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Our Kind of Competition

July 27th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Here in Cody – for that matter, here in Wyoming – we have a healthy respect for guns, gun safety and firearms in general.

Hunting has been a way of life for most people here, and for many of our ancestors it was essential for survival. When I grew up all of my friends and I received “the talk” from our parents about what to do if we came across a gun (don’t touch it, tell an adult immediately) and were instructed on proper handling and shooting once we were old enough.

Guns aren’t toys. We don’t own guns to be cool, and people who just leave them lying around in the open or otherwise mishandle them are told to straighten up.

We take gun safety seriously and are completely flabbergasted when see the way some people treat firearms. Who in their right mind would actually shove a loaded pistol down the front their pants? What could possibly go wrong?

All of my lessons returned to me this week as I began to prepare earnestly for the 22nd Annual Buffalo Bill Invitational Shootout which will be held Aug. 6-8, 2015 at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Cody Firearms Museum and at the Read More


Moving Ground in Yellowstone Country

July 17th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

We have a lot of thermal activity here in Yellowstone Country.

Old Faithful’s eruptions varies from 51 to 120 minutes

Inside Yellowstone National Park (around here we just call it “The Park”) is the world’s largest concentration of geysers and other thermal features totaling in the 10,000 neighborhood. Everybody knows about Old Faithful, but many people are surprised to find so many other geysers as well as fumaroles, hot springs and mud pots scattered throughout the park.

Here in Cody we also have our share of thermal features, and I’m not talking about our “hot” cowboy musicians. Back in the early 1800s, John Colter was a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition who went on side trips. Colter made his way in what are now Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. He also made it to what is now our humble town of Cody, where he came upon thermal activity that became known as “Colter’s Hell.”

In 1807 John Colter discovered an active geyser district: steam mixed with sulfur fumes and shooting flames escaped through vents in the valley floor. This is now known as Colter’s Hell

Heat and the smell of sulfur lend themselves to colorful nicknames. That thermal area is Read More


Musings on the 2015 Cody Stampede

July 10th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

The 2015 Cody Stampede is in the history books, and before I focus on the second half of the summer (don’t even think about arguing with me that summer just started June 21) I want to share a few observations.

It always seems there are cowboys competing who are named Cody. Don’t believe me? Look it up. I saw five just in the final standings. You won’t find too many Clevelands or Bostons.

The action never stops at the four Cody Stampede Rodeo performances.

Some other great Western first names were Cimarron, Shane and Levi. There was even a guy named Jesse James. My favorite, however, was Clayton Moore who won the steer wrestling competition. And he did it without any help from a trusted sidekick named Tonto.

When the second Cody Stampede board member walked past me wearing a pink shirt, I wondered what was happening. Turns out on July 2, they along with the Cowboy Up Drill Team and several spectators were “Tough Enough To Wear Pink” making a statement in support of breast cancer research. Well played, all of you. I tip my 10-gallon hat in your direction.

Opening Ceremonies of the Cody Stampede Rodeo.

The Stampede paid out almost $350,000 Read More


What Happened in Yellowstone Country a...

July 6th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

The Fourth of July holiday parade is one of the biggest events in Cody, Wyoming every year, and one of the things that is especially exciting is finding out who was selected to be the parade grand marshal. The honor of grand marshal has been bestowed on many recognizable individuals – John Wayne, Bobby Allison, Steven Seagal and Chuck Yeager, to name a few. Chances are, though, you haven’t heard of this year’s grand marshal, but his selection has had me brushing up on my Cody history. I thought you might like hearing about what I learned.

2015 Cody Stampede Parade Grand Marshal Chief Joseph Medicine Crow High-Bird.

Our 2015 Grand Marshal was Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow. He is 101 years old and is the only living person to receive the oral history from the Custer Battlefield. His grandfather was a scout for General Custer. What was it like to live in Yellowstone Country when Dr. Medicine Crow was a youngster? I found some clues in “The Cody Club 1900-1999,” a book about the history of the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce.

To put it literally, it’s been a rough road.

1914 – The year Dr. Medicine Crow was born, the Cody Club Read More


Heart Mountain Barrack Returning

June 26th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When out-of-towners come for a Cody Country vacation it is usually the park or rodeo or fishing or Buffalo Bill Center of the West or something like that which gets them here. Many visitors leave, however, with a different perspective after they experience something that turns some of their preconceived notions upside down.

Perhaps it is a trip to Old Trail Town where they learn that whole families lived in small cabins as they worked hard to survive before they even considered what it would take to prosper. We’re talking about cabins without plumbing. Or wi-fi.

Heart Mountain Relocation Camp was one of 10 in the U.S. built at the beginning of WWII.

One of, if not the most, profound experiences to me is the Heart Mountain Relocation Center between Cody and Powell. During World War II nearly 14,000 (120,000 total at various camps in the West) Japanese Americans were forced from their homes – primarily in California – and dropped off at a remote, barren area where they stayed until the war ended. They lived in barracks built with green lumber, no insulation and virtually no amenities.

