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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


Dear Corrie

June 12th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Well, with peak season upon us there is no shortage of activities and foreign languages being heard around town. As someone who loves meeting people from all walks of life, I could not be happier.

As our town ambassador, I get all of the tough questions and have not heard one for which I don’t have an answer. Here are a few that have been thrown my way recently.

Dear Corrie, I heard you are like me – one of those people who refuses to sleep between sunrise and sunset. I took a trip to Denali a few years ago, and I came down with a pretty bad case of sleep deprivation that caused me to mistake my husband for an Alaskan brown bear. I’m thinking of celebrating the summer solstice in Cody, but I don’t want to jeopardize my marriage (again) by not getting enough shuteye. Will it be safe to visit?

– Sleepless in Ottumwa

Dear Sleepless, As long as you don’t mind rolling out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and waiting until shortly after 10 p.m. to shut off the lights, you’ll be fine. Our longest days of the year last about 15½ hours. Come join me on my annual quest to make as much hay as possible while the sun Read More


Yoga the bear

May 22nd, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Travelers from Cody lined up at the East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park – one of two park entrances accessible from town – on the day it opened for the summer season, ready to experience the world’s first national park in all of its springtime splendor and hoping for a glimpse of the park’s wildlife.

According to an account by Cody Enterprise reporter Lew Freedman, some of those early-season visitors were in luck. Just a few miles into the park, visitors spotted a grizzly lazily stretching and rolling around in the grass and stretching one paw and then the other skyward as if exercising. A quick-witted ranger dubbed the grizzly “Yoga the Bear.”

Bears are often seen stretching and playing in the sunshine. National Park Service photos.

I guess if you spent several months in a deep slumber, you might want to stretch out those limbs too. I’ve always thought grizzlies are one of the most compelling of all wildlife species in the park. They can be ferocious, sure, but they are predators and that’s what they do. The sows are fiercely protective of family members – at least for a year or two – and they have a playful side that is a joy to watch, from a safe distance Read More


A Volcanic Smackdown – Yellowstone or...

May 11th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

Last week I shared my dream of personally witnessing Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park erupt. I realize the odds of that occurring are pretty long, especially since there is no lodging in the Norris Geyser Basin.

With all this talk about hot spots and geysers, a few of my loyal readers have asked me just why there is so much thermal activity in Yellowstone and the surrounding area.

The answer is simple. Yellowstone National Park is sitting on top of a volcano.

All those great thermal features in Yellowstone are the result of the volcano under the park.

Volcanos are certainly in the news these days, what with Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano suddenly creating new fissures and spewing enough molten lava to destroy whatever is in its path, including several homes in Leilani Estates on the big island. I have been watching this with great interest as I have a couple of friends who live less than 10 miles from the new volcanic activity.

There is a local connection as these friends have traveled with me to Yellowstone, and one enjoyed the experience so much that he applied for a job and worked as a reservations agent for Yellowstone National Park Lodges one summer.

Fortunately, my friends have been able to live their Read More


Steamboat Geyser is on my You-Know-What List

May 10th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Do you know how we go through stages where it seems like you keep hearing the same term to describe something?

For a while the term “world class” was used to describe everything from a Cody vacation to how handsome Dan Miller is. Now, while both of those examples are accurate, we can certainly come up with some “totally” and “awesome” descriptions that aren’t used so often.

And don’t get me started on people saying “unique” to describe something that is anything but. Unique means one of a kind. That’s it.

I don’t like the term “bucket list.” You know, something you want to do before you go to the great rodeo grounds in the sky. I used to have a mental list of places I wanted to do and see, but then I realized that I was pretty much living that list here in Cody Yellowstone Country.

There is one thing, however, that has truly been elusive in my life. I want to see Steamboat Geyser erupt.

For those of you who don’t know, Steamboat is located in the Norris Geyser Basin – the hottest geyser basin – on the west side of Yellowstone National Park. When the geyser erupts it shoots 200-400 cubic Read More


Ask Corrie: a visitors’ guide to Cody...

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

In just a couple of months, the streets of Cody’s Sheridan Avenue will be teeming with visitors from around the world, and I can hardly wait. It is always thrilling when I hear so many different languages spoken on our streets. It’s also great fun to chat with visitors from the East when it is their first trip to the Western part of the country.

We locals often are asked a broad range of questions about our beloved little corner of Wyoming, and we are always delighted to chat with our out-of- town guests. Here are some answers to common questions:

Who is the most famous person to visit Cody?

