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It’s True. And we Have the Awards to...

December 5th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

Our little slice of heaven here in Cody, Wyo. just received four awards from one of my favorite magazines – True West.

I have read this publication whenever possible for as long as I can remember. Even the name of the magazine gets straight to the essence of our existence. It reminds me of the time I visited a friend in New Hampshire who was incredibly proud of his collection of Yankee magazines.

If Buffalo Bill Cody were alive today he would, at the very least, be a regular columnist if not the editor and publisher of True West.

The historic Irma Hotel years ago.

True West has published since 1953. Its mission is to “capture the spirit of the American West with authenticity, personality and humor by linking our history to our present. Whether you call it the Wild West, the Old West or the Far West, America’s frontier history comes to life in True West, the world’s oldest, continuously published Western Americana magazine.”

The magazine’s annual Heritage Travel Guide recognizes readers’ and editors’ favorite towns, parks, forts, hotels, saloons and restaurants.

Cody winners this year include Editor’s Choice for “Best Old West Town to Live In,” “Best American Indian Collection – Buffalo Bill Read More


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

November 20th, 2014 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


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


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


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


Plan a Fall Vacation in Yellowstone Country

September 5th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

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.

 

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 Read More


Rendezvous Royale: Where Western Style...

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

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.

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.

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 Read More


Fly me to the Moon, or at Least to...

August 15th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

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.

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.

You see, this Saturday is Powell’s Annual Wings ‘N Wheels Fly-in & Car Show at the Powell Municipal Read More


Finding the Familiar in Yellowstone Country

August 11th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

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 Read More