Corrie n. Cody's Travel Blog Dividing image

For the Best Yellowstone Vacation, Start...

March 14th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

As winter gives way to spring, I start to hear from old friends who are thinking about their summer vacations. Invariably, they ask for my counsel on planning a summer vacation to my slice of paradise. Specifically, they usually want my help visiting Yellowstone National Park and our area.

I am always happy to share my knowledge as well as my recommendations about what to do, where to stay and which cowboy musician is telephone number-worthy.

While each vacation will be different, there are several things I always recommend.

First of all, the best way to appreciate a Yellowstone vacation is to start it in Cody, Wyo., the wildest way in to the world’s first national park.

The first stop I recommend is to go to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and head to the Draper Natural History Museum. At the Draper’s top level, you can look at a floor map of the region that helps you get your bearings and see where Cody, Park County, the park and the whole Yellowstone ecosystem fit together. From that top level are ramps that go down in a counter clockwise pattern with interpretive displays on specific topics such as the area’s wildlife, how forest Read More


Dude, I want to share a secret with you.

March 7th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Did you know the term “Dude” actually originated here in Cody, Wyo.? No, it’s not from the surfer beaches of California or a junior high locker room.

Back when the park – we locals refer to Yellowstone as “the park” – was still a baby in the 1870s the people who made a living taking tourists around the thermal features came up with the term to describe any visitor from the East. The term quickly evolved to describe anyone who hired a guide to show them the West and our lifestyle.

Being proud Westerners, ranchers often hosted guests who wanted to stay for a week or two or three and experience the cowboy life. It did not take long, however, before enough people started visiting that it became prohibitively costly for the ranchers to shelter and feed these visitors.

The answer to this dilemma? Ranchers began reluctantly asking their guests to pay a fee to stay and help with chores around the property. The guests were more than happy to pay these fees, and a new segment of the hospitality industry was born.

The first “dude ranch” dates back to the 1880s and was the Custer Trail Ranch in the Dakota Badlands east of Read More


Zippety Doo Dah! Zip Lines Coming to...

September 4th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Zippety Doo Dah! Zip Lines Coming to Yellowstone Country

On occasion, I feel the need for speed.

When I want an adrenaline rush in the winter, I usually head over to Sleeping Giant Ski Area just west of downtown Cody and ski the intermediate runs. My favorite ski run is Red Star because it is parallel to the ski area boundary and I get some great views of the mountains and valley below.

In the summer, at least these days, it’s not quite as easy for me to get my speed fix. I used to achieve some serious speed when I was a barrel racer at the Cody Nite Rodeo, but those days are long over. When I watch those beautiful young cowgirls with their hair trailing in the wind steering their horses around the barrels with incredible finesse, I can still remember the sheer joy of the race. And I can remember how it felt to win.

So I was super excited to hear that Sleeping Giant Ski Area is building new dual zip lines which will have  fabulous views. And the best part, at least for this former competitor, is that you can race your friends on each zip because the Canadian Read More


West Meets Midwest

August 24th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

If you see me walking around Cody next week telling stories about the town to someone who is feverishly taking notes, please don’t be concerned.

Tap your feet along to the sounds of Americana, bluegrass and songs of the American West at Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue.

You see, we are hosting a conference for the Midwest Travel Writers Association (MTWA), and this group of journalists is coming for more than just Yellowstone Country’s Western brand of hospitality.Over the years there is a good chance you have read an article by one of these writers. Before the Internet turned our lives upside down, travel writers researched and wrote their stories for magazines, newspapers, newsletters and other publications. Many of those publications are now found online, and professionals supply the stories.

This conference is our opportunity to showcase our attractions. The plan is to start with a welcome reception at the Chamberlin Inn followed by a short walk over to enjoy Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue. I know that Dan will promptly win over the female journalists in the crowd, but we cannot just send them home after his performance. We will take the next several days making a trip to Yellowstone, taking 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


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


Musings on the 2015 Cody Stampede

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

The 2015 Cody Stampede is in the history books, and before I focus on the second half of the summer (don’t even think about arguing with me that summer just started June 21) I want to share a few observations.

