Buffalo Bill Blog

Oct
31

Halloween in Cody/Yellowstone Country Still has that Small Town Appeal

One of the best parts about living in a small town like Cody is that we celebrate events like Halloween without going over the top. We know all of the kids – big and small – will show up on mainstreet to trick or treat at downtown businesses. Someone usually throws a family or grownup party, and the emphasis is on fun instead of trying to scare each other.

Even grown-ups enjoy being someone else for a day!

Even grown-ups enjoy being someone else for a day!

Don’t tell the people who run the supposed haunted hotels in town, but I don’t believe in ghosts. I’ve heard the stories about Buffalo Bill still being spotted at the Irma with a cigar in his mouth, cleaning his pistol or hanging out in his favorite room.

The only thing that scares me about The Irma Hotel  is running out of prime rib some Saturday night, but I don’t worry about its supernatural guests.

With Halloween on a Friday this year, it is going to be fun in Cody. Early evening will be devoted to going downtown and seeing the pageant of trick-or-treaters strolling the sidewalks with their bags of candy. A few may come by my house.  Of course, early this week I bought two bags of candy that has been magically disappearing. Maybe I should believe in ghosts. Who else would be responsible?

Pets even get in spirit of Halloween.

Pets even get in spirit of Halloween.

Later I plan to head over to a Halloween party for the grownups. My friend, Tim, and his wife are hosting a small gathering. Tim is dressing up like a fly fisherman since he already has the clothes.

I haven’t decided yet what my costume will be. Since superheroes seem to be popular these days, I was thinking about going as Wonder Woman. It seems like zombies are everywhere, and those costumes are pretty easy to create. Just a little makeup and you can be a zombie football player, or zombie cowboy or zombie mountain man.

Local organizations help downtown merchants hand out candy.

Local organizations help downtown merchants hand out candy.

Time is running out, however, so I will probably dig into that box in the basement and put together a witch’s costume. I always have good intentions but I am just not that creative.

And, frankly, whatever I decide I know that Halloween in Cody will be scary fun.

Until next week, I am lovin’ life – and avoiding zombies – in Cody Wyo.

Oct
28

Cody/Yellowstone Country — Unplugged

I appreciate the irony that comes with my telling you – in a blog read by people on computers, tablets and phones – that around here in Yellowstone Country we are pretty good at riding horses, fishing for trout and putting away our electronics.

Sure, the cell phone coverage in Cody is good and a wi-fi connection is easily found. The cable company was my friend this week as I watched baseball’s World Series and Thursday Night Football featuring the Broncos and Chargers. I might even have caught up on a guilty pleasure (slow down, Jax) or two.

A vacation in Cody, however, is best done when you unplug. I get it that sometimes you need to check your e-mail or follow up with someone back in the office. I have one friend whose attitude is that cell phones should be confiscated at the airport (or the Wyoming border if you are driving) and there should be rules against their use on city streets, in parks, at the beach and basically anywhere within three miles of him when he is outside. Even though I have pointed out to one him for several years now that connectivity allows me to get away more often instead of tethering me to my desk, he refuses to see it any other way.

When in Cody you can immerse yourself in Buffalo Bill history.

When in Cody you can immerse yourself in Buffalo Bill history.

One area I do agree with him is that there are time when they should be put away. You ever try reeling in a rainbow trout with one hand? And how can you appreciate the natural beauty around here if you are always looking down?

Here are my suggestions for when and when not to use electronics.

Do use them when you are researching the Cody Nite Rodeo.

Don’t pull out your phone in front of the rodeo clown unless you want to be part of the routine.

Do look for places that sell bear spray.

Don’t check your e-mail when you are hiking in bear habitat.

There are few places in Yellowstone where cell phone reception is possible.

There are few places in Yellowstone where cell phone reception is possible.

Do use your map and gps capabilities to find the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Don’t google Buffalo Bill once you get there. Where do you think the information comes from?

Do turn off your ringer when you go to a Dan Miller show. (He can be worse than the rodeo clown.)

Cell phones can be used to take photos but that’s all at Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue

Cell phones can be used to take photos but that’s all at Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue

Don’t forget to take a selfie with Dan.

Do donate to the online Corrie N. Cody retirement fund.

Don’t be cheap.

Okay, maybe the last “Do” was not a real suggestion, but you should get the point. Use your electronics sparingly when you get here.

Until next week, I am lovin’ (the quiet) life here in Cody Wyo.

Oct
21

Honoring the Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame Inductees

Living in the least densely populated state in the Lower 48, we here in Wyoming have a different perspective compared to other parts of the country. With just six people per square mile, it is easy to appreciate everything nature and the outdoors offer.

