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Everyone’s Talking About the Bird

April 4th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I like to think that I have a good working knowledge of the birds of Yellowstone Country and can tell the difference between the Wyoming state bird – the Western Meadowlark – and my all-time favorite – Clark’s Nutcracker.

I understand that with our wide open spaces and wilderness there is tremendous bird habitat to be found just by driving a few minutes in any direction. Migratory patterns enable us to see a huge variety of birds at different times of year. Many people think of the pelican as a bird you see on a pier in Florida, but I associate them with the Yellowstone River as I watch cutthroat trout swimming upstream at LeHardy Rapids.

To truly get a sense of just how spectacular and varied the bird population is in this region, you should consider attending Spring into Yellowstone Birding & Wildlife Festival May 14-18. The festival features field trips and interactive seminars led by some of the biggest names in birding.

Ibis Birds

Returning this year is Luke Seitz who has made quite the name for himself as a bird expert, artist and photographer. I met Luke last year and was overwhelmed by his knowledge and passion, not Read More


Musings on Road Trips and Togas

March 22nd, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Like many people I know, I have found the movie “Animal House” to be a continuing source of inspiration throughout my life.

Even when the situation was especially dire for the boys of Delta Tau Chi, after they were placed on double-secret probation and were dealing with the twisted maneuverings of those mean guys from the Omega House, Boon, Flounder and the rest of the guys didn’t give up. They went on a road trip.

Well, first they had a toga party. (And launched an incredibly weird college trend that I believe still exists today on certain especially exuberant campuses.) But with maturity, there’s wisdom. I’ve since learned that not everyone can pull off a toga. Or should. And “friends,” seriously, if that picture shows up on Facebook we will have some words.

But my point is when it looked like all that the Delta Tau Chi’s valued in their world could soon disappear — their beer, their friendship, their girlfriends, their beer — instead of giving up, they gave in to the call of the open road. On their way, they experienced the hospitality of an authentic roadhouse, enjoyed some regional music and even met some charming locals.

Chief Read More


Plan your spring getaway to...

March 7th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Springtime is coming. And so are the babies.

Soon bison and babies will appear in Yellowstone.

During the springtime, Paris has nothing on Cody. Well, except a really tall tower. And wonderful croissants. But they don’t get to mark the coming of springtime with the emergence of the grizzlies or sightings of furry orange elk calves. We do. C’est la vie.

Spring is going to be here before you know it, and it’s going to be a springtime to remember. I promise. How do I know? Because our winter was one to remember. If you talk with the old-timers around here they’ll say they haven’t seen a winter like this in 20 years.

The snowfall we’ve had this year is far, far more than what we usually get. One of my pals who is a Weather Channel nut keeps track of snowfall and percentages. He told me the snowpack is 141 percent above our normal range. It seems like the countryside has been whiter than an elk’s behind for months and months. Years, in fact, if you ask me on one of my extreme spring fever days.

But no matter how you measure it, everyone agrees that springtime 2014 is going to Read More


Planning a golf getaway in Cody, Wyoming

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

What is it about the Olympics that makes me want to try all sports?

Plan a golf getaway in Cody, Wyoming!

I don’t know about you, but when I watch the Olympics I want to head to our ice arena, strap on my skates and start doing laps. I am sure that I look just like the speed skaters as they hit those turns performing those perfect crossovers. In fact, the Dutch skaters – especially the Mulder twins – would probably ask me for a few training tips.

A girl can dream, can’t she?

If it’s not skating, I want to drive to Sleeping Giant and spend the afternoon on my snowboard in the terrain park or racing some friends on skis in an impromptu slalom. Or we could cross country any number of places in the area. I wish we had a bobsled run, and something about curling is simply mesmerizing.

To most of us here in Cody, the specific activity is not always the most important thing. The most important thing is getting out and enjoying any number of activities. This summer I intend to hike, bike, fish, fly, ride and more.

Something that I also plan on mastering this year is golf. Read More


The Easy Way to Plan a Vacation to Buffalo...

February 6th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When it comes time to plan a summer vacation in Cody (or Yellowstone or Wyoming) my friends have developed a foolproof method.

They let me do it for them.

I don’t mean to be a busybody; it’s just that my enthusiasm kicks in when I hear the words “Yellowstone Vacation” or “I’m thinking of heading to Wyoming this summer, do you have any special tips or suggestions?”

I can put together a three-, five- or 10-day itinerary faster than you can say “Corrie, slow down and take deep breaths. You’re starting to concern me.”

When people do allow me to share my experience, the first thing I suggest is that they try to envision just how much space we have here in the West. Wyoming on a single page in the road atlas can look like it is the same size as Ohio. Not even close. To illustrate, Interstate 80 across Wyoming is a little more than 400 miles while Interstate 80 across Ohio is close to 235 miles. People move here for our wide open spaces and big skies, but they learn quickly to not try and see everything in one day.

