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Living the Local Life in Yellowstone Country

October 13th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (2)

Here in Yellowstone Country, Monday is the best day of the week to shop. That’s when the Big Horn Basin Farmer’s Market is open, and those of us who like our food as fresh as the smell of a crisp autumn Wyoming day can find everything we need to prepare a week of healthy meals.

The market is located in Powell, a small town that is big on charm and rich in agricultural heritage. Powell has become a hub of agricultural tourism in the Yellowstone Country region because it has some of the most fertile ground for farming in the U.S. Named for John Wesley Powell, a well-known explorer and a proponent of Western land reclamation, the town’s agricultural success is due to the foresight of the U.S. Senate and the support of conservationists in the late 1800s. The area was authorized to be part of the Buffalo Bill Dam reclamation project, with irrigation waters transforming what was mostly sagebrush flats into rich irrigated farmland that soon became famous for the production of malting barley, beans, alfalfa, sunflowers and sugar beets. And it was also rich pasture land, allowing for a thriving cattle industry.

Powell remains an agricultural mecca today, and the Read More


Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

September 28th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Fall has finally arrived here in Cody after an absolutely breathtaking and busy summer. In some ways it seems like yesterday that I was putting my flag up to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, but it also seems like a long time ago when I start thinking of everything I did and the people I met in a little over three months.

The biggest obstacle I face in summer is overextending myself. When someone suggests to me on a quiet Monday morning that we grab our cameras and head up the Wapiti Valley on Tuesday afternoon because several moose and grizzlies have been spotted near Sleeping Giant ski area, I immediately say yes.

Historic yellow buses are a great way to tour Yellowstone in the summer.

An early morning run to my favorite trout stream before the sun is too high? I’m there.

Taking an out-of-town visitor on a whirlwind tour of Yellowstone National Park is one of my favorite things in the world.

Next thing I know I’m booked solid and in danger of missing my favorite cowboy musician for the week. And I get grumpy if I go too long without hearing “It Takes a Whole Lotta Liquor to Like Her.”

So what do Read More


There’s a New Gang in Town…

September 14th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

And many of them have four legs. Every fall right after Labor Day, the population of Yellowstone Country sees a rather dramatic change.

Many of our revered attractions, like the cowboys who compete in the Cody Nite Rodeo and our local actors who perform in the nightly Cody Gunfighters show, have carefully packed away their saddles, trophies and costumes. I will continue to see the Cody Trolley for a couple of weeks as it takes visitors through our town on an entertaining hour-long trip. And Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue will continue to perform until Sept. 26. But most vacationers have returned to their homes, unpacked their bags and stored away their photos and mementos from their authentic Cody vacation.

Big Horn Sheep can be seen in the hills of East Yellowstone Valley.

But the population that doesn’t have to think about things like soccer practice and teacher conferences is still around, and this time of year, they like to show off.

When fall comes to Yellowstone Country, the wildlife come out to play. Don’t get me wrong. They’ve been there throughout the summer. Autumn, though, is the season when they are often most viewable from the road, and it’s the time of Read More


Corrie’s Cool Tips for Visiting Cody...

August 10th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Some like it hot, but I’m not one of them. And lately it’s been a little on the hot side around here, with daytime temperatures in the high 80s. I’m not complaining, because Corrie doesn’t complain. Just saying, well, baby, it’s hot outside.

In Yellowstone Country, however, even on the hottest of days there are plenty of things to do – outside and inside – to be cool and stay cool. Here are five ideas:

Enjoy the beauty of Yellowstone Country on horseback

Go for a trail ride. Most of our dude and guest ranches offer trail rides – short ones, long ones, overnight ones, multi-day ones. And many of the rides meander through forests of lodgepole pines, Englemann Spruces and Subalpine Firs, which offer shade from the sun. And the stunning beauty of Yellowstone Country is guaranteed to take your mind off the heat.

Paddle away an afternoon. Between Clark’s Fork River and the North Fork of the Shoshone River, there are plenty of paddling options, including whitewater rafting, family-friendly floating, duckie kayaking and core-busting stand-up paddle boarding (SUP).

Adventure out on one of five loop tours

Crank up the AC and go for a road trip. Yellowstone Country is home to numerous 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


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