Even with the sweeping views of Yellowstone Country, seemingly unlimited trails and trout streams, ability to get away from technology and never ending experiential leisure opportunities, it is tempting to think our resources are inexhaustible.

That is hardly the case. As the state with the country’s first national park, first national forest and first national monument, Wyoming has a long history of conservation and of forward-thinking individuals who have worked to keep the state in good condition for generations to come.

Wide open spaces are part of Cody/Yellowstone Country.

Wide open spaces are part of Cody/Yellowstone Country.

We take things so seriously that we have the Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame (WYOHOF) which is operated by Wyoming Wildlife – The Foundation (now a component fund of the Wyoming Community Foundation). According to its web site, this is “a charitable, non-advocacy organization dedicated to conservation education and the funding and management of projects that benefit Wyoming wildlife. Since the year 2000, we have developed many trusted partnerships that create the opportunity for you to contribute and bring projects to life. Your contributions will improve Wyoming’s greatest resource – its fish and wildlife – for the benefit of our kids and grandkids.”

Wildlife habitat protection is important for future generations.

Wildlife habitat protection is important for future generations.

This year’s inductees will be honored this weekend at our own Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The honorees, as described by Wyoming Wildlife — The Foundation, are:

Cody’s own David Sweet. Dave has been an active member of Trout Unlimited (TU) for nearly 40 years and has served in virtually every leadership position in the TU East Yellowstone Chapter, was chairman of the Wyoming Council of Trout Unlimited and currently serves as treasurer of that organization. He is also a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Ducks Unlimited. In 2007 Dave conceived, implemented and championed the extraordinary collaborative Save the Yellowstone Cutthroat Project. He now serves as the Yellowstone Lake Special Project Manager. This ongoing project has earned national attention and is now listed as a number two priority national project by Trout Unlimited.

Abraham Archibald “A.A.” Anderson, posthumously. An artist, rancher and philanthropist who was born in 1847 and died in 1940, Anderson established a homestead on the Greybull River south of Cody. He named this 160 acre plot Palette Ranch and built a log and gypsum-mortar ranch house there. Within a few years he became frustrated by wildfires in the area which he believed were deliberately caused by out-of-state sheep men who grazed their sheep across cleared forest land. He made it his personal campaign to double the size of the Yellowstone Forest Reserve bordering Yellowstone National Park. This dream became a reality by executive order of Theodore Roosevelt in May, 1902. Roosevelt then appointed Anderson as Special Superintendent to administer both the Yellowstone and Teton Forest Reserves. He served in this capacity until 1905. He established ranks for his men similar to the military and accepted an appointment as a Game Warden of Wyoming. He named his entire staff Assistant Game Wardens, without pay to give them authority to eject poachers. At the end of his tenure, President Roosevelt reorganized the forest reserve lands surrounding the Park and established the Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture.

Protecting fisheries in Yellowstone Park as well as Cody Country is critical.

Protecting fisheries in Yellowstone Park as well as Cody Country is critical.

David C. Lockman. During his tenure as a Game and Fish wildlife biologist, Dave made significant contributions to Wyoming’s wildlife, whether it was testing new data collection techniques for big game or improved management techniques for managing waterfowl. Dave was single-handedly responsible for restoring and expanding trumpeter swan populations in Wyoming. While education supervisor with the Game and Fish Department, Dave prepared and supervised the implementation and management of more than 20 cooperative agreements with Wyoming communities, supervised the development of the Outdoor Recreation Education Opportunities program for Wyoming schools and coordinated the planning and development of more than 50 interpretive education projects, including the National Bighorn Sheep Center in Dubois, Wyoming and wildlife viewing sites across the state as part of the “Wyoming’s Wildlife-Worth the Watching” program. He developed and coordinated all facets toward the planning and execution of the first Wyoming Hunting and Fishing Heritage Exposition hosted by the department.

Until next week, I am lovin’ life – in big part because of people like this year’s WYOHOF inductees – in Cody, Wyo.

Oct
10

October is a Good Time to Roam Free in Yellowstone Country

It’s getting to be that time of year here in Yellowstone Country when a lot of my friends take a lesson from the local bears and other wildlife and start to think about nesting. The temperatures are getting a little cooler all the time, and the leaves have been dropping from the trees. Winter is coming.

I’m not one of the nesters though. This is the time of the year when I like to take long hikes and spend hours at a time fishing in one of my secret trout streams. There’s something magical about October. In the next few days, the last of the lodges in Yellowstone National Park will close so the National Park Service can prepare for the winter season. Days get shorter, and it gets a little quieter.

