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Tips to Make Your Vacation the Best...

February 14th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

In my office overlooking Cody Yellowstone, I am in the position of offering all sorts of tips for vacation planners.

There are countless ways to visit our region and so many things on which to focus that I like to treat each request for information differently. Some folks are looking for help on everything from accommodations and meals to attractions and activities while others just want to know where to find pull-through sites for their Class A Winnebago.

I have developed a short list that I call “Corrie’s Tips to not Fritter and Waste Your Hours in an Offhand Way.” Here they are:

Take the time off in the first place. Workers in the United States leave way too much vacation time on the table, according to the U.S. Travel Association. While people may think they are indispensable or that their employers will think they are slackers if they are not at work all the time, studies show that time off helps people be more productive and is good for their health and minds. Take into account distances. The atlas that devotes a page to each state can be pretty misleading. The drive across Illinois on Interstate 80 is significantly shorter than Wyoming’s. Plan Read More

Theodore Roosevelt’s Lasting Impact on...

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

With Presidents Day approaching, I am reminded of the many U.S. presidents who visited the Cody Yellowstone region throughout history. Some came for personal vacations and some came in official dignitary capacity. Some came for a brief park visit and photo op and others left a lasting mark on the park. One of those presidents was Theodore Roosevelt.

It is widely known that one of the most adventurous and pro-conservation U.S. presidents in history was Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, a New Yorker who became the youngest president in history when he swore his oath as a 42-year-old after the 1901 assassination of William McKinley.

Born to a wealthy family, Roosevelt was a sickly child who as a teen, and with the encouragement of his father built up his body and physical endurance through weightlifting, boxing and other physical pursuits.

Sharply intelligent and driven, Roosevelt quickly ticked off personal milestones – Harvard, law school, wife, baby – and took his first position in the world of politics on the New York State Assembly.

His professional and personal trajectories were suddenly halted, however, when his mother and wife died on the same day in February 1884. Grief-stricken, Roosevelt left his child in the Read More


Cody Yellowstone by the Numbers

January 15th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I freely admit that I am one of those people who loves obscure and not-so-obscure facts, statistics and observations. For me it’s fun to sit around and talk about items like who played Clint Reno in Love Me Tender or Dr. John Carpenter in Change of Habit. (Hint: It was Elvis Presley, and these were his first and final movie roles.)

While pop culture is always fertile ground for lighthearted discussions, I also like to look at subjects from a numbers perspective. Here are some items about Cody Yellowstone that I find fascinating.

Park County covers 6,967 square miles.

6,967. Park County Wyoming covers 6,967 square miles. That is a big chunk of land, almost 15 times the size of all five boroughs of New York City.

30,000. We have less than 30,000 residents in our county. The Big Apple, on the other hand, has around 8.5 million.

4.1. There are just over four residents per square mile in Cody Yellowstone.

53. More than half – 53 percent – of Yellowstone National Park is located in Park County.

3. In our vast county are just three municipalities – Cody, Powell and Meeteetse.

5. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is comprised of five museums: Buffalo Bill Read More


Psst, Want to Win a Free Trip to the 100th...

October 25th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I love chatting up multi-generational vacationers. They are easy to spot as the little ones clearly enjoy being with the grandparents, and the grandparents enjoy spoiling the little ones. Meanwhile, the parents get to escape work, house maintenance and back-to-school shopping while “letting” the grandparents pick up dinner checks and buy souvenirs.

For many of these families, this is not their first trip to the coolest Western town ever. The parents and grandparents are busy pointing out local landmarks that really haven’t changed much. The Irma Hotel and other Sheridan Avenue structures look much the same. The Poker Church is a comforting site, and Cassie’s is a constant reminder of simpler times.

The one thing the older generations remember best, however, is our status as the “Rodeo Capital of the World.”

When I asked older (non-kid) visitors what they remember about their childhood visits to Cody and the area, far and away the most common answer is “the rodeo.”

Yes, we love our rodeo, and nobody remembers when it was not an integral part of our community. While the Nite Rodeo happens every night in June, July and August, the biggest summer event is the Cody Stampede Rodeo at the beginning of July.

In 2019, 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


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


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