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They’re Guidelines, Not Rules

July 4th, 2017 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

There’s a certain rhythm in Cody as late spring turns into summer.

In April and May as tourism starts to build with empty nesters and home schoolers making their way into and through town, I can feel the anticipation building as our seasonal attractions like the Nite Rodeo and chuckwagon dinners open and year-round operations see business pick up.

I see more unfamiliar faces and hear various languages as the summer workforce is supplemented by both American and international employees looking for experiences as much as they are seeking work. Over the years I have grown to know countless people who answered ads in some faraway place to come spend the summer working in our darn near perfect corner of Wyoming.

This season has been hopping, and the energy level has been great, but the end of June means the Cody Stampede and Fourth of July are upon us. That means more professional rodeo cowboys, live music in our downtown honkytonks, a couple of parades and guests in our houses. More people who have moved away show up for this weekend than they do for Christmas would be my guess.

Families really start to show up in June and keep us hopping all the Read More

Celebrating Our Country’s Birthday with...

June 29th, 2017 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I am lucky enough to live in a town that stages one of the best July 4 celebrations around. I tell my out-of-town friends that July 4 is so big around here that it takes five days to celebrate it. The capstone event – after days of parades, music, fairs and all-around fun – is the Cody Stampede Fireworks display.

The Cody Stampede fireworks cap off five days of July 4th celebrations that also include PRCA-sanctioned rodeo events, parades, music and festivals.

It won’t be long now before I find myself once again in the stands at the Cody Stampede awaiting Cody’s version of the world’s biggest simultaneous display of pyrotechnics. The stands will be packed, and I’ll be surrounded by my friends, each of us garishly adorned in red, white and blue clothing, accessories and face paint.

Locals and visitors alike line Sheridan Avenue to watch the Cody Stampede parades.

If any of my fashionista friends are appalled, I will remind them that they have John Adams to blame. Yes, that John Adams. Our country’s second president, famous pen pal to Thomas Jefferson and inspiration for a catchy song in the Broadway musical “1776.” (“Sit down, John! Sit down, John! For Read More

I Could Have Been a Frontier Woman

June 26th, 2017 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (2)

There are many days when I’ve just had it with memes and emoticons, endless Google ads, thoughtless selfie-takers, high fructose corn syrup, Sheridan Avenue speeders and agonizingly slow Internet. Well, not many days. Just yesterday, which started with slow Internet, ended with being included in an insane group text that was filled with smiley-, laughy-, frowny- and weepy-face emoticons and was filled in between with one petty annoyance after another.

I needed a break. I left my smartphone at home and visited Old Trail Town, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer. Old Trail Town is a collection of 26 authentic cabins and buildings that show visitors what it was like to live in the Wyoming frontier. A visit to Old Trail Town is good therapy for over-stimulated, hyper-sensitive, wound-way-too-tight me.

Curley’s Cabin belonged to a Crow scout who lived in the cabin on the Crow Reservation in Montana from 1885 to 1923. Curley survived the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Old Trail Town was started by a Wyoming native named Bob Edgar, whose passion for the history of the region and his work as an archaeologist for the Buffalo Bill Center of the West propelled his quest to preserve authentic frontier Read More

The Summer Solstice Marathon, Corrie Style

June 19th, 2017 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Ever since I was just a little girl I have been fascinated with the summer solstice.

My father was fond of rousting me out of bed with his favorite clichés like “Time to make hay while the sun is shining” and “Get up, we’re burning daylight.”

Some of my friends were jealous because while their schedule was determined by the clock I was always allowed to stay out until sunset, regardless of what time that was.

Even though I am a tad older, I still love the longest day of the year. In fact, one of these years I am either going to retire or take a leave of absence from my job as tourism ambassador of Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country and make a beeline due north. I want to start around Memorial Day and point my pickup and teardrop camper toward the North Pole with the goal of being as far north as I can drive on June 21. The concept of a midnight sun is fascinating, and I want to experience it soon.

Which brings me to my annual summer solstice marathon. When the sun rises June 21 at 5:31:37 a.m. (yes, I time it to the second) I will be dressed Read More

It’s Powwow Time

June 12th, 2017 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country we take authenticity seriously, and I am living proof.

Take a look in my closet and you’ll say, “You don’t have a lot of shoes, but your collection of cowboy boots sure is impressive.” Ditto for my hats and jeans. I would love to say the same for my shirts, but my Dan Miller t-shirt collection works against me.

Like everybody I know, I am a good horseback rider and can hold my own on the dance floor as long as the dances are line, square or two-step.

But when it comes to authenticity, we all take a back seat every June when the annual Plains Indian Museum Powwow comes to town. Held this year June 17 and 18 at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Robbie Powwow Garden, the powwow is in its 36th year and is renowned for bringing together Native American dancers, drum groups, families, artisans and spectators.

I always make sure I have a good seat on the lawn for the grand entries which will start off this year with dance sessions at noon and 6 p.m. Saturday, June 17, and noon Sunday, June 18. As participants make their way into the powwow Read More

The Sheriff and Deputy are Our Marshals,...

June 5th, 2017 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

The secret’s out, and the 98th-annual Cody Stampede just got a whole lot sexier.

Every year Cody Stampede board members secretly select a grand marshal to become the ceremonial town leader on one of the most important days of the year. A perfect grand marshal is steadfast, accomplished, recognizable and most of all, certain to embrace the sometimes solemn, sometimes silly duties as the leader of Wyoming’s largest Independence Day parade.

