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Cody Museums Rock the True West

August 3rd, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

It feels good to be a winner, and a lot of people involved with our very own Buffalo Bill Center of the West are feeling purty goshdern good today. (Read on to see why I’m suddenly reverting to my cowgirl vernacular.)

America’s frontier history comes to life in True West, the world’s oldest, continuously published Western Americana magazine.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West was just named the Top Western Museum for 2015 by True West magazine, which as many of you know is a top-notch magazine covering the authentic West. I got a sneak peek at the upcoming September issue of the magazine, which highlights the Buffalo Bill Museum’s “Man of the West, Man of the World: The Life and Legacy of William F. Buffalo Bill.’”

Yes, yes, I know. As my mama always said, “Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back,” but I’m so tickled that the Center of the West topped the list that I couldn’t keep it to myself. I hope the fine writers at True West magazine won’t be too ticked at me, and if all of you buy a copy of the magazine, maybe they won’t be. Look for Read More


Our Kind of Competition

July 27th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Here in Cody – for that matter, here in Wyoming – we have a healthy respect for guns, gun safety and firearms in general.

Hunting has been a way of life for most people here, and for many of our ancestors it was essential for survival. When I grew up all of my friends and I received “the talk” from our parents about what to do if we came across a gun (don’t touch it, tell an adult immediately) and were instructed on proper handling and shooting once we were old enough.

Guns aren’t toys. We don’t own guns to be cool, and people who just leave them lying around in the open or otherwise mishandle them are told to straighten up.

We take gun safety seriously and are completely flabbergasted when see the way some people treat firearms. Who in their right mind would actually shove a loaded pistol down the front their pants? What could possibly go wrong?

All of my lessons returned to me this week as I began to prepare earnestly for the 22nd Annual Buffalo Bill Invitational Shootout which will be held Aug. 6-8, 2015 at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Cody Firearms Museum and at the Read More


Heart Mountain Barrack Returning

June 26th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When out-of-towners come for a Cody Country vacation it is usually the park or rodeo or fishing or Buffalo Bill Center of the West or something like that which gets them here. Many visitors leave, however, with a different perspective after they experience something that turns some of their preconceived notions upside down.

Perhaps it is a trip to Old Trail Town where they learn that whole families lived in small cabins as they worked hard to survive before they even considered what it would take to prosper. We’re talking about cabins without plumbing. Or wi-fi.

Heart Mountain Relocation Camp was one of 10 in the U.S. built at the beginning of WWII.

One of, if not the most, profound experiences to me is the Heart Mountain Relocation Center between Cody and Powell. During World War II nearly 14,000 (120,000 total at various camps in the West) Japanese Americans were forced from their homes – primarily in California – and dropped off at a remote, barren area where they stayed until the war ended. They lived in barracks built with green lumber, no insulation and virtually no amenities.

Some 450 of these barracks were built, and from 1942 to 1945 Heart Mountain Relocation Read More


Two Great Days in One

June 18th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

This Sunday marks the convergence of two of my favorite days – the Summer Solstice and Father’s Day.

On the solstice I like to conduct my annual “as-long-as-it’s-daylight-I-am-doing-something” day. It’s sort of a weeklong Cody vacation compressed into 16½ hours. That means I am outside and active. I know a few people who could spend the whole day in a saddle, on the river or hiking a trail. I plan on doing all of those things and more.

The Cody area provides many opportunities to take a scenic hike.

This year will be special, however, as I have convinced my father (he doesn’t like it when I refer to him as “my old man”) to join me. That means we have to eat our breakfast and be out of the house by the time the sun rises officially at 5:31 a.m. That won’t be a problem for an old rancher like my father who has been getting up early pretty much all of his life. The hard part will be keeping him awake until the sun sets at 9:04 p.m.

I thought we would start with a hike to help get the blood pumping and to take advantage of our cool Cody mornings. Read More


Cody: A Couples Getaway

April 27th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

So I received an e-mail the other day to inform me that Cody has been named one of the Top 17 Perfect Summer Hideaways for Couples by datingadvice.com.

There were other towns and regions that were featured to create a diverse selection with options such as vineyards, islands, beaches and plenty of mountain locales.

If the article had focused on cowboy/cowgirl couples Cody would be the whole list.

Couples can explore the Buffalo Bill Center of the West for days.

In July and August we tend to see our streets dominated by families. It stands to reason that as long as schools are out of session during the summer, the busiest vacation times will follow that same schedule.

It’s during the shoulder seasons before Memorial Day and after Labor Day that I notice couples. These are the people who are more likely to take their time in each of the five museums that make up the Buffalo Bill Center of the West or the exhibits that so profoundly tell the story of Japanese American internees during World War II at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center. Kids are struck by how small homesteader cabins were back in the 1800s when they visit Old Trail Town/Museum Read More


It’s Tax Time in Cody

April 13th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Since I never wait until the last minute, I think it’s time for me to start on my taxes.

My accountant tells my every year that some of my deductions simply will not fly with the Internal Revenue Service. Since we disagree on several, I thought I would just ask my readers what they think.

My fondness for cowboy musicians is well-known. Since I purchased a significant number of their compact disks in 2014, may I claim one or two pickers as dependents?

There is no end to hiking trails in Cody/Yellowstone Country.

Hiking trails are so plentiful in Cody/Yellowstone Country that I doubt I will ever actually cover them all, no matter how hard I try. How long is the depreciation period on a good set of boots?

I went to Las Vegas with several girlfriends last year and took in a rodeo competition. Even though all of my receipts are still in Nevada and my girlfriends aren’t sharing details (What happens in Vegas…), may I still deduct the trip?

Speaking of travel, may I consider my trip to the Stetson factory a research trip? I rented a Ford Mustang and drove there, after all.

Miles of fishing streams and rivers make Cody an Read More


Getting Ready to Spring into Yellowstone

April 2nd, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

In honor of springtime, I did what lots of people who live in Yellowstone Country do. I bought myself some new bling for around my neck. And we’re not talking about another turquoise necklace. No, I went whole hog and invested in this darling camo-colored pair of 8 x 32s with ultra-clear fluoride HD objective lenses, multi-coatings for exceptional resolution, magnesium construction that is durable but lightweight, nitrogen purged, fully sealed and abrasion resistant. Oh yeah. These babies are the bomb.

And every one of my friends – women and men – will be coveting my new binoculars when I break them in at this year’s Spring into Yellowstone Festival May 13 -17.

Happy Explorers on the Spring Into Yellowstone tour.

This is the third year of the Spring into Yellowstone Birding and Wildlife Festival. I took a peek at the festival website, to see what’s in store this year, and it looks to me like the line-up is bigger and better than ever. The festival kicks off at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West on the night of the 13th. And the next two days are jam-packed full of guided hikes, seminars, tours and workshops led by some of the Read More


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


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