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Check out the new Cody Heritage Museum

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

Yet another top-flight museum is already making its mark in Cody Yellowstone Country. After years of laying the groundwork, the new Cody Heritage Museum has opened in the historic DeMaris House on Sheridan Avenue. I think Charles and Nellie DeMaris would be tickled to see what has become of their family home.

The tiny museum packs a lot of Cody history into a small space. I spent an engaging afternoon recently perusing the photographs, artifacts and documents artfully displayed throughout the museum.

The DeMaris home is a fitting place for exhibits of historic treasures from throughout the region, including Cody, neighborhoods along the North Fork and South Fork of the Shoshone, Greybull and Crandall.

Charles and Nellie DeMaris built the house in 1907 so their son Bill could go to school in town. The house was the only building on the block until the Park County Courthouse was developed in 1912. After Charles and Nellie died, their son Bill continued to live in the upstairs of the house while a variety of businesses occupied the main level. At various times, the building has housed a bar, a law firm, a real estate firm and offices for the Fire District. The house was slated for demolition when the Park County Commissioners agreed to lease it Read More

Dear Corrie

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

Well, with peak season upon us there is no shortage of activities and foreign languages being heard around town. As someone who loves meeting people from all walks of life, I could not be happier.

As our town ambassador, I get all of the tough questions and have not heard one for which I don’t have an answer. Here are a few that have been thrown my way recently.

Dear Corrie, I heard you are like me – one of those people who refuses to sleep between sunrise and sunset. I took a trip to Denali a few years ago, and I came down with a pretty bad case of sleep deprivation that caused me to mistake my husband for an Alaskan brown bear. I’m thinking of celebrating the summer solstice in Cody, but I don’t want to jeopardize my marriage (again) by not getting enough shuteye. Will it be safe to visit?

– Sleepless in Ottumwa

Dear Sleepless, As long as you don’t mind rolling out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and waiting until shortly after 10 p.m. to shut off the lights, you’ll be fine. Our longest days of the year last about 15½ hours. Come join me on my annual quest to make as much hay as possible while the sun Read More

My Summer Movie Plans

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

Something people may not know about me is that I am a movie buff. I like both kinds of flicks – black and white westerns and color westerns.

The biggest movie star of all time was once the grand marshal of our Cody Stampede/July 4 parade. That’s right, John Wayne/Rooster Cogburn/George Washington McClintock/Hondo Lane came to our town. The man who shot Liberty Valance (spoiler alert, it wasn’t James Stewart) stood up in the back of a convertible and made us feel like we were his best friends.

Yes, John Wayne was our parade marshal in 1976.

We’ve also been fortunate to have the Sundance Kid/Jeremiah Johnson join us as Robert Redford was a pall bearer for the original Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnston who is interred at our own Old Trail Town.

Clint Eastwood visited Cody in 2002 and walked through the Cody Firearms Museum and I caught Robert Duvall enjoying a performance of Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue a few years ago. An invitation is always open to any western “hero” to visit in Cody – and me.

While my taste in movies pretty much begins and ends with wide open vistas, cowboys and horses, I do have plans this summer to take Read More

Butch Cassidy’s Life Lessons

May 25th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

One of my favorite places in Cody Yellowstone Country for an authentic Western experience is Old Trail Town and Museum of the Old West, an enclave of 26 authentic frontier buildings and assorted exhibits that remind visitors of a time when Cody was a rough-and-tumble frontier town. I wandered through the street of the “town,” and lingered – as I always do – at the small, unassuming building that once served as the hideout for the infamous Wild Bunch, sometimes known as the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang.

Old Trail Town and Museum of the Old West is one of the many attractions that showcase the authentic Western bonafides of Cody Yellowstone. The display of frontier buildings and artifacts is open daily throughout the summer season.

As anyone who is a fan of film-maker George Roy Hill knows, the gang was run by Butch Cassidy and his pal Sundance. While certainly legend has enhanced the story of Butch Cassidy’s life and times, many of the tales recounted in the film starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford were true. Sort of. I did some digging into the life of the amiable thief (who actually did look a little like Paul Newman), and I found a little more about his values and life choices.

So Read More

Yoga the bear

May 22nd, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Travelers from Cody lined up at the East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park – one of two park entrances accessible from town – on the day it opened for the summer season, ready to experience the world’s first national park in all of its springtime splendor and hoping for a glimpse of the park’s wildlife.

According to an account by Cody Enterprise reporter Lew Freedman, some of those early-season visitors were in luck. Just a few miles into the park, visitors spotted a grizzly lazily stretching and rolling around in the grass and stretching one paw and then the other skyward as if exercising. A quick-witted ranger dubbed the grizzly “Yoga the Bear.”

