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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

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


This Year I’m Finally Going to Fire the...

January 2nd, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

It took four men to fire the Model 1862 Gatling Gun during the Civil War, but I’m going to fire it all by myself in 2019…with a little help from the instructors at the Cody Firearms Experience.

The Gatling gun, also known as Patent 36,836, was an early version of the rotary canon. It featured multiple barrels, a cooling system and a synchronized firing and reloading mechanism. First used during the Civil War, the gun is a forerunner to the modern machine gun.

The Model 1862 Gatling Gun is one of dozens of replica firearms available at the Cody Firearms Experience indoor shooting range.

The Model 1862 Gatling gun was invented by a serial inventor from Indiana, Richard Jordan Gatling, in 1862 to accomplish battlefield victories with fewer casualties.

As a lifelong student of American history, I’ve found that studying and understanding the history of firearms can be a solid way to learn about the ideological thinking of the times. That’s one of the many reasons I’m so lucky to live in Cody Yellowstone Country.

The Cody Firearms Experience features a variety of working replicas of important guns through history, and the largest of those of course is the Model 1862 Gatling 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


Changing Seasons Means Changing Visitors

August 31st, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

End of summer has a different meaning to a lot of people.

Sticklers will tell you that the Autumnal Equinox marks the changing of seasons. Football fans can be a bit over-the-top with their arguments about whether fall begins with the first college or professional game of the season.

Here in the home of the Great American Adventure – Cody Yellowstone – there is a healthy contingent that goes into seasonal mourning after the final Cody Nite Rodeo is held.

For students, summer is over when school starts. Don’t get me started about the school year commencing before Labor Day; it’s just plain wrong.

Personally, I wave goodbye to summer the day after Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue calls it a wrap for the year. Don’t even try to get a hold of me on Sept. 30 as I will be curled up in a ball and feeling sorry for myself after the previous night’s finale.

When Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue shuts down for the season, certain people call it the end of summer.

Regardless, now that Labor Day is behind us we see a definite change on the streets, trails, streams and paths around here. There are fewer kids with just about all the schools back in session. We do see, Read More


Corrie’s Grand Canyon Adventure

August 28th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I recently ventured deep into the wild and spent some time admiring the majesty of a massive canyon that knocked the deer-hide socks off white explorers in the 1800s. Then I had a bison burger and bought a scarf.

Traveling to the Canyon Village region of Yellowstone National Park – the location of the 20-mile-long, 4,000-foot-wide, 1,200-deep canyon that we call the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – is a breeze from Cody. You can access the region from the park’s east or northeast entrance. If you wanted to visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone before 1872, though, you had to work pretty hard to get there.

Early North American tribes first populated the area more than 11,000 years ago. By about the 1700s, tribes and fur traders began to explore the rugged terrain by horseback. By the early 1800s, exploration of the American West was in full swing, but the War of 1812 and the Civil War, rough weather and the nationwide preoccupation with “gold in them thar hills” tended to disrupt serious attempts to explore the region.

In 1870, members of Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition successfully descended into the canyon. A year later, the Hayden Expedition secured scientific and photographic evidence of 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