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When I Have Company

June 18th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


Few things in life are certain, but I can practically guarantee this: If you live in Cody/Yellowstone Country you will have company at some point, most likely in the summer. And if your friends and relatives are anything like mine, they are curious about what makes the town and surrounding area tick.

I have developed a surefire way to answer most of the questions these folks have and to make their visit so much better by helping them understand what they are seeing.

Here’s my three-step process.

1.  I take my guests over to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and we make a hard left straight to the Draper Natural History Museum. We walk over to the edge of the top level and look down at a big tile floor map of the region. By starting big, we get our bearings and see where Cody, Park County, the Park and the whole Yellowstone ecosystem fit together.

We then head down the ramps and begin to learn about some more specific topics like the area’s wildlife, how forest fires are actually good for the Read More

Cody Western Furniture

June 11th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


It’s going to be a big week for me in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country with some serious decision-making going on.

That’s because I am going shopping for furniture, and I am not talking about your basic sofas, loveseats, chairs, ottomans and recliners.

No, I like to buy my furniture one or two pieces at a time from one of many fine artists in town. You probably didn’t know that our little town has attracted some of the finest builders and designers of Western furniture and accessories.

This is not something that happened overnight, and we can trace Cody’s roots as a center for Western furniture back to the 1930s to our most famous designer and builder – Thomas Molesworth, owner of the Shoshone Furniture Company. Molesworth combined the basic furniture designs that local cowboys used in ranch houses throughout the area with elements such as leather, horsehide, elk antlers, Native American weavings, brass tacks and more.

After building furniture for us locals, Molesworth’s work became known by Easterners, many of whom traveled to Western dude ranches and Yellowstone National Park. He subsequently received commissions to design and build tables, chairs, couches and other furniture for homes across Read More

My First Trip Of The Year Into “The...

June 4th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


I had the best weekend! The first trip to the park every spring is always special, but this year’s venture had the extra bonus of knowing that so many citizens of Cody banded together to help make the east entrance snow plowing happen on time.  

I am so proud of my peeps and the way they refused to let politics, budget cuts and a little snow get in the way of their livelihoods.

Anyway, I headed due west to the park – we locals usually refer to Yellowstone as “the park” – early Saturday morning. With the sun at my back the light was perfect, and I stopped several times along the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway to shoot some photos of the rock formations. While there are plenty of “Castle Rocks” and “Chimney Rocks” wherever you go, we have formations called “Old Woman and Her Cabin,” “Snoopy the Dog” and “Chinese Wall.” My favorite is “Laughing Pig Rock.”

As I departed the Wapiti Valley I waved to Buffalo Bill’s original hunting lodge – Pahaska Tepee – and headed up Sylvan Pass. Since I was in no hurry, I stopped at a pull out and looked over the edge Read More

Memorial Day

May 28th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


Ask anyone in Buffalo Bill’s Yellowstone Country who watches the sun, moon and stars when summer starts and they will tell you June 21.

The rest of us know better. Summer starts Memorial Day Weekend.

For me that means an extra morning to sleep in, at least two barbecues and some long walks that start out short but expand because I keep running into friends who are eager to catch up.

There is one thing, however, that I always make sure I do and one that serves to remind me to never take for granted the beauty that surrounds me and the freedom I enjoy in my little corner of paradise.

About halfway between town and the airport – 2519 26th Street to be exact – is the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Park

Currently this park features monuments and memorials to our state’s military people killed during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War. The process is also under way to dedicate the Freedom Memorial to honor those killed during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, the Iraq Wars, the Cold War, other engagements and in peace time.

This Memorial Day I spent an hour on the walking path Read More

The Cody Stampede and the Cody Nite Rodeo

May 14th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


This summer I am planning an Independence Day date with a 94-year-old and a few after dinner rendezvous with a 75-year-old. And I truly am excited about them.

You see, I am not just some opportunist hoping to weasel her way into an inheritance a la Anna Nicole Smith. Nope, the old timers I am referring to are the Cody Stampede and the Cody Nite Rodeo.

The Cody Stampede dates back to 1919. It has twice been named the “Best Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year” by PRCA. This four-day event attracts the top cowboys in the world as they compete in all of the disciplines like bull riding, roping and buying fine Western jewelry for their favorite bloggers. Okay, I made that last one up, but I will say that I am partial to turquoise and anyone who wants to know my ring size can send me a private e-mail.

In addition to the rodeo events, my favorite Fourth of July activity is watching the parade. In Cody, it is not just any parade. Our grand marshals have included a few people you might have heard of. How about John Wayne, Chuck Yeager and Steven Seagal?

