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It Really Has Been 30 Years Since the Big...

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

Do you remember what you were doing 30 years ago?

I sure do.

For me the summer of 1988 was comprised of listening to Dan Miller 45’s, listening to Dan Miller on my transistor radio and monitoring the fires in Yellowstone National Park.

Yes, there are fires every year in the park and throughout the West. The good folks of California are going through an especially active and tragic fire season this year, but it is always a matter of how much acreage is going to burn, not if there will be fires.

Fire is nature’s way of cleaning out old unhealthy forests. Trees die on their own or develop disease, and a fire that burns through a forest doesn’t really “destroy” it. Forests regenerate, and we view them as in different stages at any given time.

Look at Yellowstone. We spent decades doing our best to suppress fires when they would start. In our minds it was only logical that you stop—or preferably prevent, according to Smokey Bear—fires. We still do our best to prevent human-caused fires, but we look at natural occurrences like lightning-started blazes differently.

The 1988 Yellowstone fires played a key role in our evolving approach. That summer was hot and dry Read More

Digging Up the Latest Fun Attraction

August 7th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I have a reputation for liking the unusual. That’s why a Corrie Tour around town often includes a church built with poker winnings, the grave of a guy called “Liver Eating” and a collection of Sears Roebuck mail order houses.

When I heard a few years ago that someone was starting a museum comprised of guns found everywhere from farmers’ field to battlefields I welcomed it with, well, open arms.

The Cody Dug Up Gun Museum is located on 12 th Street next to the Chamberlin Inn in downtown Cody and features more than 1,000 relic guns and other weapons. Owners Hans and Eva Kurth have collected guns found throughout the country and from many different time periods including the American Revolution, the Gold Rush Era, The United States Civil War, the Old West and Indian Wars, World War I, The Roaring ‘20s and World War II.

This flintlock pistol, circa 1770, appears to have been burned in a fire.

This free museum – donations are accepted – is one of my favorite combinations of serious and whimsical with truly fascinating stories – many of them untold – of lost and found. I wonder how that Remington Model 1858 .44 ended up buried Read More

Getting Ready for a Great Dam Day

July 27th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

On August 18th I’m going to have a great dam day. That’s when the Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center will stage its annual “Great Dam Day,” a celebration of one of the most extraordinary engineering accomplishments in the West. The free event includes a hike down the “old dam road,” kids events and interpretive information on display in the visitor center.

I try to always participate in this fun celebration, as it reminds me of the extraordinary accomplishments and uncommon determination of our town’s founder, Buffalo Bill Cody.

Corrie will be participating in the annual Great Dam Day to celebrate the town of Cody’s showcase Buffalo Bill Dam. Photos courtesy of the Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center.

Not only was he a world-renowned showman, Buffalo Bill possessed unusual logistical abilities and the brain of an engineer. When he selected a barren, windswept region of northwestern Wyoming for the namesake town he would develop, Cody knew that its success would depend on the most valuable resource in the American West: water.

Buffalo Bill wanted his town to become the tourism mecca that it is, and he knew that a dependable water source was essential not only for residents and visitors but also Read More

Coming soon: Cutt-Slam, Amelia and a...

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

I’m a maniacal calendar-keeper, and when I combine my obligations with my to-do lists – all noted in a shorthand of acronyms and emoticons– the month-view looks like a color-coded mess. Not only do I note the event itself, but I also add before-the-event reminders. A week before a dentist appointment, for example, there will multiple days of all-caps reminders to FLOSS! It’s my mother’s fault. A prolific letter-writer and calendar-keeper herself, Mom taught me that white space is a sign of weakness.

Mom’s a bit of a nut.

Still, those skills have come in handy countless times, and my format allows me to quickly view my schedule. As I was reviewing the next three months, I was reminded of some exciting times ahead.

There’s an entry on Aug 15 that reads: Cuz Bob Cutt-Slam, and every day of the week leading up to that entry there’s this note: DF Gear Up CB Cutt-Slam. Any guesses? In Corrie-speak, that means “don’t forget to check your gear so you’re ready to join Cousin Bob for a day of cutthroat trout fishing in Cody Yellowstone Country as he goes after his Wyoming Game and Fish Cutt-Slam certificate.”

Corrie and her cousin will be fishing for Yellowstone Cutthroat.

Cousin Bob is an enthusiastic angler whose Read More

Exploring the Greater Yellowstone...

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

On a recent brutally hot July day I ditched my hot pink summer boots for a pair of toe-pleasing Tevas and headed for the “Alpine-to Plains Trail.” There I saw, heard and even smelled some of the critters and plants in their alpine, forest, meadow and plains environment. All in the air-conditioned comfort of the Draper Natural History Museum.

This is one of my favorite exhibits in one of my favorite Buffalo Bill Center of the West museums. As I descended down a sloped rotunda, I saw wolves, bison, elk, badgers and even a rare wolverine. Or at least lifelike facsimiles of these precious park critters in realistic settings that reflect their habitat and behavior.

The Alpine-to-Plains Trail in the Draper Natural History Museum showcases the animals and plant life in the various landscapes of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

And when I finally completed my descent, I lingered at the dramatic, 30-foot tile mosaic floor of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and pondered the diversity and beauty of one of the most diverse landscapes on the planet. And it is in my own backyard.

Corrie learned that one of her favorite park critters, the pronghorn, is only distantly related to deer and antelope. Read More

I Found My New House

July 8th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

It seems everybody has a neighborhood in their town that they always wanted to live in. Maybe it’s the mid-century architecture, the mature trees or views of the lake (or mountains or city lights) that have always appealed to them. I’ve known quite a few people who worked hard and saved to make their dreams of living in a specific part of town happen.

I’m like those friends. There’s the coolest lineup of houses in Cody that, while the structures could use a few updates, simply calls to me. No matter how many hours I work and vacations I forgo, however, I will probably never be allowed to live in this neighborhood.

I’m talking about the collection of old homestead cabins near the rodeo grounds and site of the original downtown Cody. Old Trail Town does not actually house anyone even though I promise I would not be a bother, would not dramatically alter any of the original designs except for some reasonable improvements and would keep the number of visitors to a minimum. Dan Miller would only count as one, regardless of how many times he stops by, right?

Old Trail Town is the brainchild of one of Cody’s great characters. Bob Read More

The Woman Who Wrangled the Cody Stampede

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

When hundreds of celebrants gather at the Cody Stampede grounds on July 4 to experience the 99th-annual Cody Stampede Rodeo, they can thank the relentless efforts of Caroline Lockhart for the fun.

The everyday frustrations of running the Cody Stampede caused Caroline Lockhart to complain that she didn’t have enough time to pursue her passion of horseback riding. ( Archival photos courtesy of theAmerican Heritage Center.)

A prominent citizen who had earned fame and financial independence as author of Western novels – some which were made into major movies – it was Lockhart’s vision that led to the creation of the world-renowned Cody Stampede, which is consistently named one of the top rodeos in the world.

Caroline Lockhart flouted societal norms such as drinking alcohol at a time most citizens supportedProhibition. She was known to through raucous drinking parties at her home.

Lockhart was well-known to the citizens of Cody, and she gleefully flouted societal norms. At a time when traditional domestic life was the primary option for women, she juggled multiple boyfriends but never married. She unapologetically and publicly drank when most Cody citizens voted for Prohibition. She was a passionate horsewoman who jubilantly supported almost any initiative that promoted Western Read More

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