Bears are often seen stretching and playing in the sunshine. National Park Service photos.

I guess if you spent several months in a deep slumber, you might want to stretch out those limbs too. I’ve always thought grizzlies are one of the most compelling of all wildlife species in the park. They can be ferocious, sure, but they are predators and that’s what they do. The sows are fiercely protective of family members – at least for a year or two – and they have a playful side that is a joy to watch, from a safe distance Read More

A Volcanic Smackdown – Yellowstone or...

May 11th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Last week I shared my dream of personally witnessing Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park erupt. I realize the odds of that occurring are pretty long, especially since there is no lodging in the Norris Geyser Basin.

With all this talk about hot spots and geysers, a few of my loyal readers have asked me just why there is so much thermal activity in Yellowstone and the surrounding area.

The answer is simple. Yellowstone National Park is sitting on top of a volcano.

All those great thermal features in Yellowstone are the result of the volcano under the park.

Volcanos are certainly in the news these days, what with Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano suddenly creating new fissures and spewing enough molten lava to destroy whatever is in its path, including several homes in Leilani Estates on the big island. I have been watching this with great interest as I have a couple of friends who live less than 10 miles from the new volcanic activity.

There is a local connection as these friends have traveled with me to Yellowstone, and one enjoyed the experience so much that he applied for a job and worked as a reservations agent for Yellowstone National Park Lodges one summer.

Fortunately, my friends have been able to live their Read More

Steamboat Geyser is on my You-Know-What List

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

Do you know how we go through stages where it seems like you keep hearing the same term to describe something?

For a while the term “world class” was used to describe everything from a Cody vacation to how handsome Dan Miller is. Now, while both of those examples are accurate, we can certainly come up with some “totally” and “awesome” descriptions that aren’t used so often.

And don’t get me started on people saying “unique” to describe something that is anything but. Unique means one of a kind. That’s it.

I don’t like the term “bucket list.” You know, something you want to do before you go to the great rodeo grounds in the sky. I used to have a mental list of places I wanted to do and see, but then I realized that I was pretty much living that list here in Cody Yellowstone Country.

There is one thing, however, that has truly been elusive in my life. I want to see Steamboat Geyser erupt.

For those of you who don’t know, Steamboat is located in the Norris Geyser Basin – the hottest geyser basin – on the west side of Yellowstone National Park. When the geyser erupts it shoots 200-400 cubic Read More

Strolling through history in downtown Cody

May 1st, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

If buildings in Cody could talk, they’d tell stories of unsuccessful bank robberies, once-thriving mercantile businesses, enterprising hoteliers, unrelenting ghosts, frontier justice, time capsules and undying friendship.

On a fine spring day last week, I learned all about the legends and secrets of some of Cody’s oldest buildings after downloading a free app called TravelStorys. Created to provide Cody visitors with history and information about my town, the app offers an insightful 45-minute walking tour with short, entertaining stories that highlight independence of the town’s early settlers, including its founder, Buffalo Bill Cody.

Here are a few of my favorite stories.

Cody Country Visitor Center – The lodgepole pine building that anchors the end of Sheridan Ave. was the first home of the Buffalo Bill Museum. The sprawling, one-level building was built in 1927, 10 years after Buffalo Bill’s death, and it was modeled after Buffalo Bill’s home at the south fork of the Shoshone River, the TE Ranch. Museum collections were there until 1969, when they were relocated to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Today, the building houses the Cody Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Cody Country Art League and Park County Travel Council.

Park County Courthouse – Built in 1912, Read More

Countdown to the Cody Nite Rodeo

April 23rd, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

In just a couple of months, the Cody Nite Rodeo Bus will once again be entertaining visitors and locals alike to Cody’s rodeo grounds for the nightly Cody Nite Rodeo. The longest-running rodeo in the world – and the only one that is performed every night of the summer season – Cody Nite Rodeo is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.

The gates open on June 1 at 7 p.m., and I’ll be one of the first ones in line. I’ve heard some very good things about the athletic prowess and equestrian skills of the newest crop of cowboys and cowgirls who will be performing in traditional events like bull riding, team roping and barrel racing. Every night, these talented athletes compete for substantial award money and the right to compete in future events.

The Cody Nite Rodeo season runs from June 1 to Aug. 31.

Having never pursued the barrel racing that was so popular among some young women back in my youth, I’m always gratified to see new generations of who dig into their turns at speeds that make me dizzy. They, like their male counterparts, are fearless.

Cody Nite Rodeo was started by a former Wild West Show performer whose colorful name, Carly Darling, seemed somehow fitting for a Read More

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