Granddad said that he would publicize it.” Appropriately the investors called the spot, near the fork of the Shoshone River, Cody. And publicize it he did. Wild West brochures hawked the “Colossal Pleasure Garden of Entrancing Scenic Revelations.” Cody had urged the railroad to build a spur to the town and the government to open a road to Yellowstone’s east gate. Theodore Roosevelt reportedly concurred: “I would take chances on building a road into the mid¬dle of eternity on his statement.”
For his own retreat the colonel picked land about as far up the South Fork of the Shoshone as you can go before the valley butts into mountains. He called it TE Ranch, after the brand carried by his herd trailed from South Dakota. A whitewashed log lodge became hospitality center for his friends—cowboys, celebrities, Sioux and Crows, ministers and artists. Frederic Remington came to listen and later trans¬lated the frontier tales into the spine-tingling paintings now on display at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, an eye-opening repository of western art.
In town, Cody built a sandstone hotel and named it the Irma, for his youngest daugh¬ter. The great mirror of the 36-foot-long cherrywood bar, imported from France, has always reflected the stars in the Cody dra¬ma. Today they are hard-hatted oil workers, Stetsoned truck drivers, dude-ranch wran¬glers, U. S. Senators, and eastern finan¬ciers. As the colonel predicted, Cody town has gone boom.
In front of the Irma in September 1913 Cody welcomed Prince Albert of Monaco on the first visit of a ruling prince to the United States. He took the visitor hunting to a fa¬vorite North Fork site, which he graciously named Camp Monaco. On a similar pack trip I came to know Cody’s only living grandsons, Fred and Bill, born to Irma and Fred Garlow in 1911 and 1913. In them sur¬vive contrary sides of the Cody personality.
THE NARROW TRAIL, rock strewn and muddy from rain, dipped and wound along the river. The sky was clear, but, as Fred noted, “Anyone pre¬dicting the weather is either a stranger or a fool.” Fred is neither. The bracing mountain air, like brandy, loosened his tongue, and he turned in his saddle to speak of his youth. “There I shot my first elk.” He pointed to a grassy clearing. “Skinned and butchered it on the spot and packed it out on my horse.”
Fred didn’t go to school much after the ninth grade, but joined up with outfitters taking out fall hunters. “I got this dream of walking every creek and standing on every mountaintop in this part of Wyoming. I think I’ve done it.” After Fred married, he owned two dude ranches, and now he man¬ages property for Easterners.