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Ornithologists R Us

May 22nd, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

“Ornithology is for the birds,” I remarked to my friends early this winter while waiting for my daily latte at the local coffee shop. You should have heard the not-so-subtle groans and seen the exaggerated eye-rolling when I uttered those words. I thought I was being clever. I guess I was the only one.

The Cody Yellowstone region is home to more than 300 species of birds. Bald Eagles like this one spotted just a couple of miles from downtown Cody can be found every season of the year.

Better back up. Over the last few months I have become increasingly interested in the raptors, songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl and other birds who have the great fortune to experience Cody Yellowstone from the sky. My wildlife watching interests had previously been primarily focused on the four-legged kind. Especially the glam species, like bison, elk, wolves and bears.

Then one day last December, in what I estimate was a four-second span, I watched a Golden Eagle soar from the sky and pluck a Goldeneye from a stream, causing this common duck to drop its own dinner of still-flopping trout before it became the eagle’s dinner. A brutal moment. But beautiful too.

A Golden Eagle 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

Wildlife Success Stories

January 28th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Here in Cody Yellowstone we spend a lot of time outdoors working, playing and adventuring.

With our rivers, streams and lakes supporting some of the best fish habitat in the world, fishing is huge. Because of our abundant wildlife and wide-open spaces, hunting is a part of our collective personality and something that families share and pass along to succeeding generations.

What might surprise a lot people is that serious hunters and anglers are among the most fervent stewards of the environment. It’s common to “Catch and Release” trout, and “Leave no Trace” is more of a lifestyle than slogan in my neighborhood.

And while more than one friend of mine has complained about wolves, bears, prairie dogs, bison and other species, I do not know anyone who truly believes we should hunt animals to extinction.

There was a time, however, where it seemed like there would always be plenty of wildlife and the thought of a complete species being obliterated was too outlandish to even consider.

I am proud to say that our region has been the site of more than one conservation success story even though we came way too close to wiping out certain species.

Here are a few examples:

Bison

Bison were close 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


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


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


Corrie’s Favorite Wildlife Moment

November 16th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Wildlife sightings happen in Cody Yellowstone, sometimes when you’re least expecting them. And those are the wildlife moments I will always remember best.

In all my years of living in Cody, I’ve seen plenty of critters.

I’ve seen eagles galore, bison aplenty, bears occasionally, moose when I’m lucky, bighorn sheep and elk frequently and pronghorn almost daily. I’ve spotted wolves in every season, and I’ve watched their pups roll around in snow and mud with all the joy of a domesticated dog.

Moose can sometimes be spotted near the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

I’ve viewed osprey determinedly building their nests. I’ve laughed at the antics of river otters at play. I’ve watched fox and coyotes on the hunt. I’ve listened to the birdsong of who-knows-how-many species. With the help of my spotting scope, I’ve watched mountain goats maneuver along the precipices of high, rugged cliffs. I’ve been victimized by cunning ravens who have learned to unzip untended packs and steal the contents in the blink of an eye. I’ve seen predators gorge on their prey, and I’ve seen potential prey – the wily ones – avoid becoming the dinner of their hunters.

But none of these sightings compare to watching a mountain 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


Maps and Trivia: Who Could ask for More?

November 5th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

There are a couple of things (maybe more, just saying) about me that my friends like to tease.

One is that I love trivia. While some might comment on my recall of factoids and say that I am full of “useless knowledge,” I say that you never know when an item can spark a conversation or lead to something truly fascinating. I explained once to a friend’s daughter that Telluride, Colorado got its moniker from miners who shortened “To Hell You Ride” into the town’s name. She rolled her eyes like all good teenagers do and left the room. A few weeks later I caught her in the act of retelling one of her friends what I had shared.

She doesn’t tease me anymore, and we always get a good laugh.

A second quirk I have is that I love looking at maps. I get this from my dad who would spread out state and national maps on the kitchen table where he would plan a route for our vacations or holiday visits. The two of us would have deep discussions about tolls, speed limits, timing and such until we agreed on our best route to get two states over.

One of my friends spotted Read More