It always seems there are cowboys competing who are named Cody. Don’t believe me? Look it up. I saw five just in the final standings. You won’t find too many Clevelands or Bostons.

The action never stops at the four Cody Stampede Rodeo performances.

Some other great Western first names were Cimarron, Shane and Levi. There was even a guy named Jesse James. My favorite, however, was Clayton Moore who won the steer wrestling competition. And he did it without any help from a trusted sidekick named Tonto.

When the second Cody Stampede board member walked past me wearing a pink shirt, I wondered what was happening. Turns out on July 2, they along with the Cowboy Up Drill Team and several spectators were “Tough Enough To Wear Pink” making a statement in support of breast cancer research. Well played, all of you. I tip my 10-gallon hat in your direction.

Opening Ceremonies of the Cody Stampede Rodeo.

The Stampede paid out almost $350,000 Read More


This is why Cody is the Rodeo Capital of...

June 12th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When the arm jerker broke from the chute the crowd was seeing daylight.

That’s when I knew that things were back to normal here in the “Rodeo Capital of the World.”

You see, we don’t just throw a rodeo during our county fair. We do it every night June 1 – Aug. 31 with our Cody Nite Rodeo. Actually, that’s not completely true. On Tuesday, June 30 at 7 p.m. the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls event will take place, and from July 1-4 the biggest names in rodeo come to town for the Cody Stampede.

The Cody Nite Rodeo is thrilling for spectators.

First, let’s talk about the Nite Rodeo which has been happening since 1938. Every night our rodeo grounds open the gates at 7 p.m., and the action begins at 8 p.m. Performances are typically around two hours long with events such as bronc riding, bull riding, bareback riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping and barrel racing. I always get a kick out of the kids in the audience who are invited to participate in the calf scramble.

The audience is also entertained by the rodeo clowns whose outfits and humor sometimes mask the serious and highly Read More


They’re Called Wildlife for a Reason

May 15th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

For the past few days it seems whenever I open the newspaper, turn on the tube or connect to the Web there is one story that keeps showing up. The good news is that it has nothing to do with the Kardashian clan.

What I keep seeing is a story and video clip of tourists who got too close to a bear sow and cubs on a bridge in Yellowstone National Park. Nobody was hurt, and the bears seem to be fine.

Bears in the wild are not Teddy Bears.

In the clip I see tourists with cameras getting too close to the bears, and the mama bear starts to run to round up the cubs. That action startles the tourists who then start to run back to their cars. Some of them scream which makes the situation seem even worse.

Around here we are pretty used to seeing wildlife, and we are well-versed in how to act in bear country. The worst position you can find yourself is to be caught between a mama bear and her cubs. It’s even worse than getting between me and a sale at the cowboy music store.

Even awkward moose appear tame in the wild.

And even Read More


Why I Can’t Wait to Spring Into Yellowstone!

May 12th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Hello. My name is Corrie N. Cody, and I’m addicted to birdwatching. Don’t laugh. Well, go ahead and laugh, but please try to understand that those of us who stop in the middle of whatever we are doing outside to watch the flutter of activity in trees really can’t help ourselves. I may forget my smart phone when I leave the house, but I rarely forget my dog-eared Yellowstone Wildlife Field Guide.

And the prospect of hanging out with other birdwatching addicts is one reason I wouldn’t think of missing this year’s Spring into Yellowstone: Cody Birding and Wildlife Festival. This is a prime opportunity to connect with others like me who are passionate about the wild things that roam our land and fly through our skies.

Spring storms rarely deter our feathery friends.

This year’s festival is May 13 through 17, and I’ll be going on field trips and attending seminars led by some of the biggest names in birding and nature photography as well as some of the top biologists in the region. I even purchased brand new binoculars to help me see the region’s wildlife more clearly.

Spring brings many mamas and babies out to meadows and open areas.

Of Read More