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November’s Charms in Yellowstone Country

November 15th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, things are a little quieter and a little slower during November’s pre-holiday lull, and I look forward to these days. November is my time to visit the places I love and linger for a good, long while. Since Cody is home to numerous museums and attractions that are open year-round, there’s always somewhere else to go, something else to see and something else to do.

A good example is the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, with many fabulous exhibitions during November. At the Draper Museum of Natural History – which is celebrating its 15th anniversary next year – there’s an exhibit called Invisible Boundaries: Exploring Yellowstone’s Great Animal Migrations. The exhibit was installed earlier this year, and it will be in place in the special exhibitions gallery through the end of this month. The Draper is the place to go before a Yellowstone visit because it explores and explains the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This particular exhibit presents the challenges elk and other migrating mammals face when they leave park boundaries to search for resources during the winter.

Invisible Boundaries: Exploring Yellowstone’s Great Animal Migrations showcases the challenges faced by the region’s migrating mammals.

There’s also Read More

Appreciating My Foremothers

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

As I watch our country exercise its most cherished privilege – the right to vote – I am reminded of some of the Wyoming leaders who advanced and defended that simple act on behalf of the population that carries two X chromosomes.

First, a quick review of some relevant Wyoming milestones. The Wyoming Territory was formed in 1869. The same year it became a territory Wyoming also granted the country’s first female suffrage giving women the right to vote, a right women exercised in the election the following year. That act is truly remarkable, given that the 19th Amendment granting the women the vote nationally didn’t happen until 1920, half a century later.

Suffragist Mary Godat Bellamy became the first woman elected to the Wyoming legislature in 1910.

Suffrage wasn’t the only unprecedented thing that advanced women’s lives in that pivotal year of 1869. Legislators also passed a resolution allowing women to sit inside the same government building where lawmakers sat. They passed a bill guaranteeing married women property rights. And female schoolteachers were guaranteed the same pay as male teachers.

The motivation for these unusually women-friendly advancements were not necessarily because legislators had great confidence in women’s judgment. In reality, it was Read More

Anything I Can Do She Could Do Better....

October 31st, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I’m a lousy shot. Most Wyoming women have learned at least two things about guns – how to handle them safely and how to shoot them. I never mastered that second part.

Like many Wyoming dads, my father would take me to the shooting range on Saturdays and yuck it up with his friends as we little gals – protective earmuffs as big as our heads – tried to shoot inside those teeny concentric circles on the targets. He would try not to look mortified when my target would come back without a scratch.

Hoping my talents were of a more domestic nature, my Mom put me in Saturday-morning sewing classes instead. The apron-like creation I made after six agonizing weeks – with its holey pockets and rusty stains from my bloody fingers – became a bit of a family legend as the rapidly unraveling cloth found uses as dog bedding, dust rag and car-buffer.

I eventually took up the violin.

I found myself thinking about my lack of those skills as I pondered an exhibit about Annie Oakley in the Buffalo Bill Museum in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. For Phoebe Ann Moses, as she was known until she took her Read More

Why I think Buffalo Bill is Buried in...

October 17th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (2)

I don’t believe in ghosts, zombies or little men on Mars unless they are pint-sized, knock politely on my door and are grateful for the fun-size chocolate bars I give them. And I suspect a good number of our legends of the American West are what my grandmother would have called “just plain scuttlebutt”.

But there is one legend that I believe is the truth. I believe that Buffalo Bill Cody is buried in an unmarked grave on Cody’s Cedar Mountain – a place revered by American Indians and locals alike – and not under tons of concrete in a suburban Denver museum.

The view from Cedar Mountain overlooking Cody.

The reason I believe it is that my grandmother told me the story when I was no more than 10. She believed it because her father told her. He believed it because he was a good friend of one of Buffalo Bill’s best pals. That pal knew it was true because he was there.

Here’s the part of the story that has never been in dispute. William F. Buffalo Bill Cody died on January 10, 1917 while visiting relatives in Denver. Soon after, his wife Louisa arrived to claim his body and settle Read More

Walking through history in Buffalo...

October 11th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

As a life-long history buff, I’ve always been a big fan of interpretive tours.  Although I prefer tours that combine walking and history – two of my favorite things – I’ll also sometimes take bus tours too. I once took one of those hop-on/hop-off double-decker bus tour in London and never bothered with the hop-off part because the guide was such a great story-teller and kind of hot. (He reminded me of someone I knew back home.)

Tours are a great way to scratch beneath the surface of any destination and learn the often-inspirational stories about the people who played an important part in its evolution.

But tours are not always available when I’m ready to take one. So I was thrilled to learn about a new partnership between the Park County Travel Council, Buffalo Bill Center of the West and a mobile app from a company called TravelStorys. This free app offers a GPS-triggered audio tour of downtown Cody with a focus on little-known stories about the Cody characters like Buffalo Bill and some of its famous visitors and supporters like Andrew Carnegie and Ernest Hemingway.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West has partnered on a walking tour project.

