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I’m Volunteering at By Western Hands....

May 14th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When I was a kid I remember my parents jumping in to help friends and neighbors when a big job came up.

One time the couple next door decided to lay down sod in their front yard. As they started to pick up those heavy rolls and unroll them, you could hear the doors open and shut as one neighbor after another showed up to help. In less than a half hour, some 10 people had completed what would have been a long, hot and backbreaking job for two people.

Scenes like that were common. Nobody expected a direct or immediate payback. We all knew that the day would come when someone needed help and that somebody else would step up.

In my family this attitude was not confined to laying sod, changing tires or nailing up sheetrock. We would volunteer to take tickets at fundraisers at the Center of the West, sell hot dogs at the high school sporting events, wash Dan Miller’s car and help the staff at the hospital. Okay, just kidding about Dan. He can wash his own car.

Combine my parents’ example with our newest attraction in town, and you knew I would be first in line Read More


The East Gate is Open

May 8th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

If you remember my “Corrie Calendar” you know that I have this strange, mystical and almost creepy ability to tell what the date is – sorta, kinda – based upon weird factors. Just as the smell of leaves burning tells some people to turn on the television to watch college football, I know that roof racks full of skis and snow boards signals the opening of Sleeping Giant and hunting season is upon us when men in fashionable orange clothing are chowing down at the Proud Cut.

And a historic yellow bus heading into town from the direction of the Buffalo Bill Dam means that the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park is open.

Most of the roads inside the park are closed to regular wheeled vehicles during the winter. You can drive from Gardner, Mont. to Mammoth Hot Springs to Roosevelt Lodge and then east through Lamar Valley to Cooke City, Mont. where the road is closed again. The rest of the park roads are open only to over-the-snow vehicles such as snowmobiles and snow coaches. Many of the tracked vehicles, including the famed Bombardiers, have been replaced the past few years by fun modern coaches with oversized tires.

The Lake Yellowstone Hotel is always worth a visit.

So much of Yellowstone Read More


Where Else Would I go on “National Prime...

April 29th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

What did you have for dinner Saturday? You might have to think about it, but as soon as I heard it was “National Prime Rib Day” it was a no-brainer for me.

I headed straight to the Irma Hotel which serves Wyoming’s best prime rib special, according to the web site Cheapism. Locals and out-of-towners alike have been enjoying this tender cut of beef for as long as we could hold a knife and fork, and many people I chat with say they remember going to the Cody Nite Rodeo and eating the Irma’s prime rib as kids. As adults they have returned to do the same with their own children and grandchildren.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Irma Hotel was built by Buffalo Bill and named for his daughter. The hotel’s famous room-long cherry wood bar – still in use today in what is now the hotel dining room – was presented to Buffalo Bill Cody by England’s Queen Victoria. Like most kids, my nieces and nephews love watching the antics of the summer-season Cody Wild Bunch gunfighters from the porch of the hotel before enjoying buffet-style dinners in the charming Western-themed dining room.

The cherry wood Read More


Vote Early, Vote Often

April 11th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

It could have been Al Capone. Or possibly it was Chicago Mayor Richard Daley or his mayoral predecessor William Hale Thompson. We’ll never be sure which jokester with nefarious notions encouraged minions to “vote early, vote often,” but it’s darn good advice now that USA Today has identified Cody Yellowstone as a contender in a Reader’s Choice competition to choose the best historic small town in the U.S.

The media giant has just released a list of 20 historic towns from Arizona to West Virginia. Cody is the only town from Wyoming to make the list. This is one contest where your vote matters again and again and again. You can vote once every day until the contest is over at the end of the month. At that point the folks on the Reader’s Choice staff will launch an epic publicity blitz to showcase the winners in all of the categories, which also includes small towns known for adventure, shopping and food.

Cody is one of 20 US towns that have been nominated for a USA Today/10Best Reader’s Choice award for the best historic small town in the country.

Voting is easy. Sign up here and then vote every day. As of Read More


Is Thomas Molesworth in Your House?

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

If your living room has a table with elk antler legs or a credenza with a carved silhouette of a cowboy, you might just have Thomas Molesworth in your house.

Thomas Molesworth and his Cody-based Shoshone Furniture Company created furniture and artwork in a distinctive design that became popular in dude ranches, rustic lodges, homes and other buildings. Known as “Western style” or sometimes “cowboy style,” the always-functional pieces incorporate aesthetic elements found in nature or reflective of the Western lifestyle, such as wood burls, large brass tacks, Native American weavings, cowboy and wildlife motifs, leather elements and vertical poles.

Furniture designer Thomas Molesworth created rustic Western-style furniture.

Soon after opening his furniture company in 1933 in a storefront location in Cody, Molesworth received his first big break when his furniture caught the eye of Philadelphia Enquirer publisher Moses Annenberg. The affluent, influential Easterner was on a mission to furnish Ranch A, a 700-acre complex in eastern Wyoming – now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a U.S. Historic District.  Molesworth was commissioned to create nearly 250 pieces of furniture for the log lodge. His designs were quickly noticed, and commissions for the Shoshone Furniture Company took off. Read More


Theodore Roosevelt’s Lasting Impact on...

February 11th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

With Presidents Day approaching, I am reminded of the many U.S. presidents who visited the Cody Yellowstone region throughout history. Some came for personal vacations and some came in official dignitary capacity. Some came for a brief park visit and photo op and others left a lasting mark on the park. One of those presidents was Theodore Roosevelt.

It is widely known that one of the most adventurous and pro-conservation U.S. presidents in history was Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, a New Yorker who became the youngest president in history when he swore his oath as a 42-year-old after the 1901 assassination of William McKinley.

Born to a wealthy family, Roosevelt was a sickly child who as a teen, and with the encouragement of his father built up his body and physical endurance through weightlifting, boxing and other physical pursuits.

Sharply intelligent and driven, Roosevelt quickly ticked off personal milestones – Harvard, law school, wife, baby – and took his first position in the world of politics on the New York State Assembly.

His professional and personal trajectories were suddenly halted, however, when his mother and wife died on the same day in February 1884. Grief-stricken, Roosevelt left his child in 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


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


Enduring Friendships – With Fireworks

October 30th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

We all have that one friend. Or if we are supremely lucky, those handful of friends. Whatever you need, you can count on them, even if you don’t know you need it.

They are the ones who bring you homemade chicken soup when you are sick or teasingly bully you into doing another set of squats at the gym. They offer advice when asked and listen to your woes without judgment. And they always – always – defend and promote your honor.

Buffalo Bill Cody had one of those friends, and her name was Caroline.

Thing is, they weren’t particularly close.

Caroline Lockhart was a barrier-breaker just like the founder of the town where she chose to move. A successful novelist at a time when most women in the country didn’t even have the right to vote, the ambitious, talented and nationally famous Lockhart had produced several bestselling novels by the early 1900s. She was wry, quick-witted and an intuitive news-maker.

She also was notorious. She drank hard liquor at a time when many prominent citizens enthusiastically supported the coming Prohibition. She had many male friends, but she never married. She was also sentimental, and she loved the Old West. She celebrated with her pen Read More