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Four things I love to do in the fall in...

August 16th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When fall comes to Cody Yellowstone, the region is transformed from a family vacation hot spot to an adventure-rich adult haven that is unlike anywhere else in the world. This is the time of year when I spend more time savoring my favorite Cody Yellowstone adventures. Here are four of them.

Watching elk and other animals in the wild is another favorite fall pastime.

Wildlife-watching. Although I enjoy wildlife watching year-round, it is an especially thrilling adventure in the fall when the elk are bugling. Fall is mating season, and elk take their procreation duties seriously. Like the Instagramming humans who observe them, elk like to “share” their experiences too – by bugling about them. The shrill, ancient sound made by a male elk in rut reminds me in a goose bump-inducing way that this region is still one of the wildest places on Earth. 

Cody Yellowstone is especially fun to explore by foot.

Hiking. Yellowstone National Park is full of epic hiking trails ranging from easy strolls to heart-pounding climbs. No matter what kind of hike I’m up for, I find that hiking in Yellowstone is especially enjoyable when there are fewer people and cooler temperatures. I booked a room for Read More


Quieting Down? Not Even Close

July 9th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Even though we weren’t root, root rooting for our team, the just-completed Cody Stampede always feels like Homecoming Weekend to us here in Cody Yellowstone.

And considering this was our centennial celebration there were more familiar faces than normal along the parade route, in the stands at rodeo, on the dance floor at Cassie’s, bellied up to the bars at the Silver Dollar and Pat O’Haras. 

I had to laugh when some new friends who moved here this spring commented that once the Stampede was done things would quiet down. They did not realize that our summer would hum along for quite a while and that many of our attractions are either open just for the summer or host most of their guests during the traditional vacation months when school is out.

Here are some of my suggestions for activities you should check out before the end of summer:

Experience the rodeo. The Cody Nite Rodeo is often travelers’ first rodeo experience. Open nightly from June 1 through August 31, the rodeo features riders, ropers, bull riders and bronc busters from all over the country.  Watch the wacky Wild Bunch perform a “gunfight” with a gun safety message. The place to be on summer evenings Read More

June Means New Activities, Including Rafting

June 17th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

So much happens here in Cody Yellowstone when June arrives.

The lights go on at the rodeo grounds, and the Cody Nite Rodeo starts entertaining visitors and introducing new generations to bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing and Dolly Parton jokes.

The Cody Gunfighters put on a play that is equal parts shoot-em-up, gun safety and “photo opps.”

Dan Miller and his Cowboy Music Revue combine terrific acoustic music with Western humor and the occasional dash of cowboy poetry.

The dude and guest ranches saddle up the horses, bake the beans and remind parents that there aren’t apps for the things that truly bring families together.

Many people have taken their first ride at a dude or guest ranch in Cody/Yellowstone.

A common theme I hear on my near-daily jaunts down Sheridan Avenue is that people want to try new activities. More people than I can count have cast their first flies on one of our lakes or rivers. The biggest thrill for folks from Florida is often finding a patch of snow and throwing a snowball in June. Shopping for a cowboy hat is a new experience for those not old enough to remember when Urban Cowboy came out.

The region is known Read More


Letting Kids Take the Lead

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

Now that it’s mid-June school is pretty much out. Sure, there are a few places that get creative and look for ways to maximize the use of their classrooms by instituting year-round schedules, but the traditional calendar still rules.

I can tell just by looking out my window that more families are in town. The miniature golf course at the corner of 9th and Sheridan definitely sees more play, and the nightly gunfighter show is increasingly popular.

The campground managers have their own semi-scientific methods as well. One counts the number of kids’ bicycles in the racks while another tracks the inventory of s’mores kits she sells in her camp store. Those numbers go straight up about now and stay that way until late August.

My favorite tracking technique, however, was developed by my friend at our visitor’s center. She keeps a running tab of the hair of people seeking information. When dark (and thick) hair prevails she knows that parents and children are on vacation. Lighter (and thinner) hair means the empty nesters are in town.

When parents ask me for recommendations for kid-friendly activities I tell them to keep an open mind, don’t over plan and let the kids take the lead. Read More


Welcome Back, Cody Yellowstone Visitors

June 5th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Welcome back, summer visitors. We missed you here in Cody Yellowstone, and we can’t wait to show what we have in store for you.