The board has just announced that this year’s grand marshal duties will be jointly undertaken by Robert Taylor, the rugged, blue-eyed Aussie who plays Sheriff Walt Longmire, and Adam Bartley, whose on-screen persona is Deputy Archie “The Ferg” Ferguson in the A&E “Longmire” series. Longmire and The Ferg play earnest and reliably brave lawmen who ensure the safety of townsfolk and protect the collective moral backbone of the fictional town of Durant, Wyoming.

Australian actor Robert Taylor, who plays Sheriff Longmire in the A&E series, will be one of two grand marshals in this year’s Cody Stampede parade. He will be joined by actor Adam Bartley, whose onscreen persona is Deputy Archie “The Ferg” Ferguson.

This Wyoming cowgirl couldn’t be more excited.

Mr. Taylor and Mr. Bartley will be joining the likes of Read More

Summer’s Unofficial Kick-Off

May 23rd, 2017 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

While Memorial Day means burgers, beer and a day off work in many places, here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, it also means that summer has arrived. By Memorial Day, nearly all of Cody’s famous summer attractions have opened, and visitors from around the world have begun to arrive.

Here’s what those visitors can experience after Memorial Day weekend:

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Heart Mountain World War II Interpretive Center, and the galleries and shops on Sheridan Avenue begin summer-season hours.  The world-renowned Center of the West is celebrating its 100th anniversary with special exhibitions this summer like “Cody to the World!,” opening June 2 in the museum’s Special Exhibitions Gallery.

The Cody Trolley offers as many as four daily tours. I always suggest that new visitors to Cody launch their vacations with this interpretive tour that introduces the history of Buffalo Bill Cody and the town he built.

The Cody Trolley’s one-hour tour is a great way for visitors to learn about Buffalo Bill Cody and the town he founded.

The Cody Nite Rodeo begins its nightly performances. The first rodeo is Thursday, June 1, and visitors can experience the longest running nightly summer rodeo in the world until it Read More

I took the pledge and you should too!

May 15th, 2017 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

And we’re off! The East Gate to Yellowstone National Park has opened, and my friends and I have already passed through the popular entrance for our first park experience of the year.  Around here, we call it the “Wildest Way into Yellowstone”.

The National Park Service rangers were all smiles as they welcomed my carload of adventurers. We had our binoculars around our necks and spotting scopes packed in the trunk, ready to quickly set up in the event of a wildlife sighting. Bears, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, eagles, foxes, coyotes, mule deer…we know that wildlife sightings in the spring can be frequent and close to the road.

Some Yellowstone visitors get far too close to bison and other wildlife in the park.

As we arrived at the gate, our friendly ranger provided us with park information and a map. And we also learned about the park’s new Safe Selfie policy and the accompanying push encouraging park visitors to “Take the Yellowstone Pledge (#YellowstonePledge).”

It’s a verbal pledge encouraging visitors to be aware of their own safety and the safety of the wildlife in the park. It’s a promise that you make to yourself.  Yellowstone’s wildlife roam freely right along with its visitors, Read More

The Lilacs Will Soon Be in Bloom, and We...

May 1st, 2017 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Cody is beginning its annual color parade. The lilacs that are so prolific in Cody will soon show their colors in hedges along the roads, in private yards and on the grounds of elegantly manicured hotels and museums.

I adore these hardy plants for their perpetual optimism. Even when winter is throwing final tantrums of snow, damp and cold, lilacs gracefully go about the business of being beautiful. They do this when we’re not paying attention. Today, they were saggy and brown; soon they will be vibrant and aromatic.

The aroma of lilacs can be enjoyed throughout Cody.

A metaphor, perhaps, for my own life. I pack away the heavy blacks and browns and pull out the frilly, flowy yellows, oranges and purples.  I smell lilacs outside and Lysol inside my home. I crave clean windows and a neat closet. I trim back the crispy remains of my perennials and plant ostentatious pansies in their wake. My spring fever will shift into overdrive as soon as the lilacs appear. Because now, there is little time to waste. Summer will soon be here.

When the lilacs appear, a switch is thrown throughout the town, and summer-season attractions step up the preparations. Yesterday I saw Read More

My Niece has Nature Deficit Disorder....

April 25th, 2017 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Richard Louv’s groundbreaking 2005 book about nature deficit disorder, “Last Child in the Woods,” could have been written about my lovely niece Mary, except she was just an infant, and her fingers weren’t strong enough yet to hold an iPhone. When I flew from Yellowstone Country to New York for her second birthday, finger strength was clearly no longer an issue. That child had more electronics at two than I’ve owned in my lifetime.

Mary’s a city kid who is comfortable in cabs, knows her way around a museum and understands theater etiquette, but in her 13 years she has never jumped into a river, climbed a mountain, ridden a horse or camped in the woods. I find this troubling. So, for her 13th birthday, I bought her a plane ticket and convinced her parents that a full week in Yellowstone Country and the undivided attention of Aunt Corrie would be good for her.

Then I remembered how at 13 my demeanor was comparable to that of bull elk during the rut. When I wasn’t sleeping, I was eating or butting heads with my brother. What was I thinking? What would I do with a teenage city slicker?

Fortunately for me, Buffalo Bill’s Read More