Buffalo Bill Blog

Jan
22

Sleeping Giant

Ski area in snowy mountainsBaby, it’s cold outside! Winter has definitely arrived in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country and Sleeping Giant, our local ski hill, is no exception! Did you know Sleeping Giant Ski Area is one of the oldest ski areas in the country? It originally opened in 1936, and was much loved by area skiers for its family-friendly atmosphere and still is.

With temps below zero at night, they are cranking out the man-made snow and laying down a healthy base. Right now that base is 20 inches and growing. And as any ski diva will tell you, that’s a very respectable base. Sleeping Giant operates a triple chairlift on the west side of the ski area and a double chairlift on the east side. I like watching the tiny kids ride the magic carpet to their special hill.

I’ve noticed extra layers on the skiers this past week or so. Their cheeks have that healthy glow that comes after a few runs in single digit temperatures.  I think the Grizzly Grill and T-Bar have been a little busier thesePeople dining in ski area restaurant last few days. I’ve seen many skiers play the numbers game: ski five runs and take 10 minutes inside to warm up, have a cup of chili or soup and then head back out. Some of them do that all day.

Personally, I have developed a strategy when I go downhill skiing at Sleeping Giant.

First, I like to do a few stretches at home before I get out the synthetic long underwear. Not too much, just enough to get the dog wondering what the heck I’m doing.

After checking the weather report, I choose my base layer. This past weekend was cold so I used the expedition weight. As we head to this next weekend, the weather report calls for highs in the 40s and plenty of sunshine. So then, medium or light weight will be in order.

Anyway, I like to drive through the Wapiti Valley without my outer layers since that will be way too hot. Sometimes I leave the window partially open to keep from overheating. The down side of that is that I have been known to scare the wildlife. baby mountain goatsYou see, I get a little carried away by singing along to certain songs on the radio. My ski partner claims I once brought a bear out of hibernation singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody. I think she was kidding, but I can’t be completely sure.

It’s my preference to arrive about 15 minutes before the lifts start operating. I can put on my outer shell and get the boots buckled in about seven minutes. That gives me some time to stretch a little more aggressively and be on the lift with the early birds. The first run is a nice smooth one, not too fast, just gets the heart pumping and the legs working properly.

For the next hour so I like to go a little faster on each run and cover as much of the hill as I can.

Then, it’s time for a coffee or tea and to catch up with some friends. After a short break, we head over to the terrain park for some fun. The terrain park has 14 features, including quarter pipes, rails, boxes and jumps. Did you know the terrainSnowboarder in the air going off jump park is one of only a handful in the country that was constructed almost entirely of materials found on the hill? It is designed for use by both snowboarders and skiers.  I am not much for the tricks myself, but I do love to watch some of the other skiers develop their skills. Some of these kids – most of them are kids –are getting really good.

I meet for a late lunch with some old friends, and we head back out afterwards. As I ski my last run for the day I think about the big horn sheep, moose or bison that might be out during my drive home and want to get home before dark so I can see them. I love that such great skiing is just 45 minutes from my cozy house in Cody, Wyoming.

Until next time, I’m lovin’ the slopes at Sleeping Giant in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country!

Corrie N. Cody

Cartoon Cowgirl with big hat and braids

Jan
14

New Year Resolution

I resolve to be “Cody-centric” in 2013 and enjoy events that are unique to my hometown in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.

Here’s what I will do in Cody.

Man climbing frozen waterfallTake a beginners ice climbing lesson at the 15th Annual Cody Ice Festival, February 16 and 17. Most people do not know that we have porous volcanic soil that allows for easy water seepage and some of the best ice climbing in the world. Yes, the world! Our mountains receive large amounts of snow that melts and fills many different drainages. This results in spring-fed waterfalls that are constantly regenerating themselves and freezing into high-quality ice climbs. Climbers are still discovering new waterfalls in the region, and some have made dozens of “first ascents” over the past few years.