This week, many of you will be arriving in your Subarus, Suburbans, RVs and tour buses. You’ll be bringing the kids, the dogs, the parents, the cousins, the friends. You’ll have your coolers, binoculars, rain jackets and cowboy hats. Some of you will be celebrating the end of the school year. Others will be actively avoiding office emails, with the admirable intention of using those vacation days to their fullest.

Cody Yellowstone has plenty in store for visitors this summer.

Those of us who live and work here year-round have been eagerly awaiting your arrival. We’ve spent the winter restocking, rehearsing and revising. It has seemed like an especially long winter, not just here, but also in Chicago, Denver, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake, Cleveland and Boise. For awhile there, I thought those winter winds would blow all the way to Memorial Day. All it takes, though is one day of sunshine and warmth – a day exactly like it is today – and a caravan of travelers making their way down Sheridan Avenue to nudge me Read More


The East Gate is Open

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

If you remember my “Corrie Calendar” you know that I have this strange, mystical and almost creepy ability to tell what the date is – sorta, kinda – based upon weird factors. Just as the smell of leaves burning tells some people to turn on the television to watch college football, I know that roof racks full of skis and snow boards signals the opening of Sleeping Giant and hunting season is upon us when men in fashionable orange clothing are chowing down at the Proud Cut.

And a historic yellow bus heading into town from the direction of the Buffalo Bill Dam means that the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park is open.

Most of the roads inside the park are closed to regular wheeled vehicles during the winter. You can drive from Gardner, Mont. to Mammoth Hot Springs to Roosevelt Lodge and then east through Lamar Valley to Cooke City, Mont. where the road is closed again. The rest of the park roads are open only to over-the-snow vehicles such as snowmobiles and snow coaches. Many of the tracked vehicles, including the famed Bombardiers, have been replaced the past few years by fun modern coaches with oversized tires.

The Lake Yellowstone Hotel is always worth a visit.

So much of Yellowstone Read More


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

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


Lopsided Loving in Wonderland, and Where...

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

March 1 was Yellowstone National Park’s 147th birthday. Or maybe I should say it was “Wonderland’s” birthday because that’s what a Northern Pacific Railroad advertisement called the world’s first national park in an advertisement promoting the newly accessible destination.

The moniker played on the popularity of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” and it effectively awakened the imagination and wanderlust of a generation.

Inspired, and with travel made easier – or at least doable — wealthy Easterners loaded families, servants and steamer trunks and boarded the train for an adventure of the lifetime. And so did the next generation and the generation after that.

Year by year, more visitors came, eventually trading train and stagecoach transportation for private cars, buses, motorcycles and in the winter, snowcoaches. In 1904, nearly 14,000 visitors entered the park. Last year, the number of annual visitors reached 4.1 million.

With that kind of increase, it’s no wonder park-lovers concerned that visitors are overwhelming the park’s fragile eco-system and infrastructure have said that we are loving our beloved Wonderland to death.

I can see their point, but we seem to be loving Yellowstone lopsidedly.

Rangers will tell you that 97 percent of the visitors to Yellowstone experience Read More


The Cody Yellowstone Calendar

March 4th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I have two calendars. The first probably looks a lot like yours with 12 months and 31 days hath September and so on. You know, the calendar Julius Caesar reformed in 42 BCE that was refined by the Gregorians in 1582. Everybody knows that, right?

That calendar is where I write things like appointments for haircuts, doctor visits, teeth cleaning and vet checkups.

The second is my “Cody Yellowstone Calendar.” If I were to fall into a “Sleeping Beauty” slumber where I didn’t know how long I was out until a cowboy prince kissed me, I could still tell the time of year by the sights, sounds and smells around me, each offering clues about what is happening and what is about to happen.

Here are some examples and their meanings:

When the plows start clearing the roads in Yellowstone National Park, it’s a sure sign that winter is almost over.

While I was up the Wapiti Valley the other day getting in some late runs at Sleeping Giant Ski Area one of the boarders told me that snowplows (snowplows one word) inside Yellowstone were starting to clear roads. That means winter is coming to end and we should stop climbing waterfalls. When the Read More