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Preparing for Over-the-Snow Travel

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

When I lived in the big city the worlds of my friends and neighbors would come crashing down whenever a nearby road would be closed. Traffic would back up, and everyone would start comparing notes on the time it took to get to work, the time it took to get to the coffee shop, the time it took to listen to “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?”

There are plenty in Cody.

My city friends were very protective of their time and plotted courses accordingly while I tended to think in terms of distance and alternative routes that had the best views. We learned from each other and developed an appreciation for both perspectives.

Snow coaches take visitors throughout the park. (Photo courtesy of National Park Service.)

When I explained that most of the roads in Yellowstone National Park close down every winter except for over-the-snow vehicles like snowmobiles and snow coaches my friends thought I was telling some Tall Tale of the West. Some of them also had to be convinced of the existence of hot water shooting up out of the ground and bubbling pools of mud.

Commercially guided snowmobile tours. (Photo courtesy of National Park Service.)

When October rolls around, we Read More


Dear Corrie – How to Enjoy Fall

September 14th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Dear Corrie, I am what you call a “football widower.” My wife is the fan in our family, and she spends her Saturdays watching the college games and Sundays glued to the NFL. Now that Labor Day is in the rearview mirror, how do you recommend I spend my weekends?

— Lonely in the Fall

Dear Lonely,

I hate to break this to you, honey, but it’s time for you to “cowboy up” and learn to appreciate the Cowboys, Broncos and, of course, the Buffalo Bills. I understand, however, that the world is full of people who can only stay inside for so long. I’m one of them myself, and I love to get away from it all to stand in the river casting for trout. Contact one of our local outfitters for equipment, tips and guide service. Just don’t mention the Bears. They make a couple of the guides nervous.

Dear Corrie, My husband is from New England, and he is a bit of a snob about fall scenery. Now that we live out West, where can I take him to appreciate the colors?

— Missing the Maples

Dear Missing,

There’s more to fall than colorful leaves. Unless your husband has rocks in his head, he should check out our, well, rocks. Rock formations Read More


When Wyoming Women Rocked the Vote

September 11th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Every November when I head to the polls, I give a quiet thanks to the all-male 1869 Wyoming territorial legislature that granted women the right to vote. In doing so, Wyoming became the first territory in the country to give suffrage to women.

I imagine the pride the women of the territory who populated the isolated Wyoming ranches, rough frontier towns and big, modern cities like Cheyenne must have felt as they went to the polls for the first time.

The story of how they earned that right is as wild and meandering as the Shoshone River on an early spring day, with elements of political gamesmanship, greed, bigotry and pragmatism. But mostly, it was because of love. Or lack of it. The miners, ranchers, railroad men, shopkeepers, cowboys and entrepreneurs of Wyoming were lonely. They needed wives, and there were only so many young, single teachers to go around.

Women of Wyoming were granted the right to vote in December 1869, long before their sisters in other parts of the country. The state will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the accomplishment throughout next year.

An uneducated but cagey and well-liked bigot named William Bright stars in this story. A saloonkeeper in the town Read More


Changing Seasons Means Changing Visitors

August 31st, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

End of summer has a different meaning to a lot of people.

Sticklers will tell you that the Autumnal Equinox marks the changing of seasons. Football fans can be a bit over-the-top with their arguments about whether fall begins with the first college or professional game of the season.

Here in the home of the Great American Adventure – Cody Yellowstone – there is a healthy contingent that goes into seasonal mourning after the final Cody Nite Rodeo is held.

For students, summer is over when school starts. Don’t get me started about the school year commencing before Labor Day; it’s just plain wrong.

Personally, I wave goodbye to summer the day after Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue calls it a wrap for the year. Don’t even try to get a hold of me on Sept. 30 as I will be curled up in a ball and feeling sorry for myself after the previous night’s finale.

When Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue shuts down for the season, certain people call it the end of summer.

Regardless, now that Labor Day is behind us we see a definite change on the streets, trails, streams and paths around here. There are fewer kids with just about all the schools back in session. We do see, Read More


Living the Local Life in Yellowstone Country

October 13th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (2)

Here in Yellowstone Country, Monday is the best day of the week to shop. That’s when the Big Horn Basin Farmer’s Market is open, and those of us who like our food as fresh as the smell of a crisp autumn Wyoming day can find everything we need to prepare a week of healthy meals.

The market is located in Powell, a small town that is big on charm and rich in agricultural heritage. Powell has become a hub of agricultural tourism in the Yellowstone Country region because it has some of the most fertile ground for farming in the U.S. Named for John Wesley Powell, a well-known explorer and a proponent of Western land reclamation, the town’s agricultural success is due to the foresight of the U.S. Senate and the support of conservationists in the late 1800s. The area was authorized to be part of the Buffalo Bill Dam reclamation project, with irrigation waters transforming what was mostly sagebrush flats into rich irrigated farmland that soon became famous for the production of malting barley, beans, alfalfa, sunflowers and sugar beets. And it was also rich pasture land, allowing for a thriving cattle industry.

