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Is Thomas Molesworth in Your House?

March 22nd, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

If your living room has a table with elk antler legs or a credenza with a carved silhouette of a cowboy, you might just have Thomas Molesworth in your house.

Thomas Molesworth and his Cody-based Shoshone Furniture Company created furniture and artwork in a distinctive design that became popular in dude ranches, rustic lodges, homes and other buildings. Known as “Western style” or sometimes “cowboy style,” the always-functional pieces incorporate aesthetic elements found in nature or reflective of the Western lifestyle, such as wood burls, large brass tacks, Native American weavings, cowboy and wildlife motifs, leather elements and vertical poles.

Furniture designer Thomas Molesworth created rustic Western-style furniture.

Soon after opening his furniture company in 1933 in a storefront location in Cody, Molesworth received his first big break when his furniture caught the eye of Philadelphia Enquirer publisher Moses Annenberg. The affluent, influential Easterner was on a mission to furnish Ranch A, a 700-acre complex in eastern Wyoming – now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a U.S. Historic District.  Molesworth was commissioned to create nearly 250 pieces of furniture for the log lodge. His designs were quickly noticed, and commissions for the Shoshone Furniture Company took off. Read More


March Madness, Cody Yellowstone Style

March 18th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I have a theory that male grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park are college basketball tournament fans.

Cody Country features both black bears and grizzlies (above).

Almost like clockwork, the male of the species emerges from hibernation right around March Madness. Females with cubs, on the other hand, emerge in April/early May, after the NCAA basketball ends.

In 2018 the first bear was spotted March 7, and the National Park Service just sent me a press release saying tracks were found March 8 between Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris Junction, but an actual bear was spotted March 11 between Canyon Village and Fishing Bridge.

Mama bears and their cubs do not emerge from their dens until April or May.

The announcement did not mention the bear’s favorite team – I’m thinking the UCLA Bruins – but it did provide some good tips when you’re in bear country.

Here they are:

Prepare for a bear encounter.  Carry bear spray, know how to use it, and make sure it’s accessible.  Stay alert.  Hike or ski in groups of three or more, stay on maintained trails, and make noise. Avoid hiking at dusk, dawn, or at night. Do not run if you encounter a bear.  Stay 100 yards away from black and Read More

Lopsided Loving in Wonderland, and Where...

March 8th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

March 1 was Yellowstone National Park’s 147th birthday. Or maybe I should say it was “Wonderland’s” birthday because that’s what a Northern Pacific Railroad advertisement called the world’s first national park in an advertisement promoting the newly accessible destination.

The moniker played on the popularity of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” and it effectively awakened the imagination and wanderlust of a generation.

Inspired, and with travel made easier – or at least doable — wealthy Easterners loaded families, servants and steamer trunks and boarded the train for an adventure of the lifetime. And so did the next generation and the generation after that.

Year by year, more visitors came, eventually trading train and stagecoach transportation for private cars, buses, motorcycles and in the winter, snowcoaches. In 1904, nearly 14,000 visitors entered the park. Last year, the number of annual visitors reached 4.1 million.

With that kind of increase, it’s no wonder park-lovers concerned that visitors are overwhelming the park’s fragile eco-system and infrastructure have said that we are loving our beloved Wonderland to death.

I can see their point, but we seem to be loving Yellowstone lopsidedly.

Rangers will tell you that 97 percent of the visitors to Yellowstone experience Read More


The Cody Yellowstone Calendar

March 4th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I have two calendars. The first probably looks a lot like yours with 12 months and 31 days hath September and so on. You know, the calendar Julius Caesar reformed in 42 BCE that was refined by the Gregorians in 1582. Everybody knows that, right?

That calendar is where I write things like appointments for haircuts, doctor visits, teeth cleaning and vet checkups.

The second is my “Cody Yellowstone Calendar.” If I were to fall into a “Sleeping Beauty” slumber where I didn’t know how long I was out until a cowboy prince kissed me, I could still tell the time of year by the sights, sounds and smells around me, each offering clues about what is happening and what is about to happen.

Here are some examples and their meanings:

When the plows start clearing the roads in Yellowstone National Park, it’s a sure sign that winter is almost over.

While I was up the Wapiti Valley the other day getting in some late runs at Sleeping Giant Ski Area one of the boarders told me that snowplows (snowplows one word) inside Yellowstone were starting to clear roads. That means winter is coming to end and we should stop climbing waterfalls. When the Read More

Have you heard the news?

February 26th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

“Have you heard the news?” As I was making the rounds on Sheridan Avenue on a clear February day last week, at least six of my friends and neighbors posed that question to me. Each time, I answered with the question, “which news?”

Cody Yellowstone is chock full of enough news to keep even the most prolific local journalists in stories. And there have been plenty of stories lately.

You already know about the 100th anniversary of the Cody Stampede this year. Planners are in meeting mode to nail down details like the parade theme and to choose a grand marshal. This year’s Stampede runs from Sunday, July 1 through Wednesday, July 4. We know there will be a great line-up of PRCA rodeos, parades, concerts, fairs and fireworks, and we’re all still waiting to hear about this year’s parade theme and grand marshal. Stampede tickets go on sale on March 1, and yours truly will be at the Stampede Park ticket office as soon as it opens that morning.

