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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


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


Surprising Cody, Wyoming

June 27th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Those people who might think there is nothing surprising about Cody, Wyoming didn’t see the T-Rex rolling down Sheridan Avenue last week.

Try your luck on our water

Like many Wyoming towns, Cody, Wyoming is full of surprises. Last week we saw a 28-foot-long Tyrannosaurus Rex travel through town on the way to its new home at the Casper College Tate Geological Museum. You couldn’t exactly miss the bronze sculpture as it was traveling by truck to Cody. An oddity, certainly, but if you’ve lived in Cody as long as I have nothing really surprises you.

Pioneer home ordered from Sears catalog

Visitors to Cody, Wyoming will find we have a few other surprises up our sleeves. Here are a few examples. You’ll hear about many of these surprising fun facts about Cody if you take the Cody Trolley Tour of the town, a popular tour for vacationers and locals alike.

Cody, Wyoming is home to three pioneer homes that were ordered from a Sears Catalog in 1908.

One of Cody’s banks was robbed by members of the famous Hole-in-the-Wall Gang in 1904, and you can see their hideaway cabin at Old Trail Town, a collection of cabins and other Read More


How to Make the Longest Day of the Year Fly By

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

The summer solstice was last week, and I truly do get excited about it. In fact, I like to make a game out of cramming in as much as possible on June 21 each year. I call it my Cody in a day marathon.

Perhaps it’s because of the memories from my childhood when we used to stay outside playing as long as the light held out. At that point all of the kids were still excited about school being done for the year, and most of us were not even thinking about summer vacations or extended visits to our grandparents’ houses. Now that I think about it, it was my parents who were the most eager to send us to bond with Grandma and Grandpa.

I have always been one of those people who cannot go to sleep while it’s still light out, and I am quick to wake up on summer mornings. It’s a good thing I live in such a terrific vacation destination like Cody.

Because the solstice fell on a Saturday this year, I can go all out knowing that I have all day Sunday to recuperate.

Here was my plan:

I will start out “Cody Palooza” by fishing on the Read More


Plains Indian Museum Powwow is Colorful...

June 13th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

One of the most colorful events in Cody Wyoming is the annual Plains Indian Museum Powwow. It’s also one of the tastiest. I can already taste the fry bread and Indian tacos.

Each summer competitive dancers from Northern Plains Indian tribes come to Cody to show off swirl, jingle and stomp their way to prizes. Cody vacationers and locals alike are treated to a vibrant show that is fun and festive. But it is also a serious competition, and an announcer explains what’s going on to the uninitiated.

Grand Entry at the Plains Indian Powwow at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Staged by the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, the event this year will be held on June 21 from noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday, June 22 from noon to 5 p.m. My friends and I will be arriving early on Saturday to set up our chairs and blankets on the fabulous grass amphitheater just outside of the museum. Then we’ll go get our first round of Indian tacos and settle in to watch the Grand Entry, when all of the dancers enter the gates and circle the dance area.

The Ladies Shawl Dance is a graceful Read More


Memorial Day marks the beginning of...

May 23rd, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

This is one of my favorite times of the year in Cody, Wyoming. To me, Memorial Day is when the town really swings into Cody summer vacation mode with gusto.

Cody’s East Entrance to the world’s first national park, Yellowstone.

By now the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Heart Mountain Interpretive Center have switched to their summer hours, Cody Nite Rodeo is ready for its June 1st start, Old Trail Town has reopened, Dan Miller and his Cowboy Music Revue are once again entertaining guests six nights a week and the East and Northeast Gates to Yellowstone National Park have reopened.

Pretty soon our own Cody Gunfighters will be bickering and brawling on the streets in front of the Irma Hotel, and before you know it we will be seeing a steady stream of road-trippers from around the country arriving to share in the fun of vacation in the American West.

And Cody has something extra special to celebrate this Memorial Day. The town will be dedicating the new World War I monument at the Wyoming Veterans Memorial during a public memorial service at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day.