The Cody Read More

Acts Opening Through June 1st

May 8th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


Blog post – Week of May 6

 Over the weekend I sat down at my kitchen table with my dry erase board and magic markers and began filling in my calendar. Yes, I know there are all of these high-tech methods of setting up programs with reminders and priority flags and color coding, but I just prefer my white board on the front of the refrigerator.

 Anyway, summer is almost here, and several of my favorite acts and attractions in Cody/Yellowstone Country are opening for the season in the next month or so.

 This weekend the town will host our Annual Buffalo Bill Top Notch Horse Sale. On Saturday we will close down the street at the Irma Hotel and set up a corral as close to 100 horses are bought and sold.

 From May 15-19 is our first Spring Into Yellowstone festival. This will be a great opportunity for folks to learn about and observe some the local wildlife, especially the birds of the area. I am planning on spending equal time in the seminars listening to some of our wildlife experts and out in the field putting some of that newfound knowledge to use.

 On May 17 Read More

The History of Dude Ranches

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


The things that happen in the back yard of Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country that you didn’t even know are astounding.

 The other day I came across a book called Dude Ranching, a Complete History by Lawrence R. Borne. While I have not received the book yet (an online company named after either a South American river or a society of strong women is supposed to send it my way), I did learn a few things.

 The term “dude” did not come from California to describe surfers. Rather, it was coined back in the 1870s by rangers from our own Yellowstone National Park to describe any visitor from the East. Over the course of the next few decades that term was applied specifically to people who hired guides in the West.

 Most of these guests came to hunt and to live the life of a Westerner, even if it only was for a few weeks at a time. They typically camped at night by a fire or pitched tents on the range.

 Not all of the dudes roughed it, however. Many of us here have heard the story of the time Buffalo Bill Cody guided a group Read More

The Progress of the Plows

April 16th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!


Seems like all I hear these days is what’s happening on Game of Thrones. While I have nothing against television shows featuring dragons and nasty little kings, my favorite show is to watch the progress of the snow plows as they make their way into Yellowstone Park.

First, let’s back up a little. As I told you a couple of weeks ago, the National Park Service (NPS) announced that it would delay plowing roads by two weeks as part of a budget-cutting plan because of sequestration. Instead of just allowing that to happen, some folks around here decided to take action and contacted the state of Wyoming. In short time a deal was worked out where the state would supply plowing equipment and crews if the town could raise the money to cover expenses.

Under the leadership of our Chamber of Commerce, the town raised $100,000 in only five working days. The plows are now working their way from the East Gate up Sylvan Pass while NPS plows are heading from Lake Village toward our crews.

The fun part for me is that I like to watch their progress. From Monday through Thursday the crews work 10-hour shifts. Read More

Cody, Rodeo Capital of the World!

April 10th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I have grown up around cowboys and rodeo my whole life.  My father made a living as a bull rider in his younger days.  There were always cowboys around our house.  I would wake up and mom would be fixing breakfast for dad and his rodeo buddies.

There’s still nothing I like better than to be in those rodeo stands, hotdog in one hand, cold drink in the other, and cheering on those tough cowboys and cowgirls.  When I say tough, I mean tough!  I can’t imagine climbing on to back of one of those bucking bulls or broncs.  I hold my breath, watching, hoping those cowboys stay on for eight seconds.  I get chills when those huge bulls come at them or those kicking horses hooves get close when the ride is done.

Then there’s the steer wrestling.  Cowboys jumping off their horse and grabbing the horns of a running steer to wrestle it to the ground.  I wonder how many pair of boots they go through in a season, digging their heels in to the dirt to bring them to a stop.

I watch in awe as steers, calves and even goats are roped from the back of a running horse.  Read More

Let The Plowing Begin

April 4th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

It was a beautiful day…..the sun was shining, the wind wasn’t blowing and the sound of snowplows could be heard for miles!  I was able to see the start of the plowing of the east gate to Yellowstone.

On the drive up the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway, I saw some bison lazily feeding and basking in the warm sunshine, as well as a female moose that I was able to get a couple of pictures of before she ran across the road and out of sight. I think the animals are just as ready for spring as I am!

When I arrived at Pahaska Tepee, I loaded into a Park service van with several others who were there to watch as well and was taken to the east gate.  I don’t really know a lot about plowing snow, especially on such a large scale, but it was fascinating to watch!

First to pass was a bulldozer pushing the snow off the side and to the middle of the road.  Next came a giant plow whose blades pulled the snow in and blew it an enormous spray down the side of the embankment of the North Fork of the Shoshone River. The WYDOT Read More