Some 450 of these barracks were built, and from 1942 to 1945 Heart Mountain Relocation Read More


Two Great Days in One

June 18th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

This Sunday marks the convergence of two of my favorite days – the Summer Solstice and Father’s Day.

On the solstice I like to conduct my annual “as-long-as-it’s-daylight-I-am-doing-something” day. It’s sort of a weeklong Cody vacation compressed into 16½ hours. That means I am outside and active. I know a few people who could spend the whole day in a saddle, on the river or hiking a trail. I plan on doing all of those things and more.

The Cody area provides many opportunities to take a scenic hike.

This year will be special, however, as I have convinced my father (he doesn’t like it when I refer to him as “my old man”) to join me. That means we have to eat our breakfast and be out of the house by the time the sun rises officially at 5:31 a.m. That won’t be a problem for an old rancher like my father who has been getting up early pretty much all of his life. The hard part will be keeping him awake until the sun sets at 9:04 p.m.

I thought we would start with a hike to help get the blood pumping and to take advantage of our cool Cody mornings. Read More


This is why Cody is the Rodeo Capital of...

June 12th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When the arm jerker broke from the chute the crowd was seeing daylight.

That’s when I knew that things were back to normal here in the “Rodeo Capital of the World.”

You see, we don’t just throw a rodeo during our county fair. We do it every night June 1 – Aug. 31 with our Cody Nite Rodeo. Actually, that’s not completely true. On Tuesday, June 30 at 7 p.m. the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls event will take place, and from July 1-4 the biggest names in rodeo come to town for the Cody Stampede.

The Cody Nite Rodeo is thrilling for spectators.

First, let’s talk about the Nite Rodeo which has been happening since 1938. Every night our rodeo grounds open the gates at 7 p.m., and the action begins at 8 p.m. Performances are typically around two hours long with events such as bronc riding, bull riding, bareback riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping and barrel racing. I always get a kick out of the kids in the audience who are invited to participate in the calf scramble.

The audience is also entertained by the rodeo clowns whose outfits and humor sometimes mask the serious and highly Read More


Happy Memorial Day

June 1st, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Monday, May 25, was a day of many emotions for me.

Like most people in Cody, Wyoming and around the country, I view Memorial Day weekend as the start of summer. Yes, I know there is close to a month to go until the solstice, but by then we will be in full summer mode complete with barbecues, rodeos, swimming, hiking, casting a fly and all of the other things we dream about in January.

This past holiday weekend saw me making a couple of slow loops through Cody on foot to look for old friends I had not seen for a while, to check out the latest summer fashions at my favorite shops and to make note of the improvements to our storefronts. Many business owners set the weekend as their deadline for new coats of paint, flowers, lights and any other projects they have in mind. In a great year I get lucky and Dan Miller has a new poster displayed at the theater of him and his Empty Saddles Band.

Cody’s Memorial Day Ceremony drew a large crowd.

I then took some time to soak up the sun on a patio and enjoy lunch in the open air. The linksters Read More


They’re Called Wildlife for a Reason

May 15th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

For the past few days it seems whenever I open the newspaper, turn on the tube or connect to the Web there is one story that keeps showing up. The good news is that it has nothing to do with the Kardashian clan.

What I keep seeing is a story and video clip of tourists who got too close to a bear sow and cubs on a bridge in Yellowstone National Park. Nobody was hurt, and the bears seem to be fine.

Bears in the wild are not Teddy Bears.

In the clip I see tourists with cameras getting too close to the bears, and the mama bear starts to run to round up the cubs. That action startles the tourists who then start to run back to their cars. Some of them scream which makes the situation seem even worse.

Around here we are pretty used to seeing wildlife, and we are well-versed in how to act in bear country. The worst position you can find yourself is to be caught between a mama bear and her cubs. It’s even worse than getting between me and a sale at the cowboy music store.

Even awkward moose appear tame in the wild.

And even Read More


Why I Can’t Wait to Spring Into Yellowstone!

May 12th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Hello. My name is Corrie N. Cody, and I’m addicted to birdwatching. Don’t laugh. Well, go ahead and laugh, but please try to understand that those of us who stop in the middle of whatever we are doing outside to watch the flutter of activity in trees really can’t help ourselves. I may forget my smart phone when I leave the house, but I rarely forget my dog-eared Yellowstone Wildlife Field Guide.

And the prospect of hanging out with other birdwatching addicts is one reason I wouldn’t think of missing this year’s Spring into Yellowstone: Cody Birding and Wildlife Festival. This is a prime opportunity to connect with others like me who are passionate about the wild things that roam our land and fly through our skies.

Spring storms rarely deter our feathery friends.

This year’s festival is May 13 through 17, and I’ll be going on field trips and attending seminars led by some of the biggest names in birding and nature photography as well as some of the top biologists in the region. I even purchased brand new binoculars to help me see the region’s wildlife more clearly.

Spring brings many mamas and babies out to meadows and open areas.

Of Read More