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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


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


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


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


Corrie’s Grand Canyon Adventure

August 28th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I recently ventured deep into the wild and spent some time admiring the majesty of a massive canyon that knocked the deer-hide socks off white explorers in the 1800s. Then I had a bison burger and bought a scarf.

Traveling to the Canyon Village region of Yellowstone National Park – the location of the 20-mile-long, 4,000-foot-wide, 1,200-deep canyon that we call the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – is a breeze from Cody. You can access the region from the park’s east or northeast entrance. If you wanted to visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone before 1872, though, you had to work pretty hard to get there.

Early North American tribes first populated the area more than 11,000 years ago. By about the 1700s, tribes and fur traders began to explore the rugged terrain by horseback. By the early 1800s, exploration of the American West was in full swing, but the War of 1812 and the Civil War, rough weather and the nationwide preoccupation with “gold in them thar hills” tended to disrupt serious attempts to explore the region.

In 1870, members of Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition successfully descended into the canyon. A year later, the Hayden Expedition secured scientific and photographic evidence of 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