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Yellowstone Country is Calm before the Storm

November 20th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

It’s quiet here in Cody, Wyoming this week, just like it usually is around this time of year. It is a week I love. It always seems to happen the week before Thanksgiving that I notice fewer visitors walking around our little Wyoming town. In fact, this entire Northwestern Wyoming region seems to be quiet because our neighbor to the West, Yellowstone National Park, is still closed to allow the National Park Service to get ready for the winter season, Sleeping Giant Ski Area hasn’t opened yet and most of our guests who come for Thanksgiving haven’t yet arrived.

Every display can be thoroughly studied at the Whitney Gallery of Western Art.

But even though it is quiet, there’s a great deal going on. You notice it in the restaurants and coffee shops first. Locals like me linger a little longer than usual talking quietly with friends. You see a lot of nodding and smiles, and you hear quite a bit of soft laughter coming from the booths and tables. You see it in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center too. Visitors take their time to savor the exhibits, reading the signs in full, staring at Read More

Baby, it’s cold outside…so go outside...

by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Looks like our long, colorful and unusually warm autumn here in Yellowstone Country has come to an end. And if your friends are anything like mine, I’m hearing a lot of moaning and groaning about the deep freeze that has hit our little town of Cody, Wyoming. With ready access to The Weather Channel, everyone around here knows that for the next few days at least, we’re going to be cold. Very cold. But my patience for whiners is as thin as my blood right now, so after giving my friends a day or two of time to adjust to winter in Wyoming, I tell them to quit their bellyaching and go outside and play. (I say that with a great deal of kindness and tact, of course.)

Even the Coyotes enjoy playing in the snow.

Here in Wyoming, where we roam around in cowboy boots and Stetson hats much of the year, most of us just make a few wardrobe adjustments in a nod to the realities of winter. Fortunately, our stellar sporting goods stores stock plenty of base layers, fleece and Sorels right alongside the crampons, carabiners, and skis and snowshoes for rent and purchase. Fortunately, even when it’s cold around Read More

Quick Quiz from Cody: Guess Which State...

November 7th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Well, now that this round of elections is over I can watch television again. Or at least I don’t have to hit the mute button and go clean something in the other room during commercials. In the last few weeks, I was reminded of the first woman elected governor in this country and how she did not even campaign. Of course, she was elected governor of the great state of Wyoming.

Wyoming State Capital, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Nellie Tayloe Ross was born November 29, 1876 in St. Joseph, Missouri, the sixth child and first daughter of James and Blair Tayloe. Nellie spent her first seven years in St. Joseph until the family moved to Miltonvale, Kansas where she graduated from high school. After graduation, the Tayloes moved to Omaha, Nebraska where she taught piano, attended teachers college and spent four years teaching kindergarten.

Governor Nellie Tayloe Ross

In 1890 she met William Bradford Ross, an attorney whom she married in 1892. The Rosses moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming shortly after their marriage where William Ross opened a law practice and became involved with the Democratic Party. Ross ran for various offices but was defeated each time. In 1922, however, Ross ran for governor of Wyoming and won. Read More

Halloween in Cody/Yellowstone Country...

October 31st, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

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!

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 Read More

Cody/Yellowstone Country — Unplugged

October 28th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

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 Read More

Honoring the Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame...

October 21st, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

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.

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 Read More

October is a Good Time to Roam Free in...

October 10th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

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. 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 Read More

Will someone please tell me how it got to...

October 7th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

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. 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 Read More

What to wear on your Cody/Yellowstone...

September 26th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

Following my Mother’s Advice in Cody, Wyoming Just saw a group of people heading out a trail with their fly rods in hand wearing shorts and hiking boots with their waders slung over their shoulders. I’m sure they had Cody’s blue-ribbon trout waters on their minds.  

Anglers enjoy the solitude of late season fishing.

Apparently, nobody told them that a vacation in Cody was restricted to summer months. Seeing hopeful anglers is common all summer here in Yellowstone Country, and I normally would not even mention it. I, however, thought I was way ahead of the game when I spent the best part of last weekend organizing my clothes in preparation for the changing of the seasons. While blue jeans are pretty much appropriate for any Wyoming event, many of us match our clothes to the activity. Summer is warm, and those jeans can simply be too much in the direct sun when I am climbing a steep trail, bicycling out to a favorite getaway or listening to some cowboy music on the porch of the Irma Hotel. So when the weather report called for a high of 89F for today, there I was completely prepared for cool and comfortable “jeans and sweater” weather.

Fall Read More


Finding that Perfect Balance in Cody —...

September 19th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Twice each year the planet reaches a point where I pause and think about balance. When the Autumnal – also called the “Fall” – Equinox arrives on September 22, Earth will momentarily be neither tilted towards nor away from the sun. All over the planet we will see 12 hours of light and 12 of dark before the days shorten in the northern hemisphere and lengthen in the southern. I am just geeky enough to get a big kick out of factoids like that. Like many places in this country, Cody, Wyoming used to be primarily a summer vacation destination. Kids were out of school roughly from the beginning of June until the beginning of September, and families took their Wyoming vacations during that time.

Summer sunset over Cody, Wyoming

Summer is still the busiest vacation season in Yellowstone Country, and July will probably always be the busiest month of the year in and around Yellowstone National Park. Through the years, however, many factors have come into play to not only stretch the tourist season but to make the region appealing at any time of year. - We are always looking to achieve a better balance. Here are some reasons why we are succeeding:Changes in school Read More