Buffalo Bill Blog

Sep
05

Plan a Fall Vacation in Yellowstone Country

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: Summer begins Memorial Day weekend and ends Labor Day weekend. Even though officially we still have a couple more weeks of summer, in my mind fall has begun.

I love this time of year. The dry air in the West is something that has always agreed with me. When I spent my time in the Big City in my early 20s, the humidity was something for which I was unprepared. It took me a long time to get acclimated, and I was always wearing the wrong clothes. How could 80 degrees feel so hot and 60 so cold?

Cody fall landscapes often include sunflowers, blue skies and rugged hills.

Cody fall landscapes often include sunflowers, blue skies and rugged hills.

 

With our dry air, I don’t feel that much difference between 60 (or lower) and 80 (or higher). Sure, my jeans and cowboy boots are a little more comfortable in the cooler temperatures, but the days when the weather dictates my lifestyle simply don’t happen often.

The first day I dig my favorite sweater out of the dresser however, signals several things.

— The bounty I have been enjoying from my garden is winding down. The squashes and tomatoes have been plentiful, but if I want large quantities I will need to find them at the farmer’s market or grocery store. The fall crops such as Brussel sprouts and root vegetables are getting better every week.

— School is back in session, and the empty nesters rule. A fall vacation in Cody features a different demographic. There are still school age children (homeschoolers and those on year round calendars are common) to be found, but I notice a more “mature” crowd.

— Sports have gotten more interesting.  My dad taught me long division when I was a kid by showing me how baseball batting averages were calculated, and I have always enjoyed major league baseball since then, especially when the pennant races heat up. Our local school teams are competing in fall sports as well, and I expect great things from our boys and girls.

— The leaves are close to changing color, and hikers and photographers are anxious to take advantage.

— The animals are active. A trip into Yellowstone is a great way to see various species as they prepare for winter. Bears are wolfing down as much food as they can, and wolves are chasing elk who are chasing each other.

Majestic bull elk roam meadows and river banks while bugling for a mate.

Majestic bull elk roam meadows and river banks while bugling for a mate.

— Rendezvous Royale means I get to dress up and mingle with old friends as we check out some special Western art, western furniture and western fashions.

An artist puts the finishing touches on his sculpture during the Buffalo Bill Quick Draw, an event of Rendezvous Royale.

An artist puts the finishing touches on his sculpture during the Buffalo Bill Quick Draw, an event of Rendezvous Royale.

— The Yellowstone Quilt Festival features local talent and a “block challenge” as donated blocks are assembled into one quilt to be raffled. One of these days I am going to win that raffle.

So, dig out your favorite sweater and come join me for a Wyoming fall adventure.

Until next week, I am lovin’ life in Cody, Wyo.

Aug
27

Close Out Summer By Spending Labor Day Weekend in Yellowstone

 

Aug
20

Rendezvous Royale: Where Western Style Meets Elegant Taste

Mix the Western charm of Cody with the prestigious elegance of fine art, fashion, and dancing, and you’ll get one of the most anticipated events of the year: Rendezvous Royale.

Drawing people in from all over the country, the Rendezvous Royale is a week-long festival (September 15-21) that celebrates the West with a renowned art show, auction, fashion show, studio tours, a gala and more.

Western style is showcased on the runway at the 2013 Cody High Style event.

Western style is showcased on the runway at the 2013 Cody High Style event.

Mountain Living magazine said it best when they quoted this event as being “to western arts what the Oscars are to film; the most prestigious event at which to make a splash”.

It’s also the perfect time to plan that autumn vacation you’ve been craving.

Rendezvous Royale gives out-of-towner’s a rare glimpse of Cody, and art enthusiasts a complete immersion into the tradition and history of Wyoming through an array of aesthetic treasures.

Visitors pack the downtown streets of Cody at the 2013 Boot Scoot N’ Boogie.

Visitors pack the downtown streets of Cody at the 2013 Boot Scoot N’ Boogie.

With cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, visitors will have the pleasure of experiencing the town of Cody in a unique season while digging down deep into its cultural roots with a series of shows and exhibits.

The week consists of 5 main events: the Cody Culinary Cook-off (September 18), Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale (August 20-September 20), Cody High Style (September 17-21), Boot Scoot N’ Boogie (September 18)  and a Patron’s Ball (September 20). Most events will take place at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. 

The Buffalo Bill Art Sale will run September 19 & 20th with a live and silent auction showcasing original artwork in watercolor, pastel, sculpture, ceramic, and mixed media.

“South and West”, a piece by Buckeye Blake on sale through the Silent Auction.

“South and West”, a piece by Buckeye Blake on sale through the Silent Auction.

The Culinary Cook-Off will tantalize your taste buds with some gourmet Western dishes prepared by local chefs. Cost to participate is $10.00 for adults and $5 bucks for the kiddos.

All the events are relaxed and a ton of fun, but ditch the cowboy boots on Saturday, September 20th and don your best evening attire for the 38th Annual Buffalo Bill Center of the West Patrons Ball–a sophisticated evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, dinner, and dancing among fellow cowboys and cowgirls of the Northwest.

