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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


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


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


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


Psst, Want to Win a Free Trip to the 100th...

October 25th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I love chatting up multi-generational vacationers. They are easy to spot as the little ones clearly enjoy being with the grandparents, and the grandparents enjoy spoiling the little ones. Meanwhile, the parents get to escape work, house maintenance and back-to-school shopping while “letting” the grandparents pick up dinner checks and buy souvenirs.

For many of these families, this is not their first trip to the coolest Western town ever. The parents and grandparents are busy pointing out local landmarks that really haven’t changed much. The Irma Hotel and other Sheridan Avenue structures look much the same. The Poker Church is a comforting site, and Cassie’s is a constant reminder of simpler times.

The one thing the older generations remember best, however, is our status as the “Rodeo Capital of the World.”

When I asked older (non-kid) visitors what they remember about their childhood visits to Cody and the area, far and away the most common answer is “the rodeo.”

Yes, we love our rodeo, and nobody remembers when it was not an integral part of our community. While the Nite Rodeo happens every night in June, July and August, the biggest summer event is the Cody Stampede Rodeo at the beginning of July.

In 2019, Read More


Digging Up the Latest Fun Attraction

August 7th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I have a reputation for liking the unusual. That’s why a Corrie Tour around town often includes a church built with poker winnings, the grave of a guy called “Liver Eating” and a collection of Sears Roebuck mail order houses.

When I heard a few years ago that someone was starting a museum comprised of guns found everywhere from farmers’ field to battlefields I welcomed it with, well, open arms.

The Cody Dug Up Gun Museum is located on 12 th Street next to the Chamberlin Inn in downtown Cody and features more than 1,000 relic guns and other weapons. Owners Hans and Eva Kurth have collected guns found throughout the country and from many different time periods including the American Revolution, the Gold Rush Era, The United States Civil War, the Old West and Indian Wars, World War I, The Roaring ‘20s and World War II.

This flintlock pistol, circa 1770, appears to have been burned in a fire.

This free museum – donations are accepted – is one of my favorite combinations of serious and whimsical with truly fascinating stories – many of them untold – of lost and found. I wonder how that Remington Model 1858 .44 ended up buried Read More


Coming soon: Cutt-Slam, Amelia and a...

July 23rd, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I’m a maniacal calendar-keeper, and when I combine my obligations with my to-do lists – all noted in a shorthand of acronyms and emoticons– the month-view looks like a color-coded mess. Not only do I note the event itself, but I also add before-the-event reminders. A week before a dentist appointment, for example, there will multiple days of all-caps reminders to FLOSS! It’s my mother’s fault. A prolific letter-writer and calendar-keeper herself, Mom taught me that white space is a sign of weakness.

Mom’s a bit of a nut.

Still, those skills have come in handy countless times, and my format allows me to quickly view my schedule. As I was reviewing the next three months, I was reminded of some exciting times ahead.

There’s an entry on Aug 15 that reads: Cuz Bob Cutt-Slam, and every day of the week leading up to that entry there’s this note: DF Gear Up CB Cutt-Slam. Any guesses? In Corrie-speak, that means “don’t forget to check your gear so you’re ready to join Cousin Bob for a day of cutthroat trout fishing in Cody Yellowstone Country as he goes after his Wyoming Game and Fish Cutt-Slam certificate.”

Corrie and her cousin will be fishing for Yellowstone Cutthroat.

Cousin Bob is an enthusiastic angler whose Read More


Check out the new Cody Heritage Museum

June 18th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Yet another top-flight museum is already making its mark in Cody Yellowstone Country. After years of laying the groundwork, the new Cody Heritage Museum has opened in the historic DeMaris House on Sheridan Avenue. I think Charles and Nellie DeMaris would be tickled to see what has become of their family home.

The tiny museum packs a lot of Cody history into a small space. I spent an engaging afternoon recently perusing the photographs, artifacts and documents artfully displayed throughout the museum.

The DeMaris home is a fitting place for exhibits of historic treasures from throughout the region, including Cody, neighborhoods along the North Fork and South Fork of the Shoshone, Greybull and Crandall.

Charles and Nellie DeMaris built the house in 1907 so their son Bill could go to school in town. The house was the only building on the block until the Park County Courthouse was developed in 1912. After Charles and Nellie died, their son Bill continued to live in the upstairs of the house while a variety of businesses occupied the main level. At various times, the building has housed a bar, a law firm, a real estate firm and offices for the Fire District. The house was slated for demolition when the Park County Commissioners agreed to lease it Read More