One of several monuments at the State of Wyoming Veterans Memorial Read More


Do what Peter Greenberg says and plan your...

April 25th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Last Saturday I was up early, got myself nice and caffeinated, found my grandmother’s recipe for extra-strength borax cleaner, mixed up a batch, donned my industrial rubber gloves, zeroed in on the dust bunnies accumulating under the kitchen table, turned the TV to CBS This Morning Saturday, turned back to the dust bunnies and stopped in my tracks. Because right then, I heard CBS travel expert Peter Greenberg recommend a vacation in Cody as a place to spend your tax return.

The dust bunnies could wait. Peter knows a little something about Cody. He was here a few months ago to do a Peter Greenberg Worldwide radio program, and he talked with several of our local experts on the history and offerings in our town. He called Cody “a place where the wild West still lives,” and he talked about many of our unique attractions like the Cody Nite Rodeo and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

The Scout statue: Buffalo Bill astride his horse – outside the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Now, Peter has been all over the world, and his credentials as a travel reporter are as long and impressive as the list of Read More


Classic Cody/Yellowstone Country Vacation...

April 12th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (2)

Just Don’t Call ME a Classic

I love classic vacations.

For my whole life I have watched families come for a classic Cody vacation, arriving in their overstuffed vehicles with mom and dad in the front and the kids jockeying for position in the back.

Early on these family vacations were taken in station wagons (think the Griswold Family Truckster) followed by minivans. Today’s version tends to be a sport utility vehicle, but the concept is still the same.

When these vehicles first arrive, the doors open and the family members all depart from different angles, stretch and look around, ready for their first taste of Western fun. I can tell they are ready to spend some time anywhere other than in the car.

The good news is that they have come to the right place with plenty of activities within walking distance and a well-planned street system that makes it very difficult to get lost.

There really isn’t any bad news.

Often one or both of the parents will look around before turning to each other and say “Yep, this is how I remember Cody when I came here with my parents when I was a kid. I sat on the porch of the Read More


Vacationers In Buffalo Bill’s...

October 24th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

Now that the government shutdown is behind us, I am so happy things are back to normal, people are back to work and folks are coming back to Cody.

During that time when all those people who think the center of world is located on the eastern seaboard decided that they know what is best for the rest of us, something fun happened.

I met a group of people who were planning on heading to the park (we call Yellowstone “The Park” around here), but they decided to spend three extra days here in our slice of heaven.

Understandably, these folks were a little disappointed that they had driven all the way from Ohio — home of the Buckeyes, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and more nice people than there are lodgepole pine trees in the Shoshone National Forest — only to be turned away 50 miles short of the east gate.

Naturally, me being me, I felt somewhat responsible that their vacation was interrupted, and I took it upon myself to help them map out some alternatives.

We met on the porch of the Irma Hotel for coffee, and our half-hour planning session stretched to Read More


Buffalo Bill’s Name Still Dominant

October 15th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

Let’s face it, it’s near impossible to go anywhere around here without catching on that Buffalo Bill Cody is still a dominant force. While our friendly little town was named after the man when it was founded in 1895 and incorporated in 1901, there was a whole mess of things named after Buffalo Bill after he died. Some are nearby and others are located throughout the West where he lived and died.

Here is a quick rundown.

Museums

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West (BBCW) in Cody is actually five museums with the Whitney Gallery of Western Art, Firearms Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Draper Museum of Natural History and, of course, the Buffalo Bill Museum.

There is also a Buffalo Bill Museum in LeClaire, Ill. focused on life along the Mississippi River and local history and one in Golden, Colo. next to Cody’s official grave.

Fort Cody Trading Post in North Platte, Neb., is the home of a miniature Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The show took 12 years to carve and contains more than 20,000 hand carved pieces – many animated.

Parks

There is the Buffalo Bill State Read More