 

The whole family will have fun during the Cody Stampede. This year’s celebration kicks off Sunday, June 30 with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Xtreme Bulls event. The four Cody StampedeCowboy on bucking bull Rodeos – part of the Wrangler Pro Rodeo Tour sanctioned by PRCA – are held July 1 – 4. We will sit at our favorite spot on main street and watch one of the largest and best parades in Wyoming on July 4. That night Cody skies will be ablaze with dazzling fireworks.

 

People walking through furniture exhibitI will attend “Cody High Style: Designing the West.” Held September 18-22, the Cody Chamber of Commerce hosts an annual exhibition that celebrates the furniture and fashion of the West. Some furniture designers even moved to Cody as a result of this annual Western design event. We will stroll main street during the Boot, Scoot and Boogie event and sample food, watch craftsmen create masterpieces and dance to live western music! All this is part of a great week in Cody, the Rendezvous Royale.

 

We can’t wait to watch the experts at the 32nd Annual Plains Indian Powwow. Located at the Robbie Gardens outside the Buffalo Bill Center of the West June 15 and 16, the Powwow features Indian dancing and drumNative American Dancer in full costume competition as well as food and crafts from the Indian culture. I will make sure to have my camera and plenty of memory available because the action and the colorful dancing costumes make this one of the most photogenic events I have ever seen.

 

It’s wonderful to live in a place with all these great events!

 

Cartoon Cowgirl with braidsUntil next time, I’m loving life in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country,

Corrie N. Cody

 

 

 

Dec
10

“TOP 10” THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT BUFFALO BILL

“Cody.” The name alone conjures up images and legends of the American West: wagon trains, gold rushes, gunslingers, Indian battles and more. And among these legends, William Frederick Cody — commonly known as “Buffalo Bill” — is one of the best-known and most colorful.

And possibly the most misunderstood.

At the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyo., (the town at the gateway to “Yellowstone Country” founded by the legend himself) visitors enjoy a more well-rounded view of Buffalo Bill: the legend and the man. And, as is often the case with legendary figures, “the truth is more interesting than the myth.”

Here’s a “top 10” list of little-known facts about the man, showman and pioneer who dazzled millions around the world with “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show”:

1.  Known as a fearless Indian fighter, Cody respected — and advocated for the rights of — American Indians and once said, “Every Indian outbreak that I have ever known has resulted from broken promises and broken treaties by the government.”

2.  Cody was an ardent supporter of women’s rights and insisted on equal pay for all members of his traveling shows, regardless of gender. “What we want to do is give women even more liberty than they have,” he said. “Let them do any kind of work they see fit, and if they do it as well as men, give them the same pay.”

3.   At the age of 11, Cody took a job as a wagon train “boy extra” riding and delivering messages to drivers along the length of the train.

4.  At the ripe old age of 14, he signed on with the Pony Express and after an apprenticeship building corrals and stations for the burgeoning mail service, became a full-fledged rider.

5.  Cody’s family was Quaker and opposed slavery. When Cody was a young child, the family moved from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, a hotbed of conflict between slavery advocates and abolitionists. While giving an antislavery speech at a local trading post, Cody’s father Isaac was stabbed twice by an angry man in the crowd.

6.  Cody was a Freemason who achieved the rank of Knight Templar in 1889 and 32-degree rank in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in 1894.

7.  While thousands visit the Buffalo Bill gravesite outside of Denver annually, many Cody residents believe their town’s namesake is actually buried on Cedar Mountain overlooking the town of Cody itself. The legend behind this belief involves a bold plan, a middle-of the-night trip to a Denver mortuary and an unlucky ranch hand bearing a likeness to Buffalo Bill.

8.   Some historians assert that at the height of his traveling show’s fame, Cody was the most recognizable celebrity in the world — notoriety that earned him an audience with Pope Leo XIII while the Wild West Show was touring Europe.