Powell remains an agricultural mecca today, and the Read More


Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

September 28th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Fall has finally arrived here in Cody after an absolutely breathtaking and busy summer. In some ways it seems like yesterday that I was putting my flag up to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, but it also seems like a long time ago when I start thinking of everything I did and the people I met in a little over three months.

The biggest obstacle I face in summer is overextending myself. When someone suggests to me on a quiet Monday morning that we grab our cameras and head up the Wapiti Valley on Tuesday afternoon because several moose and grizzlies have been spotted near Sleeping Giant ski area, I immediately say yes.

Historic yellow buses are a great way to tour Yellowstone in the summer.

An early morning run to my favorite trout stream before the sun is too high? I’m there.

Taking an out-of-town visitor on a whirlwind tour of Yellowstone National Park is one of my favorite things in the world.

Next thing I know I’m booked solid and in danger of missing my favorite cowboy musician for the week. And I get grumpy if I go too long without hearing “It Takes a Whole Lotta Liquor to Like Her.”

So what do Read More


There’s a New Gang in Town…

September 14th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

And many of them have four legs. Every fall right after Labor Day, the population of Yellowstone Country sees a rather dramatic change.

Many of our revered attractions, like the cowboys who compete in the Cody Nite Rodeo and our local actors who perform in the nightly Cody Gunfighters show, have carefully packed away their saddles, trophies and costumes. I will continue to see the Cody Trolley for a couple of weeks as it takes visitors through our town on an entertaining hour-long trip. And Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue will continue to perform until Sept. 26. But most vacationers have returned to their homes, unpacked their bags and stored away their photos and mementos from their authentic Cody vacation.

Big Horn Sheep can be seen in the hills of East Yellowstone Valley.

But the population that doesn’t have to think about things like soccer practice and teacher conferences is still around, and this time of year, they like to show off.

When fall comes to Yellowstone Country, the wildlife come out to play. Don’t get me wrong. They’ve been there throughout the summer. Autumn, though, is the season when they are often most viewable from the road, and it’s the time of Read More


Corrie’s Cool Tips for Visiting Cody...

August 10th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Some like it hot, but I’m not one of them. And lately it’s been a little on the hot side around here, with daytime temperatures in the high 80s. I’m not complaining, because Corrie doesn’t complain. Just saying, well, baby, it’s hot outside.

In Yellowstone Country, however, even on the hottest of days there are plenty of things to do – outside and inside – to be cool and stay cool. Here are five ideas:

Enjoy the beauty of Yellowstone Country on horseback

Go for a trail ride. Most of our dude and guest ranches offer trail rides – short ones, long ones, overnight ones, multi-day ones. And many of the rides meander through forests of lodgepole pines, Englemann Spruces and Subalpine Firs, which offer shade from the sun. And the stunning beauty of Yellowstone Country is guaranteed to take your mind off the heat.

Paddle away an afternoon. Between Clark’s Fork River and the North Fork of the Shoshone River, there are plenty of paddling options, including whitewater rafting, family-friendly floating, duckie kayaking and core-busting stand-up paddle boarding (SUP).

Adventure out on one of five loop tours

Crank up the AC and go for a road trip. Yellowstone Country is home to numerous Read More


Halloween in Cody/Yellowstone Country...

October 31st, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

One of the best parts about living in a small town like Cody is that we celebrate events like Halloween without going over the top. We know all of the kids – big and small – will show up on mainstreet to trick or treat at downtown businesses. Someone usually throws a family or grownup party, and the emphasis is on fun instead of trying to scare each other.

Even grown-ups enjoy being someone else for a day!

Don’t tell the people who run the supposed haunted hotels in town, but I don’t believe in ghosts. I’ve heard the stories about Buffalo Bill still being spotted at the Irma with a cigar in his mouth, cleaning his pistol or hanging out in his favorite room.

The only thing that scares me about The Irma Hotel  is running out of prime rib some Saturday night, but I don’t worry about its supernatural guests.

With Halloween on a Friday this year, it is going to be fun in Cody. Early evening will be devoted to going downtown and seeing the pageant of trick-or-treaters strolling the sidewalks with their bags of candy. A few may come by my house.  Of course, early this week I bought Read More


Honoring the Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame...

October 21st, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Living in the least densely populated state in the Lower 48, we here in Wyoming have a different perspective compared to other parts of the country. With just six people per square mile, it is easy to appreciate everything nature and the outdoors offer.

Even with the sweeping views of Yellowstone Country, seemingly unlimited trails and trout streams, ability to get away from technology and never ending experiential leisure opportunities, it is tempting to think our resources are inexhaustible.

That is hardly the case. As the state with the country’s first national park, first national forest and first national monument, Wyoming has a long history of conservation and of forward-thinking individuals who have worked to keep the state in good condition for generations to come.

Wide open spaces are part of Cody/Yellowstone Country.

We take things so seriously that we have the Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame (WYOHOF) which is operated by Wyoming Wildlife – The Foundation (now a component fund of the Wyoming Community Foundation). According to its web site, this is “a charitable, non-advocacy organization dedicated to conservation education and the funding and management of projects that benefit Wyoming wildlife. Since the year 2000, we have developed many trusted partnerships that Read More