Buffalo Bill Cody was the most famous man in the world when his Wild West Show was in full swing, so even though he’s the town founder he’s also the most famous person to walk the streets. There have been plenty of others. Ernest Hemingway stayed at the Chamberlin Inn down the street from the Irma Hotel, and Buffalo Bill hosted the Prince of Monaco at Pahaska Tepee.

Pahaska what?

That’s the name of the hunting lodge Buffalo Bill built just outside the east entrance to Yellowstone. He liked to host famous guests there. They’d hunt in the forest and fish in the Shoshone Read More


March Makes Me Think of our First National...

March 5th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When the beginning of March rolls around a lot of people I know start talking about Major League Baseball’s spring training or the pro football draft or the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Not me.

Instead I am reminded how fortunate I am to live in a place where people from all over the world make their way to enjoy the world’s largest concentration of geysers and the valley featuring the finest wolf watching in the Lower 48 states. In addition to natural features, people take in tours of the coolest log structure ever built – the Old Faithful Inn – and stop for photos next to a stone arch named after a U.S. president with the foresight and commitment to set aside public lands.

That’s right. I am talking about the World’s First National Park. On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill setting aside 3,468.4 square miles (close to 2.2 million acres) to create Yellowstone National Park. Now, I know a few people in California who argue that the other “Y” park has a legitimate claim to being the first national park, but these Yosemite Sams lose me with their convoluted explanations about land grants and such.

Here are a few of my favorite facts about Yellowstone.

Yellowstone has the Read More

Cody’s Cousin’s California Casa

January 8th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Contrary to rumors floating around town, I do manage to get away from Cody, Yellowstone, Powell, Meeteetse and the surrounding area. There is more to life than listening to cowboy music, fishing for trout, hiking and riding some of the finest trails anywhere, breaking in new boots and chatting up tourists from pretty much everywhere.

When I received an invitation from an old friend to attend her wedding in Palm Springs I responded that I would be there in less time than it takes a Nite Rodeo cowboy to rope and tie a calf. Not only do I love the desert and always enjoy living it up with old friends, but I felt some inexplicable pull toward the area. I could not put my finger on it, but I just wanted to be there.

I booked my flight and a hotel room close to the main drag, called Palm Canyon Drive. The street reminded me of Cody’s own Sheridan Avenue, with its abundant restaurants, shops, galleries and a very high level of walkability.

The main street in Palm Springs, with its fun shops and restaurants, reminds Corrie of Cody’s ownSheridan Ave.

Once I arrived I took a walk around the downtown and the adjacent Tennis Club area. I had this strange feeling Read More


It’s Baby Season in Cody

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

Do you know how there’s supposedly a spike in babies born nine months after major blizzards, hurricanes, New Year’s Eve and Dan Miller concerts?

It’s easy to “spot” baby fawns

Well, here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country we see a run on critters every spring, but I am pretty sure it’s just nature’s way of giving animals their best chance of survival by making sure they arrive as the weather is warming up and food sources are most plentiful.

My friends and I love to compare notes on wildlife watching, and we even have a friendly competition to see who spots the first bear after the winter hibernation. I thought I won this year, but my grizzly turned out to be a fishing guide who had not shaved for a few weeks.

Now that we are well into April we can expect to see way more than our fair share of wildlife here in Yellowstone Country.

For example:

Baby black bears are learning to climb

• Grizzly and black bears have emerged from hibernation and many are showing up with babies, often two at a time. Those bears are finding winterkill, wildlife in a weakened state and fish in our rivers and streams.

• Bison calves Read More


For the Best Yellowstone Vacation, Start...

March 14th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

As winter gives way to spring, I start to hear from old friends who are thinking about their summer vacations. Invariably, they ask for my counsel on planning a summer vacation to my slice of paradise. Specifically, they usually want my help visiting Yellowstone National Park and our area.

I am always happy to share my knowledge as well as my recommendations about what to do, where to stay and which cowboy musician is telephone number-worthy.

While each vacation will be different, there are several things I always recommend.

First of all, the best way to appreciate a Yellowstone vacation is to start it in Cody, Wyo., the wildest way in to the world’s first national park.

The first stop I recommend is to go to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and head to the Draper Natural History Museum. At the Draper’s top level, you can look at a floor map of the region that helps you get your bearings and see where Cody, Park County, the park and the whole Yellowstone ecosystem fit together. From that top level are ramps that go down in a counter clockwise pattern with interpretive displays on specific topics such as the area’s wildlife, how forest Read More