9.  In 1893, “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show” expanded and became the even more spectacular (though ponderously titled) “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World.” A true multicultural event, the show featured horsemen from around the globe, including South American gauchos, Arabs, Mongols and Turks.

10.  Cody received a Medal of Honor while serving the Third Cavalry Regiment as a civilian scout. Congress later rescinded the medal, as well as all others awarded to civilians. In 1989, Cody’s medal was officially reinstated.

 

Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.

The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum, Buffalo Bill Historical Center and thriving western culture host more than 1 million visitors annually.

The Park County Travel Council website (www.yellowstonecountry.org) lists information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. Travelers wishing to arrange vacation can also call the Park County Travel Council at 1-800-393-2639.

 

Nov
28

Corrie N. Cody Salutes the Cody/Yellowstone Wildlife

Two grizzly bears walking by the Yellowstone signYellowstone National Park and the Cody area are known throughout the world for the wildlife viewing opportunities. Most people do not get to experience animals in their natural environment. It is exhilarating to see a bear meandering through the woods!  Many visitors come to Yellowstone just to see the wildlife. One of my favorite wildlife viewing spots in Yellowstone is the Lamar Valley also known as the Serengeti of the US. Large herds of bison meander the valley while wolves, coyotes, antelope, bears, deer and elk forage nearby.  Stop and sit a spell and you will be surprised at the wildlife you experience.

Yellowstone National Park is home to 67 species of mammals. The most watchable mammals are bison. Bison are located throughout the Park and tend to wonder outside the Park boundaries.  Areas like the Hayden Four bison grazing in a sage brush fieldand Lamar Valleys are home to large herds. Solitary males tend to hang out all over the Park. Practically every visitor to the Park will get to a bison and often quite closely from their car!  Other watchable wildlife include elk, deer, pronghorn antelope and coyotes. It is not unusual to see these animals grazing near the Park’s main roads. If you are lucky, you may see a moose in a marshy area or a Big Horn sheep on a rocky ledge.

Grizzly bear digging in snowEveryone visiting Yellowstone wants to see a bear. They are the stars of the Park! There are two types of bears that call the Park home, black and grizzly bears. Bear sightings are frequent along the roads of the Park. You may even get stuck in a “bear jam” where traffic backs up for miles because a bear is hanging out near the road. Park rangers will be present when there is a bear jam and will make sure everyone respects the bear’s space. You need to be extremely cautious when encountering any wildlife in the Park. Remember, all the animals are WILD.

In the mid 1990’s, thirty-one gray wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone. Since that time they have flourished and number around 300. Wolf watching has become a huge attraction in the Park and special tours are available. As you drive through the Park, you may see a group of people with spotting scopes and cameras set up along the road just waiting for a wolf to come into view. Most of the Park’s wolf packs have very specific roaming areas so it is easy to find the spots where they have been hanging out. Wolf watching takes patience and knowing where to wait it out.

Bird watchers have a lot to be excited about in the greater Yellowstone area. There are 330 documented species of birds in Yellowstone. Bald eagles are a highlight to see. These majestic birds soar throughout the area. Several geese in green grassOsprey and Trumpeter swan can be found around Yellowstone Lake feeding on fish.  A variety of hawks, owls and waterfowl are common along the roadways. The National Parks Service provides a birding checklist at www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/birds.htm.

Two Rams butting headsJust because you have left Yellowstone, don’t stop looking for wildlife. The corridor from the East Entrance to Cody is full of wildlife. In fact, I have seen more moose along that section than in the Park!  There are several bison that hangout along the river. River otters are also visible along the river from the road. Big Horn sheep are often along the edge of the road grazing. In the winter and spring time, it is not unusual to see a couple of rams sparing!  Mule deer are a given so be sure to watch for them crossing the road.

There are so many wonderful reasons to visit Buffalo Bill Cody’s Yellowstone Country but wildlife has got to be at the top. The best part about wildlife watching is it is fun for all ages and you can do it year round!

So until next time, I’ll be lovin’ wildlife in Cod/Yellowstone Country!