I recently Read More

Six Ways to Learn About Cody’s History

October 3rd, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

If your family is anything like mine, there’s at least one family member who gets a little compulsive about group activities. Believe it or not, in my family that person is not me; it’s my history-loving Dad.

He can spend days wandering through the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. And we always let him have his way, because every time he visits he buys a great steak dinner for the whole gang.

Here are six ways my Dad likes to explore the history of Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country:

Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The massive, world-renowned Buffalo Bill Center of the West houses five superior museums under one modern roof, but the museum got its start in 1927 in a historic building across the street that now houses the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce and the Cody Country Art League. The Center of the West is comprised of the Buffalo Bill Museum, Cody Firearms Museum, Whitney Western Art Museum, Draper Natural History Museum and Plains Indian Museum. The Center employs a variety of techniques – interactive displays, life-sized vintage photographs, exhibits – to engage and inspire visitors.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is Cody’s gem attraction.

Cody Firearms Experience. Cody’s Read More

Five Ways to Enjoy Wildlife this Fall

September 27th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (2)

Even though there are plenty of warm sunny days here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, I would like to announce that summer is officially making way for fall. And that’s great news for our wildlife-loving visitors, because fall is the best time of the year to see critters in action.

Here are five tips related to wildlife watching:

Look for elk. We are in the midst of “rutting” season where bull elk are attempting to impress potential mates. If you hear their distinctive bugling sound or happen to see two bulls doing battle, it’s all about mating season.

Bull Elk are very active in the fall, bugling to attract mates.

And the wolves. Since elk are their primary food source, wolves tend to follow the migration patterns of elk. In the warmer summer months, both species head to higher elevations. As the temperatures drop, they begin to show up more often at areas like the Hayden and Lamar Valleys in Yellowstone National Park.

See the bears eat, eat and eat. If you ever wondered how bears make it through the winter without eating, be assured that in the fall they consume prodigious amounts of calories preparing for hibernation. During this period called “hyperphagia” bears Read More

Art, Dancing, and Festivals – Help Me

September 12th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

If you’re like me, you go through stretches where it seems like you wear the same pair of jeans, eat breakfast at the same diner and play cards with the same three people for what seems like months at a time.

It’s easy to fall into that rut, but we here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country know how to break out of that routine every year. That’s right, the annual Rendezvous Royale is almost here.

Our week-long celebration, the Rendezvous Royale, is set for Sept. 17-24. This year’s line-up of events includes an online Silent Auction, an invitational design exhibition called “By Western Hands” and the Sept. 17 “Boot Scoot ‘N Boogie,” a street festival and dance showcasing our town’s art community. After a week of workshops, exhibitions, an art walk and other events, Rendezvous Royale culminates in a gala weekend including the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale on Friday night and the Buffalo Bill Quick Draw and Brunch Saturday morning. The Annual Patrons Ball Black-Tie Gala at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West rounds out the week.

The Buffalo Bill Quick Draw and Brunch is a Cody favorite!

You might be surprised that we are such a popular location for Read More

If the Shoe Fits, Head to Buffalo Bill’s...

September 6th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

While I am no Imelda Marcos, I do appreciate that there are shoes for every occasion. Let me clarify and say that here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country there are shoes for every activity.

A Wyoming vacation trip featuring hiking, fishing, riding and a fancy art show (possibly in the same day) requires a little more planning than your typical trip to the beach.

Sure, you can get away with cowboy boots for almost any event or activity around here, but even the best footwear in the history of footwear has its limits.

Therefore, I have a few suggestions – broken down by activity with some clothing recommendations thrown in – for packing for a fall trip to this area.

Hiking. Pretty much anything goes for this activity as long as it’s comfortable. Since it can easily be chilly when you start and hot when you finish, wear layers and make sure you have a backpack to carry those fleece jackets you discard. Oh, and pants that convert into hiking shorts might be one of the greatest inventions ever. Shoes: Hiking boots.

Rendezvous Royale. Our annual Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale is a classy western gala September 23, part of Cody’s Rendezvous Royale, September Read More

Fires are Normal and Nature’s Way of...

August 30th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

As August winds down we have begun to experience forest fires in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. These are normal occurrences, and often many of the same reasons travelers choose to vacation in Yellowstone Country – the sunshine, low humidity and miles of undeveloped forests – help create the conditions that make the region ripe for fires.

Fires in Yellowstone Country are often caused naturally by lightning, but humans can also cause fires, usually by accident with improper extinguishing of camp fires, burning debris, tossing a cigarette butt out of their car or improperly maintaining their vehicle and allowing sparks to be generated.

Fortunately, Mother Nature has seen fit to populate our forests with trees that actually help contribute to the health of the ecosystem when they burn.

The most common species of tree in our region is the Lodgepole Pine (scientific name: Pinus contorta). If you have ever driven through a Lodgepole forest there is a good chance you noticed these trees are very straight and the taller trees have few branches except for those at their crowns. These trees are great for building log cabins or national park lodges.

The most common tree in our area is the Lodgepole Pine.

The primary way Read More