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A November to Remember

November 29th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Like many who feasted on turkey and cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving Day, the dear friends and family around my table shared the many things for which they were thankful. When it was my turn, I said simply, “my home and my freedom,” two things that many people – but obviously not all – have the luxury of sharing in this great country of ours.

It was a cold, kind of gray and a little blustery day here in Cody, Wyoming, as it can sometimes be in November, so we put a few extra logs on the fire and cranked up the heat just a bit. Sated, dishes done, we all gathered to watch and nap through some football. All except me, because my mood had turned somber. As I walked by my double-paned picture window after dinner, I could see – just barely – the outline of Heart Mountain.

To thousands of Americans of Japanese descent, the month of November represents far more than the month during which a nation comes together for a feast and launches the festivities of the holiday season. It is the month when a three-year nightmare shared primarily by Americans of Japanese heritage finally ended.

In November 1945, Read More


It’s Party Time

November 22nd, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When I lived in the big city, the Christmas holidays were definitely different from what I was used to. The major department stores created wonderful displays, and friends and employers held parties most every Friday and Saturday (and several weeknights) from the beginning of December until the big day.

Since I moved back to my hometown, I have found the pace to be slower and more to my liking. The holiday events in Cody/Yellowstone Country are happening soon, and I am happy to report that I will be able to enjoy all of them at an easy pace that will allow for plenty of visiting, shopping and reflecting on the season.

Here’s my plan:

Powell Country Christmas will be held throughout the first weekend in December from Friday, Dec. 2 through Sunday, Dec. 4. Country Christmas is a holiday gift expo and craft showcase located in downtown Powell at the Commons at Pond Park. There will be gift booths, crafts, food booths and entertainment throughout the day as well as a lighted Christmas Parade downtown. The event concludes Sunday with the Tour of Homes Event. More information is available at www.powellchamber.org.

Cody Christmas Celebration will be Saturday, Dec. 3. We will enjoy ice carvings, roast marshmallows over Read More


November’s Charms in Yellowstone Country

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

Here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, things are a little quieter and a little slower during November’s pre-holiday lull, and I look forward to these days. November is my time to visit the places I love and linger for a good, long while. Since Cody is home to numerous museums and attractions that are open year-round, there’s always somewhere else to go, something else to see and something else to do.

A good example is the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, with many fabulous exhibitions during November. At the Draper Museum of Natural History – which is celebrating its 15th anniversary next year – there’s an exhibit called Invisible Boundaries: Exploring Yellowstone’s Great Animal Migrations. The exhibit was installed earlier this year, and it will be in place in the special exhibitions gallery through the end of this month. The Draper is the place to go before a Yellowstone visit because it explores and explains the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This particular exhibit presents the challenges elk and other migrating mammals face when they leave park boundaries to search for resources during the winter.

Invisible Boundaries: Exploring Yellowstone’s Great Animal Migrations showcases the challenges faced by the region’s migrating mammals.

There’s also Read More


Appreciating My Foremothers

November 8th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

As I watch our country exercise its most cherished privilege – the right to vote – I am reminded of some of the Wyoming leaders who advanced and defended that simple act on behalf of the population that carries two X chromosomes.

First, a quick review of some relevant Wyoming milestones. The Wyoming Territory was formed in 1869. The same year it became a territory Wyoming also granted the country’s first female suffrage giving women the right to vote, a right women exercised in the election the following year. That act is truly remarkable, given that the 19th Amendment granting the women the vote nationally didn’t happen until 1920, half a century later.

Suffragist Mary Godat Bellamy became the first woman elected to the Wyoming legislature in 1910.

Suffrage wasn’t the only unprecedented thing that advanced women’s lives in that pivotal year of 1869. Legislators also passed a resolution allowing women to sit inside the same government building where lawmakers sat. They passed a bill guaranteeing married women property rights. And female schoolteachers were guaranteed the same pay as male teachers.

The motivation for these unusually women-friendly advancements were not necessarily because legislators had great confidence in women’s judgment. In reality, it was Read More


Anything I Can Do She Could Do Better....