Absaroka Bikefitters and Backcountry Guides

But just because the trees are dropping their leaves and creating a multi-colored carpet across our valleys doesn’t mean we have to hightail it into our houses. Here are some of my favorite ways to play outside this month:

- I like to watch the wildlife in Wapiti Valley. Wildlife viewing is at its peak this time of year, with bull elk still emitting a distinctive bugling sound to get the attention of potential mates and plenty of pronghorn, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and eagles to watch as well.

- As I mentioned, I have my secret trout streams, but I like to hear about other streams too. I enjoy hanging with my pals in the fly fishing shops and seeking out new maps and advice from the many expert fishing guides in town.

Wildlife

- It’s a good time to take a rock-climbing class from one of the outfitters. With so much porous rock creating drainages and rock formations, there are plenty of places to climb, and the conditions are usually pretty good right up until the end of the month.

- I like to get out my copy of “East of Yellowstone – a Hiker’s Guide to Cody” and find a new trail I haven’t yet tried. This is a great hikers’ companion, and authors JD Tanner and Emily Ressler-Tanner did a terrific job with details about length of each hike, time, difficulty, best season, access and landowner information for about 20 different regional hikes.

October is also a great time for a return visit to two of our famous museums – the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center and Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Both have a variety of rotating exhibits so even if you’ve been there before, you’re going to see something new.

Boulder Basin

So, while some of my friends – you know who you are – have taken to watching marathon “Breaking Bad” sessions and returning to their long-neglected knitting projects, I’m still roaming around Yellowstone Country. Only with a few more layers than last month.

Until next time, I’m loving life and “falling” for Yellowstone Country.

Oct
07

Will someone please tell me how it got to be October?

I know that every week I talk about the various stages of summer, how beautiful September (or July or August) is in Yellowstone Country and how I prepared for fall several weeks too early. But, still, it wasn’t until I turned on the television and saw the major league baseball playoffs had started that I realized we were closer to Halloween than to Labor Day.

So what can we expect this month? Like everywhere else in the country, the temperatures in Cody, Wyoming and throughout the region will steadily cool down and the leaves will change. Personally, I enjoy a crisp morning and look forward to the first frost.

Fall in Cody/Yellowstone Country

A few years ago a popular Cody musician-who-shall-not-be-named gave me a denim jacket lined with sheepskin for my birthday. I love that jacket, but it is way too warm to wear until I can see my breath. The day tomato season ends is the day I go looking for that jacket. Oh, and that musician? He was a much better shopper than boyfriend.

Except for some homeschoolers and a few kids who are on crazy school schedules, most of the tourists who roam in Yellowstone Country are either older empty nesters or couples who like to travel during the more relaxed months of the season. Although I don’t have real numbers to back this claim up, it seems that travelers at this time of the year are much more likely to wander and less likely to be concerned with checking destinations off of a list.

The hotels in Yellowstone National Park as well as many of the guest ranches and campgrounds throughout this northwestern Wyoming region close for the season. As a result, I get to reconnect with many old friends who work incredibly hard and are too busy to make it into Cody during peak season. This is a special group who love the energy and excitement of seasonal work followed by several months where they get to sleep in, travel and be completely lazy. By the time spring rolls around I guarantee they will be itching to get back to work. That is a lifestyle I want to try someday.

Horses grazing in Cody/Yellowstone Country

Mountain runoff is low as we have not had heavy snows at the higher elevations yet. Anglers on the rivers and streams enjoy great trout fishing while the ice climbers begin counting the days until the waterfalls begin to freeze. There is still plenty of time for rock climbing, but I have caught more than one climber talking about our world-class ice.

I see more hunters in town. One thing I always took for granted but which surprised my friends when I lived in the big city was hunters’ respect for the environment and the rules. This is one group that understands the importance of leaving the land in better condition than they found it.

School is in session, and fall sports are a lot of fun. With our wide-open Wyoming spaces we often have to travel long distances to meet our opponents on the field. We love to carpool and caravan to away games, and I cannot tell you how often I have gotten to know people by spending time in the car with them on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon.

Mountain runoff is low as we have not had heavy snows at the higher elevations yet

The leaves change color, and the aspens and cottonwoods create a beautiful yellow tint in the stream beds and up the sides of the mountains.

We have a spectacular month ahead of us. If you don’t believe me, come see for yourself. We’ll take your car to Saturday’s game.

Until next week, I am lovin’ life – and canning tomatoes – in Cody, Wyo.

 

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