Corrie n. Cody's Travel Blog Dividing image

Give yourself the gift of time and plan...

December 4th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

As the year comes to a close, working Americans around the country are realizing that they still have vacation days to use before the turn of the calendar. Since the month of December can often coincide with office budget planning and project wrap-ups, more than half of all American workers will wind up not taking the vacations to which they are entitled.

The U.S. Travel Association (USTA) has concluded that Americans leave more than 662 million vacation days on the table, and the organization also found that this pattern is good for neither the employer nor the employee in the long run. Employees who take vacations are generally happier and healthier than their workaholic counterparts.

The travel industry organization also found that workers who take the time to plan their vacations early in the year are more likely to use all of their days vs. those who leave vacations to whim.

In my experience, both conclusions are spot on. I meet happy vacationers just about every day in Cody Yellowstone, even in the winter, when the region welcomes adventurous visitors taking advantage of our cold-season outdoor recreation.

Plan ahead for Cody Yellowstone events like the 100th anniversary of the Cody Read More


Corrie’s Go-To Guide for the Holidays

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

Cody Yellowstone is in full-tinsel mode, and it’s easy to find the holiday spirit anywhere you look. Every shop window is beautifully decorated with displays of artwork, jewelry, clothes and jackets. As I gaze with longing at the authentic offerings, I feel a little like Ralphie coveting a Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock.

The season isn’t just about shopping though. There are events galore throughout the town Cody as well as in nearby Powell and Meeteetse, and every one of them is sure to have waist-enhancing goodies, highly stimulated kiddos and surprises galore.

Cody offers so many ways to celebrate the season that sometimes it’s hard to experience every event. But I’m sure going to try.

Here are the events on my calendar this year.

Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1 – Country Christmas Gift Show and Winter Nights Magical Lights in Powell, Wyo. The gift show includes local performers and a lighted parade. Santa arrives with the Powell Fire Department.

Saturday, Dec. 1 – Holiday Open House at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This memorable day at our world-renowned museum includes inspired holiday decorations throughout all five museums, live Read More


Corrie’s Favorite Wildlife Moment

November 16th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Wildlife sightings happen in Cody Yellowstone, sometimes when you’re least expecting them. And those are the wildlife moments I will always remember best.

In all my years of living in Cody, I’ve seen plenty of critters.

I’ve seen eagles galore, bison aplenty, bears occasionally, moose when I’m lucky, bighorn sheep and elk frequently and pronghorn almost daily. I’ve spotted wolves in every season, and I’ve watched their pups roll around in snow and mud with all the joy of a domesticated dog.

Moose can sometimes be spotted near the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

I’ve viewed osprey determinedly building their nests. I’ve laughed at the antics of river otters at play. I’ve watched fox and coyotes on the hunt. I’ve listened to the birdsong of who-knows-how-many species. With the help of my spotting scope, I’ve watched mountain goats maneuver along the precipices of high, rugged cliffs. I’ve been victimized by cunning ravens who have learned to unzip untended packs and steal the contents in the blink of an eye. I’ve seen predators gorge on their prey, and I’ve seen potential prey – the wily ones – avoid becoming the dinner of their hunters.

But none of these sightings compare to watching a mountain Read More


Thanksgiving at the Corrie N. Cody House

November 13th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

It’s the most wonderful day of the year, and I’m not talking about that December holiday when the fat man brings gadgets and Dads and Moms double-check their supply of AA batteries.

No, the most wonderful day of the year is Thanksgiving, at least at the Corrie N. Cody household. Every year, my house swells with the love and friendship of my guests, and my dining room table groans under the weight of abundance. Like many tables in the country, mine will include a variety of casseroles, salads, sides and sweets that reflect the ethnic heritage and the family traditions of my guests.

I’m always in charge of the turkey, dressing, gravy and green bean casserole. Oui. That green bean casserole. The one that includes French fried onion rings from a can, fresh from the factory and lacking anything resembling an onion.

I make that casserole to honor my Uncle Jim, who I miss dearly. His lack of culinary sophistication was legend in my family. He would eat anything with equal relish – a stale potato chip dipped in ketchup, dill pickles with leftover tomato soup, mashed potatoes with chocolate sauce. Uncle Jim never talked about how he was starved as a prisoner Read More


Maps and Trivia: Who Could ask for More?

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

There are a couple of things (maybe more, just saying) about me that my friends like to tease.

One is that I love trivia. While some might comment on my recall of factoids and say that I am full of “useless knowledge,” I say that you never know when an item can spark a conversation or lead to something truly fascinating. I explained once to a friend’s daughter that Telluride, Colorado got its moniker from miners who shortened “To Hell You Ride” into the town’s name. She rolled her eyes like all good teenagers do and left the room. A few weeks later I caught her in the act of retelling one of her friends what I had shared.

She doesn’t tease me anymore, and we always get a good laugh.

A second quirk I have is that I love looking at maps. I get this from my dad who would spread out state and national maps on the kitchen table where he would plan a route for our vacations or holiday visits. The two of us would have deep discussions about tolls, speed limits, timing and such until we agreed on our best route to get two states over.