October 31st, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I’m a lousy shot. Most Wyoming women have learned at least two things about guns – how to handle them safely and how to shoot them. I never mastered that second part.

Like many Wyoming dads, my father would take me to the shooting range on Saturdays and yuck it up with his friends as we little gals – protective earmuffs as big as our heads – tried to shoot inside those teeny concentric circles on the targets. He would try not to look mortified when my target would come back without a scratch.

Hoping my talents were of a more domestic nature, my Mom put me in Saturday-morning sewing classes instead. The apron-like creation I made after six agonizing weeks – with its holey pockets and rusty stains from my bloody fingers – became a bit of a family legend as the rapidly unraveling cloth found uses as dog bedding, dust rag and car-buffer.

I eventually took up the violin.

I found myself thinking about my lack of those skills as I pondered an exhibit about Annie Oakley in the Buffalo Bill Museum in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. For Phoebe Ann Moses, as she was known until she took her Read More


Why I think Buffalo Bill is Buried in...

October 17th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (2)

I don’t believe in ghosts, zombies or little men on Mars unless they are pint-sized, knock politely on my door and are grateful for the fun-size chocolate bars I give them. And I suspect a good number of our legends of the American West are what my grandmother would have called “just plain scuttlebutt”.

But there is one legend that I believe is the truth. I believe that Buffalo Bill Cody is buried in an unmarked grave on Cody’s Cedar Mountain – a place revered by American Indians and locals alike – and not under tons of concrete in a suburban Denver museum.

The view from Cedar Mountain overlooking Cody.

The reason I believe it is that my grandmother told me the story when I was no more than 10. She believed it because her father told her. He believed it because he was a good friend of one of Buffalo Bill’s best pals. That pal knew it was true because he was there.

Here’s the part of the story that has never been in dispute. William F. Buffalo Bill Cody died on January 10, 1917 while visiting relatives in Denver. Soon after, his wife Louisa arrived to claim his body and settle Read More


Walking through history in Buffalo...

October 11th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

As a life-long history buff, I’ve always been a big fan of interpretive tours.  Although I prefer tours that combine walking and history – two of my favorite things – I’ll also sometimes take bus tours too. I once took one of those hop-on/hop-off double-decker bus tour in London and never bothered with the hop-off part because the guide was such a great story-teller and kind of hot. (He reminded me of someone I knew back home.)

Tours are a great way to scratch beneath the surface of any destination and learn the often-inspirational stories about the people who played an important part in its evolution.

But tours are not always available when I’m ready to take one. So I was thrilled to learn about a new partnership between the Park County Travel Council, Buffalo Bill Center of the West and a mobile app from a company called TravelStorys. This free app offers a GPS-triggered audio tour of downtown Cody with a focus on little-known stories about the Cody characters like Buffalo Bill and some of its famous visitors and supporters like Andrew Carnegie and Ernest Hemingway.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West has partnered on a walking tour project.

I recently Read More


Six Ways to Learn About Cody’s History

October 3rd, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

If your family is anything like mine, there’s at least one family member who gets a little compulsive about group activities. Believe it or not, in my family that person is not me; it’s my history-loving Dad.

He can spend days wandering through the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. And we always let him have his way, because every time he visits he buys a great steak dinner for the whole gang.

Here are six ways my Dad likes to explore the history of Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country:

Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The massive, world-renowned Buffalo Bill Center of the West houses five superior museums under one modern roof, but the museum got its start in 1927 in a historic building across the street that now houses the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce and the Cody Country Art League. The Center of the West is comprised of the Buffalo Bill Museum, Cody Firearms Museum, Whitney Western Art Museum, Draper Natural History Museum and Plains Indian Museum. The Center employs a variety of techniques – interactive displays, life-sized vintage photographs, exhibits – to engage and inspire visitors.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is Cody’s gem attraction.

Cody Firearms Experience. Cody’s Read More

Five Ways to Enjoy Wildlife this Fall

September 27th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (2)

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