 

Cartoon CowgirlCorrie N. Cody

 

 

 

  

Nov
09

The Holiday Season in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country

Small cabin in the snowMy favorite time of year is between Halloween and New Year’s Day. I love all the festivities, gatherings, parades and smells of the season! The change in the air lends itself to sipping hot cider or cocoa while watching great old movies. I also like getting out and sharing the season with family. Here in Cody/Yellowstone Country, we have a ton of events! Our community hosts some wonderful holiday festivities adding to all the other great reasons to visit the area.

Spontaneous Theater Productions, a local theater company, presents the American classic, “John Brown’s Body” on November 13th at the Wynona Thompson Auditorium in Cody. Based on the classic poem by Stephen Vincent Benet, this play tells the story about the Civil War from John Brown’s raid of Harper’s Ferry to the Battle of Gettysburg.  The stories of those involved are beautifully told through song and poetry.  This should be a wonderful evening with a host of local performers!

Another wonderful evening of culture will take place on November 15th at the Wynona Thompson Auditorium. The Central City Opera will perform a collection of music reflecting the ups, the downs, and the magic of Christmas trees in the snowlove. A romantic duo and pianist will take the audience through an eclectic program of songs focusing on love. Expect to hear selections from La Boheme, Show Boat ant The Last Five Years.

A highlight of the holiday season in Cody/Yellowstone Country is the Turkey Shoot and Craft Bazaar. On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, throngs of adults and children gather in a parking lot downtown to try their hand at winning a Thanksgiving turkey! The Lions Club sets up safe shooting competitions and turkey-themed games for kids. There is also a craft bazaar across the street from the shoot. There is something for everyone on that block!

Ski hill with skiersThanksgiving weekend typically kicks off ski season in Cody/Yellowstone Country. Of course, this is subject to snow pack. Sleeping Giant Ski Area is scheduled to open at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, November 23rd. This great little ski area has 184 skiable acres, 2 award winning terrain parks and three lifts. Quality equipment is available at Sleeping Giant or in town at Sunlight Sports. Warm up at the Grizzly Grill with hot entrees, snacks and beverages. Beer and wine also are available at the T-Bar in the upper level of the Lodge. Several area hotels and lodges offer a Ski and Stay package with deals on lodging and $20 full day lift tickets!

Cody’s Christmas Celebration takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving with shopping specials throughout town, a lighted Christmas parade and a variety of special events downtown. Old Trail Town also has a special Front of Buffalo Bill Historical Center at ChristmatChristmas Open House that day. Stroll through the streets of the town and enjoy the Victorian and old fashioned decorations. Go back in time with homemade cookies, confections and hot toddies in the saloon before heading back into town for the parade! The Buffalo Bill Historical Center celebrates the season with a free open house on the first Saturday in December. The Center is beautifully decorated for the holidays. Everyone is invited to experience the five museums as well as live entertainment and photos with Santa.

Meeteetse Chocolatier stocking candy on shelvesThere is nothing more festive than small town Christmas celebrations. “Christmas in Meeteetse” is one of those special events.  On Saturday, December 8th, the town celebrates with a craft fair, hay rides and specials throughout town.  Kids love Santa’s Workshop and the complementary baked goods all day. The day of fun ends with a lighted parade. The town of Powell’s Christmas celebration is known as “Powell Country Christmas” and falls on December 1st this year. The day begins with a Holiday Gift and Craft Showcase in the Commons downtown. In addition to the craft and food booths, there is entertainment all day. The day rounds out with a lighted parade!

Needless to say, the holiday season in Cody/Yellowstone Country is jammed packed with festivities! A weekend trip to the area is a great opportunity to do a little holiday shopping and partake in some old fashioned Christmas traditions and events.

 

Until next time, I’ll be lovin’ the holidays in Cody/Yellowstone Country!

Cartoon CowgirlCorrie N. Cody

 

 

 

 

 

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