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The most interesting man in the world is…

April 18th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

…not that Dos Equis guy. And I can prove it. Gone from this Earth for 101 years now, Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody is more interesting by far than the guy in the commercials. Although I must admit that Augustin Legrand, the actor who plays “the most interesting man in the world” in the beer ads has a pretty striking beard, almost as striking as Buffalo Bill’s.

But judge for yourself. Here’s a look at some of the claims made by That Dos Equis Guy (TDEG for short) and the true feats of Buffalo Bill Cody. Let the smackdown begin:

TDEG: “His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body.”

What a joke. Did TDEG and his beard hunt and shoot 68 buffalo in eight hours like Cody did to win a competition for the Buffalo Bill nickname? That’s about one every seven minutes, Mr. TDEG. The crew of the railroad where Buffalo Bill was working was well-fed for many days after that event. Did you ever feed a crew of hungry railroad workers, Mr. TDEG.? I didn’t think so.

TDEG: “If he were to mail a letter without postage, it would still get there.”

But would he carry that letter himself? By the time he was 14, Read More


Yellowstone in Black and White

April 10th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I know why they call it spring fever. I had an awful case of it last week during a series of cloudy, drizzly, colorless days. The whole world outside my window seemed to be cast in shades of gray. Even the emerging yellow crocuses beneath my picture window lost their perky tone, as if they were already giving up the grow after struggling just the previous week to sprout above the hard-packed earth.

For a woman who dreams in color, those long almost-spring days were agony. I wandered about my house pondering whether I should start in on the spring cleaning or appease my morose soul with a book, a fire and an Irish coffee. You know me well enough by now to guess which choice I made. I brewed a fresh pot and settled into my rawhide armchair with a copy of “Ansel Adams: The National Park Service Photographs.”

Roaring Mountain

It’s hard to believe the black-and- white stunners for which this photographic genius is known are already 77 years old. As I flipped through the page after photos, I thought of how funny it was that I was wishing for color to lighten up my day while Adams filtered out Read More


Dear Corrie

April 3rd, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Part of my spring cleaning has always been to go through the mail bag that my local Pony Express rider drops off on my front porch and finally get around to answering those questions that some people think only I can answer.

Okay, it’s actually the inbox for my e-mail, but you get the picture, don’t you? Just think of me as Ann Landers, without a twin sister.

Anyway, here goes:

Dear Corrie, My husband and I are having a disagreement about where to go for vacation this summer. I like to visit new places, take my time learning about the area, meet the locals and get in some moderate exercise every day. He, on the other hand, wants to go find a place where he can sit by the pool, drink cold beverages, play Dungeons and Dragons online and catch up on Janet Evanovich novels.

Do you think Cody would fit the bill?

– Not Stephanie Plum

Dear Not Stephanie,

I know opposites attract, but this is a little extreme.

While we certainly have plenty of pools, book stores, wi-fi and our fair share of cold beverages, I think you should drop your husband off at his mother’s house and spend a week on the Great American Adventure with me.

Dear Corrie, I find baby bison to Read More


125 Pounds of Grit: Buffalo Bill and the...

March 26th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Yesterday, drivers from the trifecta of home delivery services – the U. S. Postal Service, UPS and Federal Express – rang the doorbell at my home in Cody and dropped off packages with an inane array of everyday stuff: shampoo, batteries, a shirt and some athletic shoes. It reminded me of just how easy it is for packages to be delivered from there to here these days. But I still prefer to buy my Dan Miller CDs in person.

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody would have been amused, I think. He was just 11 when his father died, leaving behind a wife, four daughters and William. As the only man in the family, off to work went William.

Most of his early jobs involved getting stuff from one place to another. He drove an ox-team at the age of 11, became a messenger boy on a westbound bull train at the age of 12 and was promoted to assistant wagon master at 13. When he turned 14 – an age when boys today are playing “Zombicide Black Plague” (I’m not kidding; that’s what my sister’s 14-year- old son plays with his friends) – Buffalo Bill Cody embarked on his third career: Pony Read More


Ask Corrie: a visitors’ guide to Cody...

March 21st, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

In just a couple of months, the streets of Cody’s Sheridan Avenue will be teeming with visitors from around the world, and I can hardly wait. It is always thrilling when I hear so many different languages spoken on our streets. It’s also great fun to chat with visitors from the East when it is their first trip to the Western part of the country.

We locals often are asked a broad range of questions about our beloved little corner of Wyoming, and we are always delighted to chat with our out-of- town guests. Here are some answers to common questions:

Who is the most famous person to visit Cody?

Buffalo Bill Cody was the most famous man in the world when his Wild West Show was in full swing, so even though he’s the town founder he’s also the most famous person to walk the streets. There have been plenty of others. Ernest Hemingway stayed at the Chamberlin Inn down the street from the Irma Hotel, and Buffalo Bill hosted the Prince of Monaco at Pahaska Tepee.

Pahaska what?

That’s the name of the hunting lodge Buffalo Bill built just outside the east entrance to Yellowstone. He liked to host famous guests there. They’d hunt in the forest and fish in the Shoshone Read More


How Buffalo Bill Got His Name

March 12th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

We were this close to having a Buffalo Bill Comstock, but fortunately for all of us, Colonel William F. Cody was a savvy billiards player.

