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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


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


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


It’s Party Time

November 22nd, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When I lived in the big city, the Christmas holidays were definitely different from what I was used to. The major department stores created wonderful displays, and friends and employers held parties most every Friday and Saturday (and several weeknights) from the beginning of December until the big day.

Since I moved back to my hometown, I have found the pace to be slower and more to my liking. The holiday events in Cody/Yellowstone Country are happening soon, and I am happy to report that I will be able to enjoy all of them at an easy pace that will allow for plenty of visiting, shopping and reflecting on the season.

Here’s my plan:

Powell Country Christmas will be held throughout the first weekend in December from Friday, Dec. 2 through Sunday, Dec. 4. Country Christmas is a holiday gift expo and craft showcase located in downtown Powell at the Commons at Pond Park. There will be gift booths, crafts, food booths and entertainment throughout the day as well as a lighted Christmas Parade downtown. The event concludes Sunday with the Tour of Homes Event. More information is available at www.powellchamber.org.

Cody Christmas Celebration will be Saturday, Dec. 3. We will enjoy ice carvings, roast marshmallows over Read More


For the Best Yellowstone Vacation, Start...

March 14th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

As winter gives way to spring, I start to hear from old friends who are thinking about their summer vacations. Invariably, they ask for my counsel on planning a summer vacation to my slice of paradise. Specifically, they usually want my help visiting Yellowstone National Park and our area.

I am always happy to share my knowledge as well as my recommendations about what to do, where to stay and which cowboy musician is telephone number-worthy.

While each vacation will be different, there are several things I always recommend.

First of all, the best way to appreciate a Yellowstone vacation is to start it in Cody, Wyo., the wildest way in to the world’s first national park.

The first stop I recommend is to go to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and head to the Draper Natural History Museum. At the Draper’s top level, you can look at a floor map of the region that helps you get your bearings and see where Cody, Park County, the park and the whole Yellowstone ecosystem fit together. From that top level are ramps that go down in a counter clockwise pattern with interpretive displays on specific topics such as the area’s wildlife, how forest Read More


Comparing Notes With Other Tourism Folks

February 28th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I don’t know about you, but I can always tell what time of year it is here in Cody without even looking at the calendar. Colorful lights means Christmas is approaching. The first day I see that huge car with the loudspeakers bolted on the roof and longhorns attached to the hood means the start of June and the Cody Nite Rodeo. Dan Miller walking down the street in a cupid outfit must mean that it’s Valentine’s Day.

Okay, I made that last one up. But I can hope…

Cody, the wildest way into Yellowstone.

If it’s late in February, it must mean that I have just gotten home from the Wyoming Governor’s Conference on Tourism. We all know that Wyoming is a big state, and I am reminded of our glorious open spaces, soaring mountain ranges and stunning beauty when I make my annual drive to our state capital of Cheyenne every year for the conference.

I lived in the big city where there are more people crammed into 10 square miles than we have in our whole state of almost 100,000 square miles (97,818 to be exact), and I am reminded of one of the main reasons I came home and Read More


A Ski Resort for the Rest of Us

February 22nd, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I’m a skier, and I think the sport is awesome. But I’m not an awesome skier. I like my meandering blues and greens, but my days of double-black moguls are long gone. In fact, they never really even existed. And when I drive west for a day of winter fun at Sleeping Giant Ski Area, none of this matters in the least.

Why the confession? Because as the unofficial ambassador for all things Yellowstone Country, I want to remind my readers Sleeping Giant Ski Area is one of the family-friendliest, prettiest, most well-managed ski areas you’ll ever want to visit. For those of us happily in the green- and blue-run category, there are more than enough runs to keep us energized and entertained. In fact, 55 percent of the entire mountain – 26 runs in all – are blue and green. My friends who love the moguls find plenty of challenging runs too, with 45 percent of the terrain and 21 runs in the expert category.

Events at Sleeping Giant are fun for the entire family.

And for stat-lovers, here are a few other fun facts about Sleeping Giant. It has a total of 184 skiable acres, 47 runs, a base elevation Read More


Walking my way through winter

February 8th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Although Cody winters are relatively mild compared to many parts of the country, by about February, some of my friends and neighbors in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country are starting to show signs of cabin fever.

My neighbor barely returned my wave when we were both out shoveling the other day, and when declining my invitation to join me for some prime rib at the Irma Hotel followed by a drink in the Chamberlin Inn’s solarium, my best friend informed me that she wasn’t emerging from her house until the first bears start emerging from theirs. (Last year the first den-exiting bear was sighted on Feb. 9, so my rather dramatic friend may not have long to wait.)

The Center of the West grounds offers great areas to walk.

But I have a better solution to grumbling or hiding until the end of winter: strap on your step-tracker and walk it off. Like nearly else everyone around here, I have a good pair of heavily treaded, waterproof hiking boots. And from now until spring I intend to wear them every day and go for a walk or hike.

Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country is home to more than 25 developed parks and miles of trails. Read More


Marking Up My February Calendar

February 1st, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I like dates…the ones on the calendar as well as the ones with cowboys. And today my mind is on both kinds.

The calendar dates I’ve been thinking about lately are cause for celebration and reflection.

Ice climbers from all over the world come for the Cody Ice Climbing Festival held President’s Day weekend.

February 12, 13 and 14 is, as everyone knows, Valentine’s Day Weekend. And I have a very special date with a very special cowboy, although what he has planned for me may make some city-slickers cringe. On Friday we’re pulling out our crampons and heading to the 18th Annual Cody Ice Climbing Festival. With more than 300 frozen waterfalls in our South Fork Valley, there is some world-class vertical ice climbing. I’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years, and we’re both looking forward to some multi-pitch climbs and getting together with our frosty friends.

Then if we still have the energy, my beau and I will head to the 7th Annual Ice Fishing Derby at the Sunshine Reservoir in Meeteetse. Ice fishing is huge in these parts, and we all want bragging rights for our catches during the derby. I didn’t do so well last year, but Read More


The Winter Games advocate for people to...

January 19th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Pardon me if I seem distracted, but I think I am coming down with a case of “Senioritis.”

No, I am not looking to cut class and spend the day watching the latest Star Wars movie. Instead, I plan to lie about my age, sign up for the Wyoming Senior Olympics Winter Games and spend the day skiing or shooting hoops.

These games will be held right here in Cody Feb. 18-21 and are open to anyone 50 years old and up. Since I am barely out of my 20s I have to cross my fingers when I fill out my application that no one will notice. Never mind that some of the participants went to school with me. They just failed a lot of grades and didn’t graduate from high school until they were pushing 40.

Participants age 50+ compete in a variety of competitions.

Events include the indoor mile walk and run, pickleball, Nordic skiing, Alpine skiing, swimming racquetball, basketball, snowshoeing and cowboy musician roping. Okay, that last one is not an official event, but a certain cowboy musician will be providing a night of exciting entertainment during the games.

The indoor events will be held at the Paul Stock Aquatic and Read More