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Mammoth Secrets in Yellowstone National Park

September 12th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hot Springs is a place where it seems natural – perhaps advisable – to whisper. And you might just hear the ghosts of this northern region of Yellowstone whisper back.

It is a place where ancient geothermal formations are continuously shape-shifting. It is where the park’s early visitors, explorers and managers sought to claim, tame, manage – and sometimes exploit — its rumbling, other-worldly features. This is where many of the park’s elk spend amorous days dating and mating during the fall rutting season. And where one of the park’s first grand hotels housed weary train passengers before they embarked on their Grand Loop adventure in the park’s interior. 

I recently returned to this region of the park when the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel reopened after a massive renovation. I was thrilled with the results of the year-long project, as it pays tribute to the hotel’s storied past while updating the services and features for future generations of visitors. After settling into my room, I wandered down to the new Map Room Bar to warm up with a Huckleberry Mocha. 

Created by architect Robert Reamer in 1937, the massive map that hangs on the wall of the Map Room has always Read More


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

Letting Kids Take the Lead

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

Now that it’s mid-June school is pretty much out. Sure, there are a few places that get creative and look for ways to maximize the use of their classrooms by instituting year-round schedules, but the traditional calendar still rules.

I can tell just by looking out my window that more families are in town. The miniature golf course at the corner of 9th and Sheridan definitely sees more play, and the nightly gunfighter show is increasingly popular.

The campground managers have their own semi-scientific methods as well. One counts the number of kids’ bicycles in the racks while another tracks the inventory of s’mores kits she sells in her camp store. Those numbers go straight up about now and stay that way until late August.

My favorite tracking technique, however, was developed by my friend at our visitor’s center. She keeps a running tab of the hair of people seeking information. When dark (and thick) hair prevails she knows that parents and children are on vacation. Lighter (and thinner) hair means the empty nesters are in town.

When parents ask me for recommendations for kid-friendly activities I tell them to keep an open mind, don’t over plan and let the kids take the lead. Read More


A Few of My Favorite Things to Know About...

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

I’ve been talking about the Cody Stampede Rodeo so much this year that I think people are avoiding me. The other day as I headed over to the porch at the Irma Hotel I thought I heard someone yell “Code Red” followed by the distinct sound of several pairs of cowboy boots thumping across the wooden deck. As I turned the corner I found an empty table with half-finished beverages.

The Irma Hotel is a popular gathering spot for Corrie’s friends.

Not to be deterred, I tucked a few wayward strands of my red hair behind my ear, walked just inside the side door and waited quietly a few moments. Sure enough, a head popped out of one of the retail shops and a voice called out “All clear.”

At that point I made way to the table and joined my friends who had the telltale look of defeat on their faces. For some reason the phrase “The struggle is real” popped into my brain, but I persisted and decided to share my list of eight things people should know about the Cody Stampede as we celebrate its 100th year.

Here goes:

The Cody Stampede was spearheaded by Buffalo Bill’s friends to honor his 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


Prepping for Christmas and Winter Corrie Style

December 10th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

There are a lot of people like me who sometimes start a task which leads to another and another and so on. One Saturday morning I straightened a shelf in my garage, and at 1 p.m. my garage was so clean that I ended up parking my car in the driveway for the next two weeks.

Right now, I am in the middle of my Christmas decorate-cleanup-prepare-for-winter extravaganza. This is an annual event in the Corrie N. Cody household that started out simple and morphed into something that I learned to ride like an old gelding that cannot be bothered to break into a canter.

When it comes to Christmas decorations, Corrie is a traditionalist.

Like my garage adventures, my holiday prep was originally unplanned. I went to my storage room for my Christmas decorations. After the boxes were removed, I noticed a layer of dust on my downhill skis, and the laces on my snow shoes were frayed. My fly rods were completely unorganized. And DON’T get me started on the state of my ice climbing equipment.

The result was a stressful weekend spent cleaning, organizing and decorating. By Sunday night, however, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I also wondered why Read More


Give yourself the gift of time and plan...

December 4th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

As the year comes to a close, working Americans around the country are realizing that they still have vacation days to use before the turn of the calendar. Since the month of December can often coincide with office budget planning and project wrap-ups, more than half of all American workers will wind up not taking the vacations to which they are entitled.

The U.S. Travel Association (USTA) has concluded that Americans leave more than 662 million vacation days on the table, and the organization also found that this pattern is good for neither the employer nor the employee in the long run. Employees who take vacations are generally happier and healthier than their workaholic counterparts.

The travel industry organization also found that workers who take the time to plan their vacations early in the year are more likely to use all of their days vs. those who leave vacations to whim.

In my experience, both conclusions are spot on. I meet happy vacationers just about every day in Cody Yellowstone, even in the winter, when the region welcomes adventurous visitors taking advantage of our cold-season outdoor recreation.

Plan ahead for Cody Yellowstone events like the 100th anniversary of the Cody 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