One of my friends spotted Read More


Enduring Friendships – With Fireworks

October 30th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

We all have that one friend. Or if we are supremely lucky, those handful of friends. Whatever you need, you can count on them, even if you don’t know you need it.

They are the ones who bring you homemade chicken soup when you are sick or teasingly bully you into doing another set of squats at the gym. They offer advice when asked and listen to your woes without judgment. And they always – always – defend and promote your honor.

Buffalo Bill Cody had one of those friends, and her name was Caroline.

Thing is, they weren’t particularly close.

Caroline Lockhart was a barrier-breaker just like the founder of the town where she chose to move. A successful novelist at a time when most women in the country didn’t even have the right to vote, the ambitious, talented and nationally famous Lockhart had produced several bestselling novels by the early 1900s. She was wry, quick-witted and an intuitive news-maker.

She also was notorious. She drank hard liquor at a time when many prominent citizens enthusiastically supported the coming Prohibition. She had many male friends, but she never married. She was also sentimental, and she loved the Old West. She celebrated with her pen Read More


Psst, Want to Win a Free Trip to the 100th...

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

I love chatting up multi-generational vacationers. They are easy to spot as the little ones clearly enjoy being with the grandparents, and the grandparents enjoy spoiling the little ones. Meanwhile, the parents get to escape work, house maintenance and back-to-school shopping while “letting” the grandparents pick up dinner checks and buy souvenirs.

For many of these families, this is not their first trip to the coolest Western town ever. The parents and grandparents are busy pointing out local landmarks that really haven’t changed much. The Irma Hotel and other Sheridan Avenue structures look much the same. The Poker Church is a comforting site, and Cassie’s is a constant reminder of simpler times.

The one thing the older generations remember best, however, is our status as the “Rodeo Capital of the World.”

When I asked older (non-kid) visitors what they remember about their childhood visits to Cody and the area, far and away the most common answer is “the rodeo.”

Yes, we love our rodeo, and nobody remembers when it was not an integral part of our community. While the Nite Rodeo happens every night in June, July and August, the biggest summer event is the Cody Stampede Rodeo at the beginning of July.

In 2019, Read More


Preparing for Over-the-Snow Travel

October 17th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When I lived in the big city the worlds of my friends and neighbors would come crashing down whenever a nearby road would be closed. Traffic would back up, and everyone would start comparing notes on the time it took to get to work, the time it took to get to the coffee shop, the time it took to listen to “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?”

There are plenty in Cody.

My city friends were very protective of their time and plotted courses accordingly while I tended to think in terms of distance and alternative routes that had the best views. We learned from each other and developed an appreciation for both perspectives.

Snow coaches take visitors throughout the park. (Photo courtesy of National Park Service.)

When I explained that most of the roads in Yellowstone National Park close down every winter except for over-the-snow vehicles like snowmobiles and snow coaches my friends thought I was telling some Tall Tale of the West. Some of them also had to be convinced of the existence of hot water shooting up out of the ground and bubbling pools of mud.

Commercially guided snowmobile tours. (Photo courtesy of National Park Service.)

When October rolls around, we Read More


The Do-Good Sinners of Cody

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

Every frontier town had its ramblers, gamblers, “sportin’” women and robbers, and Cody was no exception. While many of these less-than-upstanding souls were downright dangerous – just ask the families of the doctor who was mysteriously murdered right on his doorstep or the First National Bank cashier who was shot by robbers in 1904 – some had a soft side that emerged at the oddest times.

Picture a group of frontiersmen, including Buffalo Bill Cody, sitting around playing cards, boisterous, trash-talking, drinking. The year was 1902. It was a big year in Cody. The town had been incorporated one year earlier, with a population of 300 citizens, and growing. The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad had completed the spur from Toluca to Cody. Buffalo Bill Cody opened the Irma Hotel that year. Named for his daughter, the Irma was promoted as the most modern hotel in the Rockies. And Buffalo Bill’s dream of damming the Shoshone River to supply water to his town and the surrounding ranchland was coming to fruition.

The country was experiencing the push of modernization, and citizens of all stripes were learning to adapt. Butch Cassidy, Harry Longabaugh and Etta Place had taken their well-honed bank-robbing skills on the road to South America by then. Stagecoaches were still being Read More


Ninnyhammers, please stay home

September 30th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Every year, more than 4 million people lock up their homes in Manchester and Salzburg, Pittsburgh and Denver, Toronto and Sao Paulo, Wellington and Amsterdam with strategically packed suitcases and pre-downloaded apps on their fully charged phones, and they make their way by car, RV, airplane or bus to the world’s first national park.

Some of those visitors are bound to be ninnyhammers, and I wish they’d just stay home.

Ninnyhammer was the special label my genteel grandmother reserved for the occasional idiot who had the bad judgment to cross her path. She’d look the person directly in the eye and offer a carefully-worded put-down that usually started something like, “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you,” and ended with something like, “anytime you happen to pass my house, I’d sure appreciate it.”

Grandma always had a lot of snap in her garters.

You can easily spot a ninnyhammer in Yellowstone. They are the ones who get far too close to wildlife, refuse to stay on boardwalks, bring their pets on trails, carry guns and ignore all the other rules that are liberally posted throughout the park.

Every year, a few park visitors get too close to wildlife Read More