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A Few of My Favorite Things to Know About...

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

I’ve been talking about the Cody Stampede Rodeo so much this year that I think people are avoiding me. The other day as I headed over to the porch at the Irma Hotel I thought I heard someone yell “Code Red” followed by the distinct sound of several pairs of cowboy boots thumping across the wooden deck. As I turned the corner I found an empty table with half-finished beverages.

The Irma Hotel is a popular gathering spot for Corrie’s friends.

Not to be deterred, I tucked a few wayward strands of my red hair behind my ear, walked just inside the side door and waited quietly a few moments. Sure enough, a head popped out of one of the retail shops and a voice called out “All clear.”

At that point I made way to the table and joined my friends who had the telltale look of defeat on their faces. For some reason the phrase “The struggle is real” popped into my brain, but I persisted and decided to share my list of eight things people should know about the Cody Stampede as we celebrate its 100th year.

Here goes:

The Cody Stampede was spearheaded by Buffalo Bill’s friends to honor his Read More

Vote Early, Vote Often

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

It could have been Al Capone. Or possibly it was Chicago Mayor Richard Daley or his mayoral predecessor William Hale Thompson. We’ll never be sure which jokester with nefarious notions encouraged minions to “vote early, vote often,” but it’s darn good advice now that USA Today has identified Cody Yellowstone as a contender in a Reader’s Choice competition to choose the best historic small town in the U.S.

The media giant has just released a list of 20 historic towns from Arizona to West Virginia. Cody is the only town from Wyoming to make the list. This is one contest where your vote matters again and again and again. You can vote once every day until the contest is over at the end of the month. At that point the folks on the Reader’s Choice staff will launch an epic publicity blitz to showcase the winners in all of the categories, which also includes small towns known for adventure, shopping and food.

Cody is one of 20 US towns that have been nominated for a USA Today/10Best Reader’s Choice award for the best historic small town in the country.

Voting is easy. Sign up here and then vote every day. As of Read More


Be Still, My Country Heart

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

Just when I thought this summer’s anniversary of the Cody Stampede couldn’t get any more exciting, I learned today that Cody will be hosting one of my all-time favorite country singers – in addition to Dan Miller of course – to kick things off.

Clint Black will be “Killin’ Time” in Cody on June 27 for a charity concert to benefit the St. Jude’s Research Hospital. One of my favorite charities, St. Jude’s provides no-cost, top-flight health care to seriously sick children, and it helps families with travel and lodging expenses so they can be with their kids while they’re in the hospital. The concert will be free, and guests will be encouraged to make donations in return for enjoying the musical fun.

Clint Black will play a special charity concert in Cody to benefit St. Jude’s Research Hospital.

The concert will be held at the Stampede Park with enough room for thousands of fans.

Clint – we’re on a first-name basis – came on the country music scene in the late ‘80s with a breakthrough album called “Killin’ Time.” The album had a whole bunch of hit singles, including “A Better Man” and “Nobody’s Home.” (Nobody’s home, coincidentally, is exactly what a Read More


Still Time (But Not Much) to Win a Free...

April 1st, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I used to go to a bunch of community events where I would throw my business card in a big fishbowl for a drawing at the end of the evening. Prizes were usually provided by meeting sponsors, and I always watched as someone else claimed the baseball tickets, cheeseburgers, overnight accommodations and fly rods. One guy (no name since he really ticks me off) seemed to win more often than anybody, and it became a bit of a joke that we should just dispense with the drawing and give him the prize directly.

The other day I called No Name and asked if he had entered to win the free trip to the Cody Stampede Rodeo’s 100th anniversary this July.

I am happy to report that he has not entered and has already made his plans to vacation elsewhere this year. That means that the rest of us still have a chance, but we are quickly approaching the drawing date.

The Duke was grand marshal one year. Who will it be in 2019?

On April 15 someone is going to have a very happy Tax Day. That is when we will learn who will win airfare, accommodations, VIP rodeo tickets, activities, rental car 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


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


Firearms-Inspired Western Colloquialisms

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

Studying the firearms that have been possessed by Western soldiers, farmers, hunters, mountain men and pioneers as well as legendary personalities like Buffalo Bill Cody can be instructive for students of history like myself.

