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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


Dear Corrie – How to Enjoy Fall

September 14th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Dear Corrie, I am what you call a “football widower.” My wife is the fan in our family, and she spends her Saturdays watching the college games and Sundays glued to the NFL. Now that Labor Day is in the rearview mirror, how do you recommend I spend my weekends?

— Lonely in the Fall

Dear Lonely,

I hate to break this to you, honey, but it’s time for you to “cowboy up” and learn to appreciate the Cowboys, Broncos and, of course, the Buffalo Bills. I understand, however, that the world is full of people who can only stay inside for so long. I’m one of them myself, and I love to get away from it all to stand in the river casting for trout. Contact one of our local outfitters for equipment, tips and guide service. Just don’t mention the Bears. They make a couple of the guides nervous.

Dear Corrie, My husband is from New England, and he is a bit of a snob about fall scenery. Now that we live out West, where can I take him to appreciate the colors?

— Missing the Maples

Dear Missing,

There’s more to fall than colorful leaves. Unless your husband has rocks in his head, he should check out our, well, rocks. Rock formations Read More


When Wyoming Women Rocked the Vote

September 11th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Every November when I head to the polls, I give a quiet thanks to the all-male 1869 Wyoming territorial legislature that granted women the right to vote. In doing so, Wyoming became the first territory in the country to give suffrage to women.

I imagine the pride the women of the territory who populated the isolated Wyoming ranches, rough frontier towns and big, modern cities like Cheyenne must have felt as they went to the polls for the first time.

The story of how they earned that right is as wild and meandering as the Shoshone River on an early spring day, with elements of political gamesmanship, greed, bigotry and pragmatism. But mostly, it was because of love. Or lack of it. The miners, ranchers, railroad men, shopkeepers, cowboys and entrepreneurs of Wyoming were lonely. They needed wives, and there were only so many young, single teachers to go around.

Women of Wyoming were granted the right to vote in December 1869, long before their sisters in other parts of the country. The state will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the accomplishment throughout next year.

An uneducated but cagey and well-liked bigot named William Bright stars in this story. A saloonkeeper in the town Read More


Changing Seasons Means Changing Visitors

August 31st, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

End of summer has a different meaning to a lot of people.

Sticklers will tell you that the Autumnal Equinox marks the changing of seasons. Football fans can be a bit over-the-top with their arguments about whether fall begins with the first college or professional game of the season.

Here in the home of the Great American Adventure – Cody Yellowstone – there is a healthy contingent that goes into seasonal mourning after the final Cody Nite Rodeo is held.

For students, summer is over when school starts. Don’t get me started about the school year commencing before Labor Day; it’s just plain wrong.

Personally, I wave goodbye to summer the day after Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue calls it a wrap for the year. Don’t even try to get a hold of me on Sept. 30 as I will be curled up in a ball and feeling sorry for myself after the previous night’s finale.

When Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue shuts down for the season, certain people call it the end of summer.

Regardless, now that Labor Day is behind us we see a definite change on the streets, trails, streams and paths around here. There are fewer kids with just about all the schools back in session. We do see, 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


My Return to Colter’s Hell

August 20th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I returned to Colter’s Hell the other day. The real Colter’s Hell. The one that fur traders in the 1820s and 1830s named to honor the intrepid explorer who first saw it.

I’m a big fan of roadside historical markers, but I realized it had been ages since I had stopped to appreciate one of the most interesting ones near town.

Just west of downtown Cody, I stood in a roadside turnout beside a historical marker overlooking a seemingly calm Shoshone River, lined by steep canyons on either side. Every angler knows that this is one of the best fishing spots near town, and I saw a few of those in-the-know anglers finding their fishing Zen, oblivious to my binocular-aided voyeurism.

The real Colter’s Hell is located just west of downtown Cody.

John Colter was standing right there in 1807 as he watched flames rise from the Earth, smelled the rotten-egg odor of sulfur, saw steam rise from a turbulent river and heard rumblings beneath his feet as if the ground was experiencing hunger pangs. There stood the seasoned explorer, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition that had concluded the previous year and had made history as the first expedition to explore the West. Colter either stood alone or with Read More


It Really Has Been 30 Years Since the Big...

August 13th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Do you remember what you were doing 30 years ago?

