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Five Ways to Enjoy Wildlife this Fall

September 27th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Even though there are plenty of warm sunny days here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, I would like to announce that summer is officially making way for fall. And that’s great news for our wildlife-loving visitors, because fall is the best time of the year to see critters in action.

Here are five tips related to wildlife watching:

Look for elk. We are in the midst of “rutting” season where bull elk are attempting to impress potential mates. If you hear their distinctive bugling sound or happen to see two bulls doing battle, it’s all about mating season.

Bull Elk are very active in the fall, bugling to attract mates.

And the wolves. Since elk are their primary food source, wolves tend to follow the migration patterns of elk. In the warmer summer months, both species head to higher elevations. As the temperatures drop, they begin to show up more often at areas like the Hayden and Lamar Valleys in Yellowstone National Park.

See the bears eat, eat and eat. If you ever wondered how bears make it through the winter without eating, be assured that in the fall they consume prodigious amounts of calories preparing for hibernation. During this period called “hyperphagia” bears Read More

Art, Dancing, and Festivals – Help Me

September 12th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

If you’re like me, you go through stretches where it seems like you wear the same pair of jeans, eat breakfast at the same diner and play cards with the same three people for what seems like months at a time.

It’s easy to fall into that rut, but we here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country know how to break out of that routine every year. That’s right, the annual Rendezvous Royale is almost here.

Our week-long celebration, the Rendezvous Royale, is set for Sept. 17-24. This year’s line-up of events includes an online Silent Auction, an invitational design exhibition called “By Western Hands” and the Sept. 17 “Boot Scoot ‘N Boogie,” a street festival and dance showcasing our town’s art community. After a week of workshops, exhibitions, an art walk and other events, Rendezvous Royale culminates in a gala weekend including the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale on Friday night and the Buffalo Bill Quick Draw and Brunch Saturday morning. The Annual Patrons Ball Black-Tie Gala at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West rounds out the week.

The Buffalo Bill Quick Draw and Brunch is a Cody favorite!

You might be surprised that we are such a popular location for Read More

If the Shoe Fits, Head to Buffalo Bill’s...

September 6th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

While I am no Imelda Marcos, I do appreciate that there are shoes for every occasion. Let me clarify and say that here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country there are shoes for every activity.

A Wyoming vacation trip featuring hiking, fishing, riding and a fancy art show (possibly in the same day) requires a little more planning than your typical trip to the beach.

Sure, you can get away with cowboy boots for almost any event or activity around here, but even the best footwear in the history of footwear has its limits.

Therefore, I have a few suggestions – broken down by activity with some clothing recommendations thrown in – for packing for a fall trip to this area.

Hiking. Pretty much anything goes for this activity as long as it’s comfortable. Since it can easily be chilly when you start and hot when you finish, wear layers and make sure you have a backpack to carry those fleece jackets you discard. Oh, and pants that convert into hiking shorts might be one of the greatest inventions ever. Shoes: Hiking boots.

Rendezvous Royale. Our annual Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale is a classy western gala September 23, part of Cody’s Rendezvous Royale, September Read More

Fires are Normal and Nature’s Way of...

August 30th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

As August winds down we have begun to experience forest fires in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. These are normal occurrences, and often many of the same reasons travelers choose to vacation in Yellowstone Country – the sunshine, low humidity and miles of undeveloped forests – help create the conditions that make the region ripe for fires.

Fires in Yellowstone Country are often caused naturally by lightning, but humans can also cause fires, usually by accident with improper extinguishing of camp fires, burning debris, tossing a cigarette butt out of their car or improperly maintaining their vehicle and allowing sparks to be generated.

Fortunately, Mother Nature has seen fit to populate our forests with trees that actually help contribute to the health of the ecosystem when they burn.

The most common species of tree in our region is the Lodgepole Pine (scientific name: Pinus contorta). If you have ever driven through a Lodgepole forest there is a good chance you noticed these trees are very straight and the taller trees have few branches except for those at their crowns. These trees are great for building log cabins or national park lodges.

The most common tree in our area is the Lodgepole Pine.

The primary way Read More

This Bears Repeating – Only You Can...

August 23rd, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

As a long-time resident of Cody, Wyoming, I am surrounded by heroes. From the driven professionals who teach our children to the dedicated and selfless staff of our police, fire and other public-service departments, there is a huge population of heroes among us.

That fact has become abundantly clear recently as skilled and dedicated firefighters battle wildfires in Yellowstone National Park and along the North Fork of the Shoshone River. As sometimes happens in the late summer, lightning-caused fires occur, and the trifecta of high temperatures, high winds and low humidity can increase the danger of those fires spreading.

The National Park Service reminds us that fires play a natural role in the ecosystem, and firefighters manage each fire based on current and predicted conditions as well as risk to structures. Lightning causes many wildfires, but from time to time there will be human-caused fires as well.

The National Park Service reminds us that wildfires play a natural role in the ecosystem.

Firefighters who continue to put their lives at risk as they protect ours are my heroes. I hope you’ll join me in thanking the many smokejumpers, pilots, hotshot crews and other skilled professionals that help to protect us.

