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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

Why This is the Year to Experience the...

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

I realize the days are still short – but, yay, getting longer – and many of us are tired of winter, but it’s a great time to think of our summer plans.

Personally, I love spontaneous trips, but there are times when planning a vacation is just plain fun. My sister-in-law told me in the fall she had signed up for a group tour to visit China this spring. As we exchanged e-mails and spoke on the phone I found myself wishing I was going with her. She didn’t invite me, so I just had to make do with researching her itinerary and buying her some guidebooks for Christmas. I also added a similar trip to my “Some Day” list.

Last year I thoroughly enjoyed learning about some self-guided walking and biking tours in an unnamed location north and west of my beloved Cody, Wyoming, and I followed through with a vacation that was equal parts active, relaxing and educational. That sounds a lot like my life, except the vacation did not include cowboy musicians.

As part of my job, people ask me for recommendations for accommodations, food, shopping, hiking trails, fishing streams and the like. A common question revolves around “secret” times Read More

There’s Only One Rooster Cogburn

January 29th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I wish I had more time to watch movies, but when you are a hiking, biking, fishing, wildlife watching, skiing, snow shoeing, snowmobiling, cowboy music listening, Western furniture loving fool like me, it’s tough to find the time.

I’m also not picky. I love all of the greats like Gary Cooper, Clint Eastwood, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and, of course, Randolph Scott. Sing it like you mean it. RANDOLPH SCOTT.

So when the Academy Awards nominations come out every January I lament that I know about so few of the flicks up for best picture. If I have the time I try to watch some of the nominees, but I’m lucky if I see two or three of them.

Over the years I have developed a little two-part tradition. At some point I will sit down in front of the television and watch True Grit. While I think that the remake from a few years ago starring Jeff Bridges is a fine film, I am one of those purists who think that there is only one Rooster Cogburn.

That’s right, John Wayne will always be my favorite actor, and I can recite lines from McClintock, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Cowboys, The Searchers and even The Sons of Katie Elder.

Read More

Not My First Rodeo

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

My niece was six when her family packed up the Chevy, locked up their heartland home and pointed the car in the direction of Cody/Yellowstone Country.

Like so many other Western-bound road-trippers, the family took their time so they could enjoy the pleasure of free ice water at Wall Drug, observe the giant sculpted faces of four of our favorite U.S. presidents and drive through the massive national park known for its fossils of ancient mammals, weird geologic deposits and grasslands before arriving in Cody.

With me as enthusiastic tour guide, we did it all. We toured Yellowstone, lingered for hours exploring Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and of course, watched the Cody Nite Rodeo.

Cody Nite Rodeo will begin its 80th season of nightly summer rodeo on June 1.

Of all the things we did and saw, my niece loved the rodeo most of all. She loved the clowns, the hats, the horses. And even at a young age, she couldn’t stop talking about the athleticism of the young cowboys who gave it their all.

Last year my now-teenage niece returned for a stay with Aunt Corrie, and we of course went to the Cody Nite Rodeo. Her enthusiasm for this classic event remained, although this time largely because she Read More

Why Didn’t I think of “National Plan...

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

Whether they are ranchers, cowboy singers, hotel housekeepers, foodservice employees or are involved in the myriad jobs around here, people in Cody/Yellowstone Country work hard.

Some of us pretty go at it non-stop during the peak tourist season (and no, you don’t want to see the grindstone when we’re done with it) and then take time off during the shoulder season. Others work closer to traditional 40-hour weeks and play on weekends and vacations.

Whatever suits you best is my belief.

What I don’t like, however, are the people who think they are indispensable and leave vacation time on the table every year. You know who you are or you know the type.

Some are worried that the boss will think less of them if they are out of the office, store or restaurant instead of producing. Others cannot imagine the business surviving without them, and still more are worried about that ambitious young 20-something taking their jobs if they aren’t there to do it themselves.

I got some news for you. You aren’t doing anybody any favors by refusing your time off. We all need to get away from work, relax and recharge our batteries.

