The campsite at Perry’s Campground is a nice wooded lot with a fast creek running beside it. Mark gets a fire started and he and Doc and Serena bring out the guitars and harmonicas. They fill the campground with acoustic tunes playing until the coals are hot.
We each build an aluminum foil package of hamburger, mixed vegetables, and creamed soup, seal it up and throw it on the fire. it’s a great, simple way to cook a whole meal. Kameron and Savanna find a recipe online and prepare peach cobbler in a heavy Dutch oven. It’s so good and it makes me anxious to go home and try out the cast iron Dutch oven and campfire tripod that I bought right before vacation. We eat and the boys plus Serena play music until nearly 8 p.m.
Because we had thought we would be spending the day in Cody, Doc and I have a hotel reservation at Cody’s Irma Hotel. It’s an hour drive from Red Lodge but luckily, the road is pretty good and not too winding. We check–in at Buffalo Bill’s famous hotel at 9:30. We have missed visiting Cody on all of our previous vacations and, aside from our visit to the Buffalo Bill Center the other day, we’re missing Cody once again– an excuse to plan another Wyoming vacation.