Who doesn’t remember Smokey Read More

All Play, No Work on Labor Day

August 15th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

The Labor Day weekend in Cody, Wyoming marks the end of our beloved nightly Cody Nite Rodeo and a few other attractions, but it also is the beginning of a super special time of the year: the fall travel season. And by this time of the year, Cody residents look forward to the season with excitement.

As a patriotic American citizen, I believe it is my solemn duty to spend the entire weekend playing and avoiding work of any kind. Some of my neighbors who have what I believe is a marginally unhealthy devotion to weed-whackers and pruning shears may not agree with me. But even if my garden needs dead-heading, my tomatoes need canning and my refrigerator needs fumigating, I’m taking the weekend off to play.

In celebration of the new season, I typically plan my three-day Labor Day weekend around some of Cody’s authentic Western experiences. But I try not to over-plan. That would be too much work.

On Saturday morning, I’m going fishing. Early. So early, in fact, that my favorite breakfast place in town won’t be open yet. But that’s the best time to enjoy the quiet and clean fresh air of our authentic mountain region. Last Labor Day Read More

Looking for a Place to Retire

August 9th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I’m seriously considering retirement.

I know what you’re thinking. Why would someone who’s obviously decades too young and in better shape than most of our Olympic athletes be thinking of hanging up her spurs?

Well, like one of my favorite cowboy musicians likes to sing “If you wait for the dinner bell to ring to wash your hands, you end up with leftovers. And that’s how I met you.”

Since retirement won’t happen immediately, I thought I should do some research to find a great town in which to spend my golden years. And the many years leading up to them.

So, here are my criteria for where I want to live and not work.

Friendly locals. “Good morning,” “Thank you” and “Excuse me” go a long way in my world, even if you don’t know someone. In my retirement destination, my off-leash dog will be scratched behind her ears instead of being the cause for a call to the dog catcher.

Cody Chamber of Commerce hosts a free pancake breakfast every spring.

Friendly visitors. Most people traveling in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country are curious and open to conversation. My landing spot will attract the same type of visitor.

Entertainment. Since Dan Miller’s wife probably won’t let Read More

Another Species Makes a Comeback

August 2nd, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

One of my favorite weasels has returned home to Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.

That’s right, some 35 black-footed ferrets were just released on two ranches near one of my favorite towns. Meeteetse (“Today is brought to you by the letter combination ‘ee’”) is known for its cowboy chocolatier and the old bank that never was robbed because Butch Cassidy kept his money there.

It’s also the closest town to the Lazy BV ranch where in 1981 a dog named Shep showed up with a dead animal. Ranch owner John Hogg contacted the authorities because this dead animal was so unusual. It turns out this was a black-footed ferret that many wildlife biologists thought had gone extinct.

Over the next five years, biologists rounded up the ferrets and started a captive breeding program near Fort Collins, Colorado.

As ferret populations have grown, wildlife biologists have released them in groups at 24 sites throughout the American West and in Canada and Mexico. I first saw one of these sites in Badlands National Park, and I am so happy that they are now closer to home.

In a way, this is a homecoming for the ferrets. Those 35 critters have been released on the Lazy BV ranch and Read More

Corrie’s Cool-Down Strategy

July 26th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Well, here we are in late July, and there’s a heat wave that has hit many parts of the country. Cody too. It’s been in the 80s and 90s for several weeks now, and a few of my friends have gotten a little cranky.

Not me, though. Summer is a terrific time to play in Yellowstone Country, and I’m not going to waste my summer months dwelling on Mother Nature’s heat. When it gets hot, I simply implement “Corrie’s Cool-Down Strategy.”

Here’s my strategy in a nutshell:

This may seem obvious, but save most outdoor play for early mornings and evenings. That’s an easy thing to do when you live in a recreational mecca like Yellowstone Country. My favorite early-morning activity is fishing for blue-ribbon trout in one of the region’s well-stocked rivers or streams. The temperature along the water tends to be slightly lower than in town, and just walking along a secluded, wooded trail to a favorite fishing hole is enough to start my day with a smile and spring in my step.

Fishing is a great way to keep cool.

Stay active. In northwestern Wyoming — with its enthralling and ever-changing landscape of rocks and rivers, forests and valleys, mountains and Read More

An Ongoing Mission

July 19th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (2)

A trip to Heart Mountain WWII Japanese American Internment Center is always a very emotional outing for me. It’s one thing to read about historical events or view serious documentaries, but when you visit sites where those events actually occurred or meet people who lived there, the true meanings hit home.

Many times I have taken friends or relatives – even nieces and nephews who would prefer a trip to the pool – to Heart Mountain and have encountered people who actually lived there. They are often visiting with their own friends and family. Invariably I am struck by their strength of character and ability to remember the injustices without allowing bitterness to overtake them. I keep expecting them to hold me responsible, but they never do.

Last week was a convergence of reality and fantasy, television characters and real-life people.

You’re probably familiar with the actor George Takei who played Sulu on the original Star Trek television show and later in some of the movies. If you spend much time on social media, you may know that Takei has developed a following for his very funny posts and memes that show up on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere.

There was not a lot of Read More