So when I heard about the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Read More

Cody’s Cousin’s California Casa

January 8th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Contrary to rumors floating around town, I do manage to get away from Cody, Yellowstone, Powell, Meeteetse and the surrounding area. There is more to life than listening to cowboy music, fishing for trout, hiking and riding some of the finest trails anywhere, breaking in new boots and chatting up tourists from pretty much everywhere.

When I received an invitation from an old friend to attend her wedding in Palm Springs I responded that I would be there in less time than it takes a Nite Rodeo cowboy to rope and tie a calf. Not only do I love the desert and always enjoy living it up with old friends, but I felt some inexplicable pull toward the area. I could not put my finger on it, but I just wanted to be there.

I booked my flight and a hotel room close to the main drag, called Palm Canyon Drive. The street reminded me of Cody’s own Sheridan Avenue, with its abundant restaurants, shops, galleries and a very high level of walkability.

The main street in Palm Springs, with its fun shops and restaurants, reminds Corrie of Cody’s ownSheridan Ave.

Once I arrived I took a walk around the downtown and the adjacent Tennis Club area. I had this strange feeling Read More

Corrie’s Gift Guide for the Cowboys in...

December 18th, 2017 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

So last week I started my Christmas gift guide by sharing my ideas for the cowgirls in my life.

Was there any doubt what I would be writing about this week?

That’s right, I have put a lot of thought into what I am getting those sometimes-clueless-but-well-intentioned cowboys who make my life interesting. You know, the guys who forget to show up on Friday night as promised and then stop by on their way home to shovel my driveway without asking. The ones who will tease me mercilessly about my cowboy music obsession and then stare down the stranger who makes even one crack about my latest CD purchase. The ones who don’t understand that I already own enough Carhart clothing.

Anyway, here are a few items for them.

For my antsy father who always has to have a project going and seems to have more power tools than the immortal Tim Taylor and Al Borland combined – A set of wave-shaped diamond sharpeners to help him achieve those finishing touches on his western furniture. He may not ever catch up to the professional furniture builders we have scattered throughout town, but he has a great eye and is happiest doing his Thomas Molesworth Read More

Corrie’s Gift Guide for the Cowgirls on...

December 14th, 2017 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

It’s full-throttle panic time here in the Corrie N. Cody household, with chestnuts unroasted, wreaths unhung, Christmas tree unchopped, bows untied, holiday CDs unplayed and a front yard red-nosed reindeer uninflated.

At least I have my gift list completed. I’ve even checked it twice.

Here’s what I have in mind for the many ladies on my list.

For my intrepid but impatient mother – A gift certificate for an all-day fly fishing float trip on the North Fork of the Shoshone River. I chose this trip for Mom because it will satisfy her craving for action with lots of great trout fishing but it also will remind her to enjoy the bounty of eye candy – shores teeming with wildlife and the beauty of northwestern Wyoming’s backcountry all around.

Corrie’s Mom gets a float trip on the North Fork of the Shoshone River, an all-day adventure that combines lots of trout fishing and abundant backcountry beauty. Photo courtesy North Fork Anglers.

For my adventurous but scatterbrained sister – A pack of thermal socks from one of our sporting goods stores – all still in pairs with their sock mates safety pinned together in the hopes that this is the year she manages to make Read More

Don’t Look Now, But it’s December

December 4th, 2017 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Last winter was the snowiest in Cody/Yellowstone Country in more than 40 years and while it brought many challenges, it was great to get the much needed moisture.

The long-range forecast is saying we can expect more than our average of 43-45 inches of snow because of the warm weather patterns in the Pacific Ocean. I always get El Nina and La Nino mixed up, but I know it’s one or the other. If Dan Miller would write a song explaining the differences, however, I would never be confused again. I wish he would get on it.

Out here we seldom complain about snow. Because our air is so often dry with sporadic rain showers that swoop in quickly and then move one before we know it, we welcome moisture in whatever form shows up. More than 100 years ago our town founder pushed for – and received – federal funds and assistance to construct the Shoshone Dam (later renamed the Buffalo Bill Dam) so that Shoshone River water could be captured and used for irrigation of crops in the region.

There is a saying in the West that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Just slap on Read More