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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


Life Lessons, Motorcycles and Smooth Roads...

August 1st, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

A few years ago I participated in a walk to raise funds for cancer research. Like just about everyone I know, I have friends and relatives in Cody, Wyoming and elsewhere who have battled this disease, and many have benefited from the medical advances made possible by well-known organizations who sponsor and run these events.

I was surprised to find that keeping the route safe for us walkers for three days was a local motorcycle club. We could spot these men and women immediately as they arrived with pink decorations and teddy bears adorning their bikes. I thanked as many of them as possible, and I still see many around town.

But having friends who ride bikes is not new. You see, as an old movie buff I have always had a soft spot in my heart for motorcycles.

I was a rebellious 15-year-old when I saw The Wild One and learned some valuable life lessons. When Marlon Brando emerged from the fog I immediately started talking about how cool it would be to have a bike like his. I don’t know if I really wanted one or if I was just trying to give my mother a hard time.

It certainly worked. My Read More


The Most Beautiful Drive in Cody, Wyoming

July 25th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (3)

It seems like all of us have that one person in our lives who gets what we have to say better than anyone else.

In my case, I met Susan in middle school when we were standing in the cafeteria line and she asked the lunch lady for a plate of worms with red gravy. I immediately knew that she wanted the spaghetti with marinara sauce and laughed while the rest of the kids looked at her like she had some strange Martian disease.

I ordered what she was having and made a point of sitting with her at lunch for roughly the next six years. We quickly became inseparable, shared our thoughts and gave each other nicknames. She called me “Coriander” and I called her “Sooz.” (Not “Suze,” because it just didn’t have the same ring to it. Again, we got those looks.)

Recently I thought of Sooz when I was telling a family from Tennessee that no classic Cody vacation is complete without driving one of the two roads to Yellowstone. When I am in the park I refer to them as the two roads to Cody, by the way.

Interesting geology begins at the Buffalo Bill Dam and Reservoir.

“Head west Read More


10 Places to Visit on Your Cody, Wyoming...

July 17th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

It’s Not Too Late to Take that Cody Vacation!

I was watching one of the Lord of the Rings movies one winter night when the character Gandalf explained to one of the hobbits that he was never late and never early but he always showed up according to his schedule.

Maybe you are a little like that. You haven’t made your summer vacation plans yet because the time wasn’t right. Well, if that’s your story – and you’re sticking to it – I have a few suggestions to help you get away. Get away with your story and get away for a vacation, that is.

We have plenty of options for accommodations in and around Cody and Yellowstone. Dude ranches, more commonly called guest ranches these days, have been a staple of the Western vacation experience for more than a century, and Cody has played an integral part of the evolution of these All-American vacation getaways. The roots of this vacation style can be traced to areas in Wyoming where the term “dude” originated and where many ranches operate today.

Enjoy a Western vacation at one of our local guest ranches

For guests who prefer in-town accommodations within walking distance of attractions like the 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


“One Active Week” — So many outdoor...

June 6th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Recently my cousin Diana decided to vacation in Cody which I took to mean that she intended to check into my guest room and let me cook and clean up after her for a week. I figured she was trying to save a few bucks like she did when we were little kids and she always left her allowance at home when we walked down to the corner store.

I could not have been more wrong about her intentions. She turned out to be a perfect guest. When we went out for dinner she was quick to pick up the check. When we stayed home for a meal she made sure to stop at the grocery store for supplies. She cleaned up afterwards, and we enjoyed doing the dishes together. It all seemed so natural.

But the best part of the week was that my cousin was simply looking for something active to do every day. She had heard that a vacation in Wyoming was not complete without hiking, riding or fishing.

“Fair enough,” I said. “We have more options for those activities than you can imagine. What do you want to do the rest of the week?”

And that’s how we set 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


“Life was so Whimsical?” — Vacation in...

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

I don’t know about you, but every now and then I get a song running through my head that stays there most of the day. I had a friend who was very adept at planting tunes with me and then walking away while I had to deal with Barry Manilow or the theme from Gilligan’s Island the rest of the day. No offense to you Barry Manilow fans, but he is no Marty Robbins.

Do you remember the Supertramp tune “Logical Song?” The lyrics rhyme wonderful, magical, miracle, responsible, practical and more. Maybe it’s even running around in your head right now.

I heard that song last week, and I am convinced my subconscious processed it and was waiting for an opportunity. You see, when I was speaking yesterday to a friend about coming west for one of our signature Cody vacations, for some reason the word “whimsical” came out of my mouth multiple times.

Sure, we have our wide open spaces and perfect country for hiking, biking, fishing, watching wildlife and a whole lot more, but do we really think of our whimsical side?

Here are a few things to do on vacation in Cody that certainly fit the bill. And 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