My history- and art-loving friends are super stoked that the By Western Hands Museum & Archives is opening in downtown Cody this summer. Years in the planning, this new attraction is Read More


Tips to Make Your Vacation the Best...

February 14th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

In my office overlooking Cody Yellowstone, I am in the position of offering all sorts of tips for vacation planners.

There are countless ways to visit our region and so many things on which to focus that I like to treat each request for information differently. Some folks are looking for help on everything from accommodations and meals to attractions and activities while others just want to know where to find pull-through sites for their Class A Winnebago.

I have developed a short list that I call “Corrie’s Tips to not Fritter and Waste Your Hours in an Offhand Way.” Here they are:

Take the time off in the first place. Workers in the United States leave way too much vacation time on the table, according to the U.S. Travel Association. While people may think they are indispensable or that their employers will think they are slackers if they are not at work all the time, studies show that time off helps people be more productive and is good for their health and minds. Take into account distances. The atlas that devotes a page to each state can be pretty misleading. The drive across Illinois on Interstate 80 is significantly shorter than Wyoming’s. Plan Read More

Theodore Roosevelt’s Lasting Impact on...

February 11th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

With Presidents Day approaching, I am reminded of the many U.S. presidents who visited the Cody Yellowstone region throughout history. Some came for personal vacations and some came in official dignitary capacity. Some came for a brief park visit and photo op and others left a lasting mark on the park. One of those presidents was Theodore Roosevelt.

It is widely known that one of the most adventurous and pro-conservation U.S. presidents in history was Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, a New Yorker who became the youngest president in history when he swore his oath as a 42-year-old after the 1901 assassination of William McKinley.

Born to a wealthy family, Roosevelt was a sickly child who as a teen, and with the encouragement of his father built up his body and physical endurance through weightlifting, boxing and other physical pursuits.

Sharply intelligent and driven, Roosevelt quickly ticked off personal milestones – Harvard, law school, wife, baby – and took his first position in the world of politics on the New York State Assembly.

His professional and personal trajectories were suddenly halted, however, when his mother and wife died on the same day in February 1884. Grief-stricken, Roosevelt left his child in the Read More


Wildlife Success Stories

January 28th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Here in Cody Yellowstone we spend a lot of time outdoors working, playing and adventuring.

With our rivers, streams and lakes supporting some of the best fish habitat in the world, fishing is huge. Because of our abundant wildlife and wide-open spaces, hunting is a part of our collective personality and something that families share and pass along to succeeding generations.

What might surprise a lot people is that serious hunters and anglers are among the most fervent stewards of the environment. It’s common to “Catch and Release” trout, and “Leave no Trace” is more of a lifestyle than slogan in my neighborhood.

And while more than one friend of mine has complained about wolves, bears, prairie dogs, bison and other species, I do not know anyone who truly believes we should hunt animals to extinction.

There was a time, however, where it seemed like there would always be plenty of wildlife and the thought of a complete species being obliterated was too outlandish to even consider.

I am proud to say that our region has been the site of more than one conservation success story even though we came way too close to wiping out certain species.

Here are a few examples:

Bison

Bison were close Read More


My Favorite Niece is Coming to Visit This Year

January 21st, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

In my family I am hands-down the favorite aunt. It’s a rite of passage in my family to send the kids to visit me here in Cody Yellowstone so that I can indoctrinate the next generation into the joys of listening to cowboy music, riding horses, gazing at geysers and learning that history is more than stories found in a book.

I once heard “the cousins” comparing notes about their trips out West and what they liked best about spending a week with Auntie Corrie. They all had their favorite attractions, and I loved hearing them talk about whether or not Old Trail Town was better than the Wild West Shootout or who served the best ice cream in town.

I do worry that they might be getting a little too entitled when they argue which hotel rooms in Yellowstone National Park have the best views and which restaurants serve the best prime rib, but they are all good kids who understand the value of hard work.

And while she doesn’t know it yet, my favorite niece is coming to visit this summer after missing her annual trip to see me last summer.

Corrie will be waiting in the terminal at Cody’s Read More


Cody Yellowstone by the Numbers

January 15th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I freely admit that I am one of those people who loves obscure and not-so-obscure facts, statistics and observations. For me it’s fun to sit around and talk about items like who played Clint Reno in Love Me Tender or Dr. John Carpenter in Change of Habit. (Hint: It was Elvis Presley, and these were his first and final movie roles.)

While pop culture is always fertile ground for lighthearted discussions, I also like to look at subjects from a numbers perspective. Here are some items about Cody Yellowstone that I find fascinating.

Park County covers 6,967 square miles.

6,967. Park County Wyoming covers 6,967 square miles. That is a big chunk of land, almost 15 times the size of all five boroughs of New York City.

30,000. We have less than 30,000 residents in our county. The Big Apple, on the other hand, has around 8.5 million.

4.1. There are just over four residents per square mile in Cody Yellowstone.

53. More than half – 53 percent – of Yellowstone National Park is located in Park County.

3. In our vast county are just three municipalities – Cody, Powell and Meeteetse.

5. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is comprised of five museums: Buffalo Bill Read More