The story of how the founder of my little town of Cody, Wyoming earned his world-famous nickname is quirky, grisly and difficult to believe. Story elements include fierce competition, a ruthless lady and a testosterone-fueled feat of endurance. It is a story that could have been concocted by Zane Gray and turned into a Hollywood production by John Ford. I can envision Clint Eastwood in the starring role, assuming he could grow the mustache. In this case, though, truth is stranger than fiction.

After the Civil War where he served with distinction as a Union scout and soldier in the cavalry, 21-year- old William F. Cody put his sharpshooter skills to work as a buffalo hunter charged with supplying meat to railroad workers along the Kansas Pacific Railroad.

In just 18 months, he shot 4,282 buffalo. That’s about 13 bison a day. The man was busy. (Buffalo, by the way, was the incorrect but common term back then for the then-plentiful American Bison that roamed the prairie in herds so vast that they appeared to be massive, moving brown spots on the earth when witnessed from atop the Read More


March Makes Me Think of our First National...

March 5th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When the beginning of March rolls around a lot of people I know start talking about Major League Baseball’s spring training or the pro football draft or the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Not me.

Instead I am reminded how fortunate I am to live in a place where people from all over the world make their way to enjoy the world’s largest concentration of geysers and the valley featuring the finest wolf watching in the Lower 48 states. In addition to natural features, people take in tours of the coolest log structure ever built – the Old Faithful Inn – and stop for photos next to a stone arch named after a U.S. president with the foresight and commitment to set aside public lands.

That’s right. I am talking about the World’s First National Park. On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill setting aside 3,468.4 square miles (close to 2.2 million acres) to create Yellowstone National Park. Now, I know a few people in California who argue that the other “Y” park has a legitimate claim to being the first national park, but these Yosemite Sams lose me with their convoluted explanations about land grants and such.

Here are a few of my favorite facts about Yellowstone.

Yellowstone has the Read More

What to expect if you give birth to a bear

February 26th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

A friend of mine is about two months away from delivering her third child, and as her belly thickens, her patience thins. Her list of complaints is long: she’s sick of being pregnant, her husband doesn’t help enough, her three- and five-year- old kids don’t listen to her, she’s loathes cooking, she’s tired all the time.

“I hear you,” I said sympathetically. “Just two more months to go.”

My friend wanted none of it. “I just wish I’d been born a black bear,” she hissed back. “At least then I could get some sleep.”

Huh?

Mother bears teach their cubs to forage and survive in the Yellowstone Country wilderness.

I’d been thinking about bears anyway, because early March is when black bears and grizzlies start emerging from their dens in Cody Yellowstone Country. Last year, the first tracks were discovered on Feb. 22 in the northern region of the park, and the first grizzly was spotted on March 15.

Black bears begin emerging from their dens in March, and the first sightings of the year often occur in Lamar Valley, Yellowstone’s wildlife-rich northern region.

But I couldn’t imagine why my friend thought she’d get more sleep as a pregnant black bear. Turns out, she was right. Not only would she get more Read More


Cody on a budget

February 20th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

We all have that friend. The one you avoid including in group dinners because he tracks how many fried green tomatoes each diner eats and then insists on splitting the price of the appetizer platter for the table by consumption. He never picks up a round of sloe gin fizzes. And his regifting skills are legendary.

I have one of those friends. He’s my big brother, and he’s coming to visit this summer. My brother asked me to plan several days of fun in Yellowstone Country that are budget-friendly, keeping in mind that the budget-friendliest of all activities are those that don’t involve opening a wallet. Those were his words. I’m not kidding.

I’ve got this, I told him. In Cody Yellowstone Country, it’s easy to plan several days of fun by enjoying the many free and moderately priced adventures in the region.

Here’s my plan.

One morning, we’ll take a drive (in my car burning my gas, of course) along the Buffalo Bill Scenic Highway and look for “Snoopy the Dog” and “Laughing Pig Rock.” The road that travels to the east entrance of Yellowstone features a bunch of weird rock formations that have been imaginatively named by locals.

Stunning Read More


That Time Buffalo Bill Cody Rode for Royalty

February 12th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I have been watching “The Crown” nearly every night so far of this cold, frosty February. I can’t get enough of it. I’m fascinated by the slice-of- life stories of a young and dignified Queen of England as she faces crisis after crisis, standing large and strong against a rotating roster of stodgy parliamentarians – all men – as they cajole and connive to maintain their powerful positions.

Google that scene where Queen Elizabeth takes Winston Churchill to task for putting his own pride before the security of the country. Trust me; it’s fun.

While I’m certainly happy that we don’t have a monarchy here in the U.S., our country’s founders having had the good sense to eschew curtsies, crowns and excessive pageantry in favor of a three-branch government of laws, I do have a certain fondness for all things royal. So did Buffalo Bill Cody.

In the spring of 1887, Buffalo Bill Cody boarded the “State of Nebraska,” a massive steamship, along with some 200 performers – cowboys, sharpshooters, musicians, American Indians – as well as 180 horses, 18 bison, 10 elk, 10 mules, five steers and a variety of items for set construction including a stagecoach and materials to build temporary tepees and log cabins. After many days sailing through stormy Read More