Exterior of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West

My second Wyoming Read More


November Quiet Time

November 5th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

Things are quiet right now in our little slice of heaven. Most of the roads in the park are closed as the National Park Service allows the snow to build up so that the over-the-snow vehicles will have a good base come December. It’s a bit chilly to go rafting down the Shoshone River, and the Nite Rodeo buttoned up its operations until next Memorial Day.

I still see fishermen coming through town, and the hunters like to stay in town and enjoy our restaurants and nightly entertainment. The museums are always great with many visitors taking extra time to learn about the area and its early inhabitants, natural features, art and more.

There is still some time before the ice climbing gets going. It’s also easy to imagine hitting the slopes at Sleeping Giant Ski Area.

For the most part, however, we are in that shoulder season where many of us cut back on our hours and reconnect with friends who worked many days – sometimes weeks – in a row because that is simply what we do in an area that ebbs and flows with so closely related to the patterns of tourists.

I Read More


The Park County Fair

July 23rd, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

I am a small-town gal. Sure, I was born here and made a vow when I was 13 to get away to the big city, become famous and have people open doors for me whenever I made a grand entrance into a ballroom.

A funny thing happened, however, on my way to stardom. I decided I liked living here. Gentlemen around here do open doors regardless of whether or not you’re famous, and I love running into friends at the grocery store (and just about every else I go) and enjoying some of the less glamorous activities in life.

Like pig wrestling.

Everybody knows that the Park County Fair starts tomorrow in Powell. Right off the bat we will get to see one of my favorite events as our local youth compete to see who can get covered in mud the fastest in the pig wrestling contest. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the competition starts at 7 p.m.

On Wednesday 38 Special takes the stage. You probably know that I have a bit of a weakness for musicians – especially cowboy musicians –and I am hoping that Donnie Van Zandt will autograph my cowboy hat. It would Read More


Hang Gliding Over Park County

July 16th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

So there I was on Saturday, taking in the view of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse and the surrounding areas as I was hang gliding.

You read me right. Most of you know that I am not a daredevil. My idea of risky behavior is going on a first date wearing jeans I bought at Wal-Mart.

But instead of jumping off a cliff and letting the prevailing winds keep me aloft, I took advantage of a new option offered at the airport. Airborne Over Cody provides rides in the “microlight” planes that use fabric wings you see on hang gliders, but the planes are propeller-driven with the pilot and passenger strapped in to a cockpit.

We took off on a glorious blue-sky Absaroka Mountain morning and headed south toward Meeteetse. I wanted to land and make a visit to the “Cowboy Chocolatier” but that idea was unceremoniously nixed. While I am not happy about that decision, I guess I can live with it.

After a right turn over Lower Sunshine Reservoir we flew up to Buffalo Bill State Park. Everybody around here knows the story of how the dam was built so that the North Fork of the Shoshone River Read More


Full Family Season Is Upon Us

July 9th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

The 2013 Cody Stampede is now a fond memory. I should have kept some sort of journal of how many old friends I saw and new ones I made – hmm, maybe I could invent some sort of electronic contraption that will allow me to take photos, record addresses and phone numbers, organize these friends into one big group and then tell everyone details of my life such as what I am having for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But I digress. With the Stampede complete, we are in full summer season, and that means family time. I understand that many people like to travel during what is called the “shoulder seasons” when the weather is nice and the atmosphere a little more relaxed, but as long as kids are in school from early September through early June, families will make the Great American Road Trip in the summer.

Personally, I love it. With the obvious exception of Sleeping Giant ski area, all of our activities and attractions are going full force and you can feel the energy on our streets.

While many of the visitors stop in Cody for one night on their way to or from Yellowstone Park, Read More


The Cody Stampede Is A Week Away!

June 25th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

With the Cody Stampede just a week away I am shifting my efforts to find a date for the July 4th holiday into a higher gear.

I had my sights set on nine-time world rodeo champion Ty Murray, but someone told me he is married to a singer. And I do respect the institution of marriage. Otherwise, I would just head over the Cody Theatre and tell Dan Miller what time to pick me up.

The Cody Stampede is special even in our rodeo-centric town. This year’s events will be held for four days July 1-4 and will attract the top cowboys in the world. I tried to legally change my name to “Cody Stampede” but the judge would not allow it. He didn’t accept my argument that I, too, attracted cowboys.

In addition to the bull riding, roping and such, we have the stampede parade. Actually, that’s two parades. On July 2 at 10 a.m., the Kiddies Parade gets underway. In addition to being in the parade just for the fun of it, the kids compete in various categories such as “Most Patriotic,” “Best Decorated Float” and several others. At 9:30 a.m. on July 3 and 4, the Read More