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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

Have you heard the news?

February 26th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

“Have you heard the news?” As I was making the rounds on Sheridan Avenue on a clear February day last week, at least six of my friends and neighbors posed that question to me. Each time, I answered with the question, “which news?”

Cody Yellowstone is chock full of enough news to keep even the most prolific local journalists in stories. And there have been plenty of stories lately.

You already know about the 100th anniversary of the Cody Stampede this year. Planners are in meeting mode to nail down details like the parade theme and to choose a grand marshal. This year’s Stampede runs from Sunday, July 1 through Wednesday, July 4. We know there will be a great line-up of PRCA rodeos, parades, concerts, fairs and fireworks, and we’re all still waiting to hear about this year’s parade theme and grand marshal. Stampede tickets go on sale on March 1, and yours truly will be at the Stampede Park ticket office as soon as it opens that morning.

My history- and art-loving friends are super stoked that the By Western Hands Museum & Archives is opening in downtown Cody this summer. Years in the planning, this new attraction is Read More


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

My Favorite Niece is Coming to Visit This Year

January 21st, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

In my family I am hands-down the favorite aunt. It’s a rite of passage in my family to send the kids to visit me here in Cody Yellowstone so that I can indoctrinate the next generation into the joys of listening to cowboy music, riding horses, gazing at geysers and learning that history is more than stories found in a book.

I once heard “the cousins” comparing notes about their trips out West and what they liked best about spending a week with Auntie Corrie. They all had their favorite attractions, and I loved hearing them talk about whether or not Old Trail Town was better than the Wild West Shootout or who served the best ice cream in town.

I do worry that they might be getting a little too entitled when they argue which hotel rooms in Yellowstone National Park have the best views and which restaurants serve the best prime rib, but they are all good kids who understand the value of hard work.

And while she doesn’t know it yet, my favorite niece is coming to visit this summer after missing her annual trip to see me last summer.

Corrie will be waiting in the terminal at Cody’s Read More


Dear Corrie Helps Grandparents, Hockey...

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

Dear Corrie,

I am fortunate to be watching my grandson and will be in your area soon for a couple of days. Little Billy Bubba burns about 30,000 calories per day and wears out tennis shoes every two weeks. What activity do you recommend that is fun, affordable and, best of all, will tire him out?

— Lucky Granddad

Dear Lucky,

While you might be prone to exaggeration, I’m not making things up when I say you should introduce Master William to Sleeping Giant Ski Area. For just $16 you can purchase a half-day lift ticket for the next Bodie Miller, and your lift ticket will be $36. If that is still not enough exercise, head over to the Paul Stock Aquatic & Recreation Center. You should have enough cash left over for plenty of refueling and to apply toward new shoes.

Sleeping Giant Ski Area is fun, affordable and a great way to get kids outside.

Dear Corrie,

My husband just left the house with our grandson, a cooler full of food and the car top carrier loaded with ski equipment. I am looking forward to a few days of quiet and the opportunity to air out the house to get rid of the smell Read More


This Year I’m Finally Going to Fire the...

January 2nd, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

It took four men to fire the Model 1862 Gatling Gun during the Civil War, but I’m going to fire it all by myself in 2019…with a little help from the instructors at the Cody Firearms Experience.

The Gatling gun, also known as Patent 36,836, was an early version of the rotary canon. It featured multiple barrels, a cooling system and a synchronized firing and reloading mechanism. First used during the Civil War, the gun is a forerunner to the modern machine gun.

The Model 1862 Gatling Gun is one of dozens of replica firearms available at the Cody Firearms Experience indoor shooting range.

The Model 1862 Gatling gun was invented by a serial inventor from Indiana, Richard Jordan Gatling, in 1862 to accomplish battlefield victories with fewer casualties.

As a lifelong student of American history, I’ve found that studying and understanding the history of firearms can be a solid way to learn about the ideological thinking of the times. That’s one of the many reasons I’m so lucky to live in Cody Yellowstone Country.

The Cody Firearms Experience features a variety of working replicas of important guns through history, and the largest of those of course is the Model 1862 Gatling Read More


Firearms-Inspired Western Colloquialisms

December 17th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Studying the firearms that have been possessed by Western soldiers, farmers, hunters, mountain men and pioneers as well as legendary personalities like Buffalo Bill Cody can be instructive for students of history like myself.

Some firearms are almost romantic in their artistry, like Buffalo Bill Cody’s Winchester 1873 lever-action rifle that features engravings of a standing buffalo on one side and Buffalo Bill Cody on horseback chasing a running buffalo on the other. Some firearms are clunky. Some are downright terrifying.

Buffalo Bill Cody was often photographed and depicted with firearms.

There are several places in Cody Yellowstone for visitors to learn more about the history of firearms and their impact on our lives. The Cody Firearms Experience lets visitors shoot replica guns at a high-tech indoor shooting range under the instruction of experienced staff. The Cody Dug Up Firearms Museum features an extensive exhibit of guns that have been unearthed from battlegrounds, farms, fields and other locations around the world. One of the best places to go for a comprehensive understanding of the impact of firearms is the Cody Firearms Museum, one of five museums at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The museum traces the evolution of Read More


Corrie’s Go-To Guide for the Holidays

November 26th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Cody Yellowstone is in full-tinsel mode, and it’s easy to find the holiday spirit anywhere you look. Every shop window is beautifully decorated with displays of artwork, jewelry, clothes and jackets. As I gaze with longing at the authentic offerings, I feel a little like Ralphie coveting a Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock.

The season isn’t just about shopping though. There are events galore throughout the town Cody as well as in nearby Powell and Meeteetse, and every one of them is sure to have waist-enhancing goodies, highly stimulated kiddos and surprises galore.

Cody offers so many ways to celebrate the season that sometimes it’s hard to experience every event. But I’m sure going to try.

Here are the events on my calendar this year.

Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1 – Country Christmas Gift Show and Winter Nights Magical Lights in Powell, Wyo. The gift show includes local performers and a lighted parade. Santa arrives with the Powell Fire Department.

Saturday, Dec. 1 – Holiday Open House at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This memorable day at our world-renowned museum includes inspired holiday decorations throughout all five museums, live Read More


Thanksgiving at the Corrie N. Cody House

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

It’s the most wonderful day of the year, and I’m not talking about that December holiday when the fat man brings gadgets and Dads and Moms double-check their supply of AA batteries.

No, the most wonderful day of the year is Thanksgiving, at least at the Corrie N. Cody household. Every year, my house swells with the love and friendship of my guests, and my dining room table groans under the weight of abundance. Like many tables in the country, mine will include a variety of casseroles, salads, sides and sweets that reflect the ethnic heritage and the family traditions of my guests.

I’m always in charge of the turkey, dressing, gravy and green bean casserole. Oui. That green bean casserole. The one that includes French fried onion rings from a can, fresh from the factory and lacking anything resembling an onion.

I make that casserole to honor my Uncle Jim, who I miss dearly. His lack of culinary sophistication was legend in my family. He would eat anything with equal relish – a stale potato chip dipped in ketchup, dill pickles with leftover tomato soup, mashed potatoes with chocolate sauce. Uncle Jim never talked about how he was starved as a prisoner Read More