Ready to dive in to this charming event? There is limited seating available for most events, so be sure to register soon!  Look up places to stay, where to eat, and other travel necessities on our website. 

All photos credited to: redezvousroyale.org

Aug
15

Fly me to the Moon, or at Least to Powell’s Wings ‘N Wheels Show!

When you live in the wide open spaces of Wyoming, transportation is important.

Our towns here in Yellowstone Country are certainly small enough that you can walk from end to end. Riding horseback is still a way of life, and the bicycles and motorcycles coexist just fine.

But let’s face it: We love our cars and trucks. While we don’t compare to a place like Alaska where it seems every other person flies, there is more than our share of private pilots and small airstrips around here.

Open landscapes add to the great air show.

Open landscapes add to the great air show.

This weekend I intend to accept a standing offer from a “pilot acquaintance” who has been after me to go flying in his single-engine Piper Dakota. My plan is to meet him Saturday morning at the Cody Yellowstone Regional Airport where he keeps his plane. While I know any direction is okay with him, I want to make the short flight to Powell. This will be a simple flight with no special tricks, unlike what we will see later that morning.

The air show is always spectacular at Wings 'N Wheels.

The air show is always spectacular at Wings 'N Wheels.

You see, this Saturday is Powell’s Annual Wings ‘N Wheels Fly-in & Car Show at the Powell Municipal Airport. Plane and car owners will be displaying their vehicles, most of which have been restored or customized. There are great photos on the website of vintage cars and planes positioned next to each other on the runway.

Vintage automobiles are popular at Wings 'N Wheels.

Vintage automobiles are popular at Wings 'N Wheels.

The owners of the cars and planes are proud of their vehicles and always happy to discuss them. These aficionados enjoy each other’s company, share information and generally just love talking about engines, wings and wheel covers.

Breakfast starts at 7 a.m., and I really want to be there early enough so that I am ready for the car show at 9 a.m. followed by the air show at 10 a.m. At 2 p.m. trophies will be presented, and we will reluctantly depart until next year.

Cars of all makes and models are displayed with pride.

Cars of all makes and models are displayed with pride.

If you can make it, please head to Powell on Saturday and look for me. I will be the one negotiating with the Corvette owners to buy one of their cars.

In the meantime, I am lovin’ life – and tipping my wings at everyone on the ground – in Cody, Wyo.

Aug
11

Finding the Familiar in Yellowstone Country

Like most people, I have two sides of my personality and like to keep them balanced.

I love spontaneity and wandering into new towns and places and stores. Cody, Wyoming is always full of new faces and license plates from all of the states and provinces. When I hear a foreign accent my first thought is to wonder where those people are from. If I can figure out a way to strike up a conversation I love learning what brought them here for a Wyoming vacation.

What I’ve found through the years, however, is that after meeting new people, visiting new places and enjoying new experiences, I start to feel out of balance. When I lived in the big city, my “cool” friend Brian told me why I was feeling blue one day.

“You’re ‘jonesing’ for that small town where you know every other person in the grocery store and all the words to the songs of your beloved cowboy music,” he said.

And he was right. Every now and then I simply needed a trip to Cody to get myself balanced.

Even though I moved back, it still happens. Thanks to Brian’s observation I have figured out the cure to dealing with too many new people, places and experiences.

Sometimes I seek out my favorite hiking trail or trout stream, but often I go to the Cody Nite Rodeo.

Barrel racing, one of the few rodeo events for girls, is fast paced and fun to watch.

Barrel racing, one of the few rodeo events for girls, is fast paced and fun to watch.

When I was young I participated in barrel racing. The first time I was so nervous that I almost headed to the wrong side of the arena to make my loop around the barrel. Fortunately, my horse went in the right direction and after just a few strides we were back in sync.

It seems like the older girls always won this event, and we novices had to bide our time until we grew and became competitive.

The object is to run a clover leaf pattern around 3 barrels as quickly as possible.

The object is to run a clover leaf pattern around 3 barrels as quickly as possible.

I relate most to the rodeo’s barrel racing, but I love the familiarity of knowing which events are coming up in which order. As the tie-down roping is happening, I feel myself preparing for the barrel racing. In my mind I am calming my horse and my own nerves and getting in position to start the timer and take the correct angles. I’m encouraging my horse to go faster until it is time to slow at the last moment for that turn.

Before I know it, my favorite event is over, and the bull riders are getting in the chutes. This is the premier event for most rodeo fans, and it also puts most of us on the edge of our seats. Bulls are incredibly powerful, and the smartest ones are pretty crafty at changing directions and setting up the riders. I believe staying on a bull for eight seconds is one of the most difficult things a human can attempt.

Bull riding is the last event at the Cody Nite Rodeo, and the most thrilling!

Bull riding is the last event at the Cody Nite Rodeo, and the most thrilling!

After a night at the rodeo I like to walk back through town past the buildings I know so well. I still look at license plates to see what states are represented and guess where people are from, but I am content continuing home.

I will meet someone new tomorrow.

Until next week, I am lovin’ life – and finding my barrel racing balance – in Cody, Wyo.

 

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