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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


Corrie’s Favorite Wildlife Moment

November 16th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Wildlife sightings happen in Cody Yellowstone, sometimes when you’re least expecting them. And those are the wildlife moments I will always remember best.

In all my years of living in Cody, I’ve seen plenty of critters.

I’ve seen eagles galore, bison aplenty, bears occasionally, moose when I’m lucky, bighorn sheep and elk frequently and pronghorn almost daily. I’ve spotted wolves in every season, and I’ve watched their pups roll around in snow and mud with all the joy of a domesticated dog.

Moose can sometimes be spotted near the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

I’ve viewed osprey determinedly building their nests. I’ve laughed at the antics of river otters at play. I’ve watched fox and coyotes on the hunt. I’ve listened to the birdsong of who-knows-how-many species. With the help of my spotting scope, I’ve watched mountain goats maneuver along the precipices of high, rugged cliffs. I’ve been victimized by cunning ravens who have learned to unzip untended packs and steal the contents in the blink of an eye. I’ve seen predators gorge on their prey, and I’ve seen potential prey – the wily ones – avoid becoming the dinner of their hunters.

But none of these sightings compare to watching a mountain 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


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


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


No, Recent Thermal Activity Doesn’t Mean...

September 21st, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I was greeted with a familiar scene the other day. As I was walking in to Sierra Trading post a friend of my mine was leaving with a sleeping bag, three pairs of Tevas and a portable camping stove.

I turned around and followed her to car which was full of more supplies.

“What’s going on, Kirsten?” I asked. Like the old show Dragnet, her name was changed to protect the innocent, even though she is not very innocent. She is also prone to overreactions.

“Just preparing for when the Big One blows its top,” she responded, packing her latest purchase in with an eight-pack of toilet paper and a six pack of Buffalo Bill Beer. “Didn’t you catch the latest press release from the National Park Service?”

Actually, I had seen the release. It described new thermal activity in the Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park. Near Old Faithful geyser is an area called Geyser Hill which people can easily climb to gain a nice view of the area. New vents were erupting and splashing water on the boardwalks while surface fractures were appearing. Parts of the area were closed off to prevent people from getting too close.

The Upper Geyser Basin 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


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