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Quieting Down? Not Even Close

July 9th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Even though we weren’t root, root rooting for our team, the just-completed Cody Stampede always feels like Homecoming Weekend to us here in Cody Yellowstone.

And considering this was our centennial celebration there were more familiar faces than normal along the parade route, in the stands at rodeo, on the dance floor at Cassie’s, bellied up to the bars at the Silver Dollar and Pat O’Haras. 

I had to laugh when some new friends who moved here this spring commented that once the Stampede was done things would quiet down. They did not realize that our summer would hum along for quite a while and that many of our attractions are either open just for the summer or host most of their guests during the traditional vacation months when school is out.

Here are some of my suggestions for activities you should check out before the end of summer:

Experience the rodeo. The Cody Nite Rodeo is often travelers’ first rodeo experience. Open nightly from June 1 through August 31, the rodeo features riders, ropers, bull riders and bronc busters from all over the country.  Watch the wacky Wild Bunch perform a “gunfight” with a gun safety message. The place to be on summer evenings Read More

June Means New Activities, Including Rafting

June 17th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

So much happens here in Cody Yellowstone when June arrives.

The lights go on at the rodeo grounds, and the Cody Nite Rodeo starts entertaining visitors and introducing new generations to bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing and Dolly Parton jokes.

The Cody Gunfighters put on a play that is equal parts shoot-em-up, gun safety and “photo opps.”

Dan Miller and his Cowboy Music Revue combine terrific acoustic music with Western humor and the occasional dash of cowboy poetry.

The dude and guest ranches saddle up the horses, bake the beans and remind parents that there aren’t apps for the things that truly bring families together.

Many people have taken their first ride at a dude or guest ranch in Cody/Yellowstone.

A common theme I hear on my near-daily jaunts down Sheridan Avenue is that people want to try new activities. More people than I can count have cast their first flies on one of our lakes or rivers. The biggest thrill for folks from Florida is often finding a patch of snow and throwing a snowball in June. Shopping for a cowboy hat is a new experience for those not old enough to remember when Urban Cowboy came out.

The region is known 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


125 Pounds of Grit: Buffalo Bill and the...

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

Yesterday, drivers from the trifecta of home delivery services – the U. S. Postal Service, UPS and Federal Express – rang the doorbell at my home in Cody and dropped off packages with an inane array of everyday stuff: shampoo, batteries, a shirt and some athletic shoes. It reminded me of just how easy it is for packages to be delivered from there to here these days. But I still prefer to buy my Dan Miller CDs in person.

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody would have been amused, I think. He was just 11 when his father died, leaving behind a wife, four daughters and William. As the only man in the family, off to work went William.

Most of his early jobs involved getting stuff from one place to another. He drove an ox-team at the age of 11, became a messenger boy on a westbound bull train at the age of 12 and was promoted to assistant wagon master at 13. When he turned 14 – an age when boys today are playing “Zombicide Black Plague” (I’m not kidding; that’s what my sister’s 14-year- old son plays with his friends) – Buffalo Bill Cody embarked on his third career: Pony Read More


How Buffalo Bill Got His Name

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

We were this close to having a Buffalo Bill Comstock, but fortunately for all of us, Colonel William F. Cody was a savvy billiards player.

The story of how the founder of my little town of Cody, Wyoming earned his world-famous nickname is quirky, grisly and difficult to believe. Story elements include fierce competition, a ruthless lady and a testosterone-fueled feat of endurance. It is a story that could have been concocted by Zane Gray and turned into a Hollywood production by John Ford. I can envision Clint Eastwood in the starring role, assuming he could grow the mustache. In this case, though, truth is stranger than fiction.

After the Civil War where he served with distinction as a Union scout and soldier in the cavalry, 21-year- old William F. Cody put his sharpshooter skills to work as a buffalo hunter charged with supplying meat to railroad workers along the Kansas Pacific Railroad.

In just 18 months, he shot 4,282 buffalo. That’s about 13 bison a day. The man was busy. (Buffalo, by the way, was the incorrect but common term back then for the then-plentiful American Bison that roamed the prairie in herds so vast that they appeared to be massive, moving brown spots on the earth when witnessed from atop the Read More


That Time Buffalo Bill Cody Rode for Royalty

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

I have been watching “The Crown” nearly every night so far of this cold, frosty February. I can’t get enough of it. I’m fascinated by the slice-of- life stories of a young and dignified Queen of England as she faces crisis after crisis, standing large and strong against a rotating roster of stodgy parliamentarians – all men – as they cajole and connive to maintain their powerful positions.