I sure do.

For me the summer of 1988 was comprised of listening to Dan Miller 45’s, listening to Dan Miller on my transistor radio and monitoring the fires in Yellowstone National Park.

Yes, there are fires every year in the park and throughout the West. The good folks of California are going through an especially active and tragic fire season this year, but it is always a matter of how much acreage is going to burn, not if there will be fires.

Fire is nature’s way of cleaning out old unhealthy forests. Trees die on their own or develop disease, and a fire that burns through a forest doesn’t really “destroy” it. Forests regenerate, and we view them as in different stages at any given time.

Look at Yellowstone. We spent decades doing our best to suppress fires when they would start. In our minds it was only logical that you stop—or preferably prevent, according to Smokey Bear—fires. We still do our best to prevent human-caused fires, but we look at natural occurrences like lightning-started blazes differently.

The 1988 Yellowstone fires played a key role in our evolving approach. That summer was hot and dry Read More


Digging Up the Latest Fun Attraction

August 7th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I have a reputation for liking the unusual. That’s why a Corrie Tour around town often includes a church built with poker winnings, the grave of a guy called “Liver Eating” and a collection of Sears Roebuck mail order houses.

When I heard a few years ago that someone was starting a museum comprised of guns found everywhere from farmers’ field to battlefields I welcomed it with, well, open arms.

The Cody Dug Up Gun Museum is located on 12 th Street next to the Chamberlin Inn in downtown Cody and features more than 1,000 relic guns and other weapons. Owners Hans and Eva Kurth have collected guns found throughout the country and from many different time periods including the American Revolution, the Gold Rush Era, The United States Civil War, the Old West and Indian Wars, World War I, The Roaring ‘20s and World War II.

This flintlock pistol, circa 1770, appears to have been burned in a fire.

This free museum – donations are accepted – is one of my favorite combinations of serious and whimsical with truly fascinating stories – many of them untold – of lost and found. I wonder how that Remington Model 1858 .44 ended up buried Read More


Getting Ready for a Great Dam Day

July 27th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

On August 18th I’m going to have a great dam day. That’s when the Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center will stage its annual “Great Dam Day,” a celebration of one of the most extraordinary engineering accomplishments in the West. The free event includes a hike down the “old dam road,” kids events and interpretive information on display in the visitor center.

I try to always participate in this fun celebration, as it reminds me of the extraordinary accomplishments and uncommon determination of our town’s founder, Buffalo Bill Cody.

Corrie will be participating in the annual Great Dam Day to celebrate the town of Cody’s showcase Buffalo Bill Dam. Photos courtesy of the Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center.

Not only was he a world-renowned showman, Buffalo Bill possessed unusual logistical abilities and the brain of an engineer. When he selected a barren, windswept region of northwestern Wyoming for the namesake town he would develop, Cody knew that its success would depend on the most valuable resource in the American West: water.

Buffalo Bill wanted his town to become the tourism mecca that it is, and he knew that a dependable water source was essential not only for residents and visitors but also Read More


Coming soon: Cutt-Slam, Amelia and a...

July 23rd, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I’m a maniacal calendar-keeper, and when I combine my obligations with my to-do lists – all noted in a shorthand of acronyms and emoticons– the month-view looks like a color-coded mess. Not only do I note the event itself, but I also add before-the-event reminders. A week before a dentist appointment, for example, there will multiple days of all-caps reminders to FLOSS! It’s my mother’s fault. A prolific letter-writer and calendar-keeper herself, Mom taught me that white space is a sign of weakness.

Mom’s a bit of a nut.

Still, those skills have come in handy countless times, and my format allows me to quickly view my schedule. As I was reviewing the next three months, I was reminded of some exciting times ahead.

There’s an entry on Aug 15 that reads: Cuz Bob Cutt-Slam, and every day of the week leading up to that entry there’s this note: DF Gear Up CB Cutt-Slam. Any guesses? In Corrie-speak, that means “don’t forget to check your gear so you’re ready to join Cousin Bob for a day of cutthroat trout fishing in Cody Yellowstone Country as he goes after his Wyoming Game and Fish Cutt-Slam certificate.”

Corrie and her cousin will be fishing for Yellowstone Cutthroat.

Cousin Bob is an enthusiastic angler whose Read More