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June Means New Activities, Including Rafting

June 17th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

So much happens here in Cody Yellowstone when June arrives.

The lights go on at the rodeo grounds, and the Cody Nite Rodeo starts entertaining visitors and introducing new generations to bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing and Dolly Parton jokes.

The Cody Gunfighters put on a play that is equal parts shoot-em-up, gun safety and “photo opps.”

Dan Miller and his Cowboy Music Revue combine terrific acoustic music with Western humor and the occasional dash of cowboy poetry.

The dude and guest ranches saddle up the horses, bake the beans and remind parents that there aren’t apps for the things that truly bring families together.

Many people have taken their first ride at a dude or guest ranch in Cody/Yellowstone.

A common theme I hear on my near-daily jaunts down Sheridan Avenue is that people want to try new activities. More people than I can count have cast their first flies on one of our lakes or rivers. The biggest thrill for folks from Florida is often finding a patch of snow and throwing a snowball in June. Shopping for a cowboy hat is a new experience for those not old enough to remember when Urban Cowboy came out.

The region is known 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


Welcome Back, Cody Yellowstone Visitors

June 5th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Welcome back, summer visitors. We missed you here in Cody Yellowstone, and we can’t wait to show what we have in store for you.

This week, many of you will be arriving in your Subarus, Suburbans, RVs and tour buses. You’ll be bringing the kids, the dogs, the parents, the cousins, the friends. You’ll have your coolers, binoculars, rain jackets and cowboy hats. Some of you will be celebrating the end of the school year. Others will be actively avoiding office emails, with the admirable intention of using those vacation days to their fullest.

Cody Yellowstone has plenty in store for visitors this summer.

Those of us who live and work here year-round have been eagerly awaiting your arrival. We’ve spent the winter restocking, rehearsing and revising. It has seemed like an especially long winter, not just here, but also in Chicago, Denver, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake, Cleveland and Boise. For awhile there, I thought those winter winds would blow all the way to Memorial Day. All it takes, though is one day of sunshine and warmth – a day exactly like it is today – and a caravan of travelers making their way down Sheridan Avenue to nudge me Read More


Buffalo Bill Cody and the Bone Wars

May 30th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody had skills. A lot of them. He was a trapper, bullwhacker, Pony Express Rider, Colorado “Fifty-Niner” wagon master, stagecoach driver, Civil War soldier, hotel manager and scout for the U.S. Army. He was a skilled hunter, a long-before-his-time showman, a diplomat, a newspaperman, a logistics magician and a civic-minded community leader with a special focus on the rights of children, women and minorities.

Buffalo Bill Cody was a man of many skills.

And in his spare time, he searched for – and found – dinosaurs. Well, fossils, anyway. In 1870, 24-year-old Buffalo Bill Cody led an ultra-competitive fossil-hunter named Othniel Charles Marsh into the wilds of western Kansas to search for dinosaur fossils. Marsh, a Yale professor, had already discovered dinosaur bone pits in Wyoming and Colorado, as had Marsh’s arch enemy, a British fossil-hunter named Edward Drinker Cope.

Both brilliant and prolific fossil hunters, Cope and Marsh had each been credited with numerous discoveries, and each frantically wrote and published scientific papers to ensure that credit was well documented. Though the two started out as friendly competitors, their relationship quickly became one characterized by petty vandalism, lies and theft and occasionally, violence.

Most scholars believe the Bone Read More


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


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


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

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