Some firearms are almost romantic in their artistry, like Buffalo Bill Cody’s Winchester 1873 lever-action rifle that features engravings of a standing buffalo on one side and Buffalo Bill Cody on horseback chasing a running buffalo on the other. Some firearms are clunky. Some are downright terrifying.

Buffalo Bill Cody was often photographed and depicted with firearms.

There are several places in Cody Yellowstone for visitors to learn more about the history of firearms and their impact on our lives. The Cody Firearms Experience lets visitors shoot replica guns at a high-tech indoor shooting range under the instruction of experienced staff. The Cody Dug Up Firearms Museum features an extensive exhibit of guns that have been unearthed from battlegrounds, farms, fields and other locations around the world. One of the best places to go for a comprehensive understanding of the impact of firearms is the Cody Firearms Museum, one of five museums at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The museum traces the evolution of Read More


Maps and Trivia: Who Could ask for More?

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

There are a couple of things (maybe more, just saying) about me that my friends like to tease.

One is that I love trivia. While some might comment on my recall of factoids and say that I am full of “useless knowledge,” I say that you never know when an item can spark a conversation or lead to something truly fascinating. I explained once to a friend’s daughter that Telluride, Colorado got its moniker from miners who shortened “To Hell You Ride” into the town’s name. She rolled her eyes like all good teenagers do and left the room. A few weeks later I caught her in the act of retelling one of her friends what I had shared.

She doesn’t tease me anymore, and we always get a good laugh.

A second quirk I have is that I love looking at maps. I get this from my dad who would spread out state and national maps on the kitchen table where he would plan a route for our vacations or holiday visits. The two of us would have deep discussions about tolls, speed limits, timing and such until we agreed on our best route to get two states over.

One of my friends spotted Read More


Enduring Friendships – With Fireworks

October 30th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

We all have that one friend. Or if we are supremely lucky, those handful of friends. Whatever you need, you can count on them, even if you don’t know you need it.

They are the ones who bring you homemade chicken soup when you are sick or teasingly bully you into doing another set of squats at the gym. They offer advice when asked and listen to your woes without judgment. And they always – always – defend and promote your honor.

Buffalo Bill Cody had one of those friends, and her name was Caroline.

Thing is, they weren’t particularly close.

Caroline Lockhart was a barrier-breaker just like the founder of the town where she chose to move. A successful novelist at a time when most women in the country didn’t even have the right to vote, the ambitious, talented and nationally famous Lockhart had produced several bestselling novels by the early 1900s. She was wry, quick-witted and an intuitive news-maker.

She also was notorious. She drank hard liquor at a time when many prominent citizens enthusiastically supported the coming Prohibition. She had many male friends, but she never married. She was also sentimental, and she loved the Old West. She celebrated with her pen Read More


The Do-Good Sinners of Cody

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

Every frontier town had its ramblers, gamblers, “sportin’” women and robbers, and Cody was no exception. While many of these less-than-upstanding souls were downright dangerous – just ask the families of the doctor who was mysteriously murdered right on his doorstep or the First National Bank cashier who was shot by robbers in 1904 – some had a soft side that emerged at the oddest times.

Picture a group of frontiersmen, including Buffalo Bill Cody, sitting around playing cards, boisterous, trash-talking, drinking. The year was 1902. It was a big year in Cody. The town had been incorporated one year earlier, with a population of 300 citizens, and growing. The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad had completed the spur from Toluca to Cody. Buffalo Bill Cody opened the Irma Hotel that year. Named for his daughter, the Irma was promoted as the most modern hotel in the Rockies. And Buffalo Bill’s dream of damming the Shoshone River to supply water to his town and the surrounding ranchland was coming to fruition.

The country was experiencing the push of modernization, and citizens of all stripes were learning to adapt. Butch Cassidy, Harry Longabaugh and Etta Place had taken their well-honed bank-robbing skills on the road to South America by then. Stagecoaches were still being Read More