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Wishing you a happy, healthy and safe...

November 16th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Like most Americans throughout the world, my friends and family in Cody will be gathering for feasting, football and fellowship on Thanksgiving Day, and I can hardly wait. It is my favorite day of the year.

It is a tradition in my house, like millions of others, to go around the table and share some of the things we are most thankful for. I look forward to this pre-feasting tradition as much as that first bite of well-brined, traditionally roasted turkey.

As I reflect upon the past year here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country I realize I have a very long list of things to share. Here are a few:

I am thankful to be an American. And in being thankful for my good fortune to be born here I hold in my thoughts those throughout the world who are not so fortunate. I am thankful for the farmers and ranchers throughout the region without whom our feast would not be possible.

We are thankful to local farmers who put food on our tables.

I am thankful for my family turkey stuffing recipe. Although we finally heeded the advice of the turkey experts to bake the stuffing outside of the bird, the stuffing recipe has Read More

What if Buffalo Bill Had the Internet?

November 4th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

A couple of weeks ago, the Cody Enterprise ran a story with the news that William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody would be inducted into the Wyoming Business Hall of Fame in November, and that story has been the talk of the town ever since.

It’s been 98 years since Buffalo Bill died, but historians are still examining the impact he made on the town he founded as well as his business acumen.

Buffalo Bill Cody was the most famous man of his time.

My friends and I were discussing the story and we started speculating about what would have happened if Buffalo Bill had lived with access to our modern-day Internet. Just for fun, here are some of our fantastical ideas:

The logistics of coordinating “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show” would have been a comparative breeze. The Wild West Show included hundreds of performers as well as animals, and Buffalo Bill had to make sure they were fed, housed and healthy. They also had to practice their performances, perform the shows and then pack up and move on to the next location. Every performer would have had a smart phone, and Buffalo Bill could have emailed critiques of their performances, texted their practice Read More

Five Fun Facts About Buffalo Bill’s...

October 21st, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Sure, people come to Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country for the park, rodeo, Western museums and hot cowboy musicians, but it’s the fun facts they learn about along the way that get them talking.

The other day I was sitting on the patio at one of my favorite coffee shops and pretending to read the latest issue of Country Music News. What I was really doing was eavesdropping on a young family from Upstate New York.

Mom and Dad were talking about the Remingtons they saw at the Whitney Western Art Museum, but when they asked their kids what they liked about the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, they received some surprising answers.

“I liked the chuck wagon out front where the guy was cooking beans and making coffee over the fire,” said the girl who looked like she was about 10 years old.

“I liked the ‘duck gun’ in the Cody Firearms Museum that looks like you could shoot four bad guys at the same time,” said the girl’s little brother.

I was happy the parents did not overreact and lecture their kids about them being too young for coffee, so I discreetly started chatting them up about some of the area’s lesser-known facts.

Here Read More

Living the Local Life in Yellowstone Country

October 13th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Here in Yellowstone Country, Monday is the best day of the week to shop. That’s when the Big Horn Basin Farmer’s Market is open, and those of us who like our food as fresh as the smell of a crisp autumn Wyoming day can find everything we need to prepare a week of healthy meals.

The market is located in Powell, a small town that is big on charm and rich in agricultural heritage. Powell has become a hub of agricultural tourism in the Yellowstone Country region because it has some of the most fertile ground for farming in the U.S. Named for John Wesley Powell, a well-known explorer and a proponent of Western land reclamation, the town’s agricultural success is due to the foresight of the U.S. Senate and the support of conservationists in the late 1800s. The area was authorized to be part of the Buffalo Bill Dam reclamation project, with irrigation waters transforming what was mostly sagebrush flats into rich irrigated farmland that soon became famous for the production of malting barley, beans, alfalfa, sunflowers and sugar beets. And it was also rich pasture land, allowing for a thriving cattle industry.

Powell remains an agricultural mecca today, and the Read More

Following in Butch Cassidy’s Footsteps...

October 5th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

The other night when I was channel surfing I came across one of my all-time favorite movies – “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” I watched the entire movie, and I was reminded of how much I love this flick, especially because it has so many real-life connections to Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.

The Hole in the Wall cabin at Old Trail Town, Cody.

Of course I’m far too young to remember when this classic movie first came out. I’ll save you the Google search. It was 1969. But my parents were big fans, and whenever it was on TV my family would try to watch the movie. I have a great, comforting memory of curling up with my parents on our red fake-fur couch, sipping Coca-Cola and being allowed to stay up past my bedtime on a school night to watch the movie. Back then, I recall being in love with Robert Redford (let’s be honest…who wasn’t?). And I was struck by the huge volume of mascara the ladies in the Old West must have had to wear, as evidenced by Katharine Ross’s thick, globby eyelashes. Funny, the things you remember as a kid.

Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country has at least Read More

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

September 28th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Fall has finally arrived here in Cody after an absolutely breathtaking and busy summer. In some ways it seems like yesterday that I was putting my flag up to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, but it also seems like a long time ago when I start thinking of everything I did and the people I met in a little over three months.

The biggest obstacle I face in summer is overextending myself. When someone suggests to me on a quiet Monday morning that we grab our cameras and head up the Wapiti Valley on Tuesday afternoon because several moose and grizzlies have been spotted near Sleeping Giant ski area, I immediately say yes.

Historic yellow buses are a great way to tour Yellowstone in the summer.

An early morning run to my favorite trout stream before the sun is too high? I’m there.

Taking an out-of-town visitor on a whirlwind tour of Yellowstone National Park is one of my favorite things in the world.

Next thing I know I’m booked solid and in danger of missing my favorite cowboy musician for the week. And I get grumpy if I go too long without hearing “It Takes a Whole Lotta Liquor to Like Her.”

So what do Read More

Feeding my truffle habit and living...

September 22nd, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

The other day, I had a hankering for chocolate. And I’m not talking about a Hershey’s kind of hankering. I wanted the real deal; chocolate that is just as authentic as Yellowstone Country.

So I got into my car and headed 32 miles south to the town of Meeteetse, a small town on the Greybull River that is so classic I always half expect John Wayne to swagger down its wooden boardwalks. With a name like Meeteetse, there’d better be a good story behind the name, right? In fact, there are two (but in my opinion, only one of them is good). One version is that it is an American Indian phrase for “meeting place.” That sounds right. Another explanation is that the word translated into English means “measured distance near and far,” but to this day no one has been able to shed light on how that relates to the town. As I used to say in my eye-rolling 14-year-old teenager days…”boooring.”

A welcome site when arriving in Meeteetse, Wyoming.

But back to chocolate. The town of Meeteetse is known for many things – its nearby ghost towns, home-base for notorious outlaws like Butch Cassidy and an array of colorful characters Read More

There’s a New Gang in Town…

September 14th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

And many of them have four legs. Every fall right after Labor Day, the population of Yellowstone Country sees a rather dramatic change.

Many of our revered attractions, like the cowboys who compete in the Cody Nite Rodeo and our local actors who perform in the nightly Cody Gunfighters show, have carefully packed away their saddles, trophies and costumes. I will continue to see the Cody Trolley for a couple of weeks as it takes visitors through our town on an entertaining hour-long trip. And Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue will continue to perform until Sept. 26. But most vacationers have returned to their homes, unpacked their bags and stored away their photos and mementos from their authentic Cody vacation.

Big Horn Sheep can be seen in the hills of East Yellowstone Valley.

But the population that doesn’t have to think about things like soccer practice and teacher conferences is still around, and this time of year, they like to show off.

When fall comes to Yellowstone Country, the wildlife come out to play. Don’t get me wrong. They’ve been there throughout the summer. Autumn, though, is the season when they are often most viewable from the road, and it’s the time of Read More

Zippety Doo Dah! Zip Lines Coming to...

September 4th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Zippety Doo Dah! Zip Lines Coming to Yellowstone Country

On occasion, I feel the need for speed.

When I want an adrenaline rush in the winter, I usually head over to Sleeping Giant Ski Area just west of downtown Cody and ski the intermediate runs. My favorite ski run is Red Star because it is parallel to the ski area boundary and I get some great views of the mountains and valley below.

In the summer, at least these days, it’s not quite as easy for me to get my speed fix. I used to achieve some serious speed when I was a barrel racer at the Cody Nite Rodeo, but those days are long over. When I watch those beautiful young cowgirls with their hair trailing in the wind steering their horses around the barrels with incredible finesse, I can still remember the sheer joy of the race. And I can remember how it felt to win.

So I was super excited to hear that Sleeping Giant Ski Area is building new dual zip lines which will have  fabulous views. And the best part, at least for this former competitor, is that you can race your friends on each zip because the Canadian Read More

West Meets Midwest

August 24th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

If you see me walking around Cody next week telling stories about the town to someone who is feverishly taking notes, please don’t be concerned.

Tap your feet along to the sounds of Americana, bluegrass and songs of the American West at Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue.

You see, we are hosting a conference for the Midwest Travel Writers Association (MTWA), and this group of journalists is coming for more than just Yellowstone Country’s Western brand of hospitality.Over the years there is a good chance you have read an article by one of these writers. Before the Internet turned our lives upside down, travel writers researched and wrote their stories for magazines, newspapers, newsletters and other publications. Many of those publications are now found online, and professionals supply the stories.

This conference is our opportunity to showcase our attractions. The plan is to start with a welcome reception at the Chamberlin Inn followed by a short walk over to enjoy Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue. I know that Dan will promptly win over the female journalists in the crowd, but we cannot just send them home after his performance. We will take the next several days making a trip to Yellowstone, taking Read More