Google that scene where Queen Elizabeth takes Winston Churchill to task for putting his own pride before the security of the country. Trust me; it’s fun.

While I’m certainly happy that we don’t have a monarchy here in the U.S., our country’s founders having had the good sense to eschew curtsies, crowns and excessive pageantry in favor of a three-branch government of laws, I do have a certain fondness for all things royal. So did Buffalo Bill Cody.

In the spring of 1887, Buffalo Bill Cody boarded the “State of Nebraska,” a massive steamship, along with some 200 performers – cowboys, sharpshooters, musicians, American Indians – as well as 180 horses, 18 bison, 10 elk, 10 mules, five steers and a variety of items for set construction including a stagecoach and materials to build temporary tepees and log cabins. After many days sailing through stormy Read More


What if Buffalo Bill Had the Internet?

November 4th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (2)

A couple of weeks ago, the Cody Enterprise ran a story with the news that William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody would be inducted into the Wyoming Business Hall of Fame in November, and that story has been the talk of the town ever since.

It’s been 98 years since Buffalo Bill died, but historians are still examining the impact he made on the town he founded as well as his business acumen.

Buffalo Bill Cody was the most famous man of his time.

My friends and I were discussing the story and we started speculating about what would have happened if Buffalo Bill had lived with access to our modern-day Internet. Just for fun, here are some of our fantastical ideas:

The logistics of coordinating “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show” would have been a comparative breeze. The Wild West Show included hundreds of performers as well as animals, and Buffalo Bill had to make sure they were fed, housed and healthy. They also had to practice their performances, perform the shows and then pack up and move on to the next location. Every performer would have had a smart phone, and Buffalo Bill could have emailed critiques of their performances, texted their practice Read More


Two Great Days in One

June 18th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

This Sunday marks the convergence of two of my favorite days – the Summer Solstice and Father’s Day.

On the solstice I like to conduct my annual “as-long-as-it’s-daylight-I-am-doing-something” day. It’s sort of a weeklong Cody vacation compressed into 16½ hours. That means I am outside and active. I know a few people who could spend the whole day in a saddle, on the river or hiking a trail. I plan on doing all of those things and more.

The Cody area provides many opportunities to take a scenic hike.

This year will be special, however, as I have convinced my father (he doesn’t like it when I refer to him as “my old man”) to join me. That means we have to eat our breakfast and be out of the house by the time the sun rises officially at 5:31 a.m. That won’t be a problem for an old rancher like my father who has been getting up early pretty much all of his life. The hard part will be keeping him awake until the sun sets at 9:04 p.m.

I thought we would start with a hike to help get the blood pumping and to take advantage of our cool Cody mornings. Read More


Cody Holidays Like No Others

May 4th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Like many of my townsfolk here in Cody, I took Friday off. At least in spirit, I did.

No, it’s not an early Cinco de Mayo, and I am not like my accountant who celebrates the end of tax season by turning out the lights, locking the doors and sneaking off for her version of Spring Break (or as I call it, “CPAs Gone Wild”).

It takes weeks for plows to clear snow and ice from the Cody/Yellowstone East Entrance Road.

I read the other day that the director of our chamber of commerce thinks May 1 should be a town holiday because the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park opened that day. Even though said gate is 52 spectacular miles up the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway, we see a marked change in the traffic patterns as out-of-town visitors return for the season.

Let’s face it. We in Cody love our tourists, in fact many refer to them as “guests”. Several of our businesses are built upon visitors who have discovered over the years just how much there is to do on a Wyoming Vacation. The mixture of new, returning and multi-generational visitors has created an atmosphere that makes a visit to Cody Read More


Cody/Yellowstone Country — Unplugged

October 28th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I appreciate the irony that comes with my telling you – in a blog read by people on computers, tablets and phones – that around here in Yellowstone Country we are pretty good at riding horses, fishing for trout and putting away our electronics.

Sure, the cell phone coverage in Cody is good and a wi-fi connection is easily found. The cable company was my friend this week as I watched baseball’s World Series and Thursday Night Football featuring the Broncos and Chargers. I might even have caught up on a guilty pleasure (slow down, Jax) or two.

A vacation in Cody, however, is best done when you unplug. I get it that sometimes you need to check your e-mail or follow up with someone back in the office. I have one friend whose attitude is that cell phones should be confiscated at the airport (or the Wyoming border if you are driving) and there should be rules against their use on city streets, in parks, at the beach and basically anywhere within three miles of him when he is outside. Even though I have pointed out to one him for several years now that connectivity allows me to get away more Read More